Research & Development

Designing Balanced Assessment Systems

Assessment tools and products abound, but district leaders need support in how to build a coherent and comprehensive system that can lead to improved student learning.

The MAC’s research is helping to inform this important area of school leadership, shaping the development of new resources for educators and policy makers.


Current Research and Development Topics

Assessment Learning Modules

The MAC developed a series of self-paced, online Assessment Learning Modules that are aligned to Assessment Literacy Standards (endorsed by the Michigan State Board of Education in May of 2016) that are the core of all MAC professional learning opportunities.  MAC created the Assessment Literacy Standards to inform sound assessment policy and support professional learning.

Several nationally known assessment experts contributed to the 8-module series. Each module provides an opportunity for engagement, reflection and access to tools and other resources that can continue to support educators’ professional learning.

District Assessment System Design (DASD) Pilot

The District Assessment System Design Toolkit (DASD), developed by the Center for Assessment, was used to guide a process of designing a district assessment system or evaluating and improving an existing one.

The Michigan Assessment Consortium identified potential school districts (coordinated by their ISDs), provided facilitators, experienced the facilitated process, and communicated feedback on how the process and the Toolkit could be enhanced.

Institute to Develop Assessment Facilitators

In summer of 2019, the MAC is sponsoring training to develop a cadre of assessment facilitators to effectively use the Assessment Learning Modules (ALMs) and the District Assessment System Design Toolkit (DASD) to promote assessment literacy among Michigan’s local and intermediate school district staff and to improve the quality and effectiveness of local assessment systems.

This work builds on a proof-of-concept pilot undertaken in 2017-18 using the DASD and an associated process (developed by the Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment–NCIEA) in selected Michigan Districts.

We are eager to pilot the use of newly developed facilitator guides designed to support the use of the content in the Assessment Learning Modules for local and ISD blended learning models. Registration for the Assessment Facilitator Institute will open in February 2019. The Institute is scheduled for August 6-8, 2019, in Lansing, Michigan.

To learn more about the MAC’s Research and Development work, contact Ed Roeber at (517) 816-4520.

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Our resource bank contains additional materials and resources to support educators in the effective use of assessment.

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