Walden University – Course 6714: Week 1 Discussion

Assessing Diverse Learners in the Classroom

I can relate to Carol Ann Tomlinson’s early years as a teacher. I did not like assessments, and only gave them when I had to. However, reading through her ten understandings to classroom assessment, I realized it was not assessing students that I disliked so much, but the singular method through which I might give assessments. We all have our preferences for how we communicate. By broadening the scope for communication, students can demonstrate their understanding via a method they are most comfortable with; like a written essay, verbal or visual presentation, etc. (Tomlinson, 2008).

The fourth understanding described by Tomlinson (2008), “Informative assessment isn’t separate from the curriculum,” has recently impacted me in my work by how I develop curriculum. I used to create lessons first and then build my assessments from what was covered in my lessons. This was backwards. I did not realize at the time that I could not successfully measure my students’ understanding of information if I did not first define my goals and outcome. Covey (n.d.) discusses the importance of knowing first what you should be focusing on so that you can visualize and make connections; “begin with the end in mind.” By clearly identifying lesson goals (what they will learn) and the outcome (what they should be able to do) from the beginning, students have a higher chance of successfully learning what is being taught. Additionally, assessments given during units of study become a more accurate form of evaluating and determining student understanding.

This new insight has helped me develop a template for creating lessons. I first identify the purpose; this is the “overall” reasoning for the lesson. Next, I identify the goals, or objectives, for the lesson which are the key points the students will learn. Lastly, I identify the lesson outcome. This clarifies tasks, or what the students will be able to do with the new knowledge and/or skills. By mapping out my lesson purpose, objectives and outcome(s) from the beginning, students do not have to guess at what will be coming next. They know what to expect, are better prepared for the activities, and more likely to formulate personal connections that will aid in their learning.

Shanna Falgoust


Covey, S. R. (n.d.). The 7 habits of highly effective people, habit 2: begin with the end in mind. Stephen R. Covey: The Community. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit2.php

Tomlinson, C. (2008). Learning to love assessment. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 8–13. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.