Starting this coming Fall, we will offer a set of free online courses sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation to help educators use innovative assessment practices – instructionally-focused formative assessment and curriculum-embedded performance assessments for deeper learning. The MOOCs will focus on instructional improvement and student learning related to both the academic standards and the English Language Proficiency standards. Participants can develop competencies in two strands:  

Strand A – Formative Assessment: Focus on Student Language

  1. Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for College and Career Readiness (October 4 2016 to January 9 2017; Registration is now open!)

Participants will develop a practical understanding of classroom conversations, listening closely to student-to-student discourse and using a conversation analysis tool to inform future instruction.

  1. Learning as Evidence: Improving Argumentation through Formative Assessment Practice (Begin in Winter, 2017)

Participants will use a range of practical tools for gathering and analyzing language samples that show how students currently construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning.

Strand B – Building and Using Performance Assessments

  1. Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks (October 4 2016 to January 9 2017; Registration is now open!)

Build educators’ capacities to understand and develop performance assessments that consider language and fit local contexts.

  1. Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Implement and Improve Performance Tasks (Begin in Winter 2017)

Build educators’ capacities to select, adapt, implement, and improve performance assessments that consider language and fit local contexts.

Each of the four courses will take approximately 30 - 40 hours of learning time. Successful completion of the assignments for each course will result in a “Statement of Accomplishment” which can be used by systems to recognize professional development units or, if graduate credit can be awarded, through the local granting institution.


An information webinar was held on May 25 at 9:00 PDT/12:00 EDT. You can now view the recording, download the slides, and read the Frequently Asked Questions.

NEW!! There will be three webinars in the summer to help school, district, or state facilitators to provide local support to their educators. Individual teachers are welcome to attend, of course, and share the information with their colleagues.

You can also download a flyer to share with your colleagues and friends. If you have any questions, please contact Hsiaolin Hsieh (hsiaolin@stanford.edu).