Diagnostic Assessments

Diagnostic Assessment is another name for progress monitoring. Teachers assess students to monitor the level of success of students and helps the teacher know which direction to go as the learner’s work is assessed. The student is unaware of the monitoring unlike a formative assessment which provides students immediate feedback. Think of a doctor being presented with symptoms and having to make a diagnosis in order to prescribe a treatment plan. A diagnostic assessment does much of the same. The teacher is presented evidence of learning and the teacher must make a diagnostic assessment in order to prescribe what next for the learner.

The diagnostic assessment is not a tool for grading students work. It is crafted with the teacher in mind, to help the teacher determine if the outcomes are aligned with the intentionally planned learning.


A team of teachers collaborate on a particular objective and standard for learning. The essential question, strategies for teaching, formative assessments, differentiation, learning styles and a common assessment and common rubric are agreed upon.

Random assessments are collected. The team of teachers review the assessments and score them based on the common rubric agreed upon.

Possible Outcomes:

  • Teachers determine the assessment was not aligned with the rubric. Teachers must make adjustments and re-teach and re-tool.
  • Teachers determine aligned assessment is valid and assess students work accordingly.
  • Percentage of students determines teacher must “re-teach to reach” students.
  • Percentage of students determines teacher must work with small groups to help them become successful.