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Assessment and Grading for Student Achievement


Course Description

Educational experts Damian Cooper and Ken O'Connor present a lively and topical course on the necessity of rethinking assessment practices to help students learn and become more efficient. Participants will analyze their current practice and begin to implement improvements based on newly considered distinctions between assessments "FOR" learning as opposed to assessments "OF" learning. Strategies in the course include facilitating critical tasks for teachers, providing examples of excellence, promoting collaborative work and self-and-peer-assessment, and providing feedback that both informs students how to improve and allows them the time and space to do so. Interviews with teachers and in-classroom workshops illustrate the key points throughout the course and provide examples in actual practice.



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*not all courses are available in all states or with partners

Course Presenters

Richard DuFour, Ed.D.

Damian Cooper, who has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education, as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum, is an independent education consultant who specializes in helping schools and school districts improve their instructional and assessment skills. In his varied career, Cooper has been a secondary English, special education, and drama teacher; a department head; a librarian; a school consultant; and a curriculum developer. He has specialized in student assessment for more than twenty years and served as assessment consult to the School Division of Nelson Education where he worked on the development of assessment principles and strategies for a wide variety of K-12 resources. Prior to that appointment, he was Coordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for the Halton District School Board in Burlington, Ontario. Cooper’s current work focuses on helping teachers and administrators connect curriculum, instruction, and assessment in ways that improve learning for all students. He is the author of Talk About Assessment: Strategies and Tools to Improve Learning and Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools, as well as co-author, with Nanci Wakeman, of Getting Assessment Right: Language and Getting Assessment Right: Mathematics for Data-Based Directions.


Ken O’Connor

Ken O’Connor, who earned his Master’s of Education at the University of Toronto in 1973, has been an independent consultant since 1996. His 23 year teaching career includes experience as a geography teacher and department head. He has been a staff development presenter and facilitator on assessment, grading, and reporting throughout North America, presented at myriad conferences, and served as a curriculum coordinator for the Scarborough Board of Education and the Toronto District School Board. O’Connor is the author of a number of books, including How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards and A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades.

Partner Profile

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has nearly 2,000 professionals in more than 50 offices around the US, in Canada and in Europe. PCG’s Education practice offers consulting services and technology solutions that help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education to promote student success, improve programs and processes, and optimize financial resources.

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