The intent of this page is to provide social studies educators with information and sample assessment resources aligned to the K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards. The links provided will navigate you to webpages specifically designed to to help you when developing classroom and local assessments. Because the K-12 Social Studies section does not write assessment items, nor develop or administer NC Final Exams the links found on this page will also navigate you to the official NCDPI information portal for accountability, NC Final Exams, and the statewide vision for 21st Century Assessment.

What is Assessment?

There are various definitions of assessment and the role it plays in the teaching and learning process. Several accepted definitions of assessment and the role it plays in teaching and learning are:
  • Assessment involves the use of empirical data on student learning to refine programs and improve student learning. (Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Allen 2004)
  • Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning. (Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: shifting the focus from teaching to learning by Huba and Freed 2000)
  • Assessment is the systematic basis for making inferences about the learning and development of students. It is the process of defining, selecting, designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and using information to increase students’ learning and development. (Assessing Student Learning and Development: A Guide to the Principles, Goals, and Methods of Determining College Outcomes by Erwin 1991)
  • Assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. (Assessment Essentials: planning, implementing, and improving assessment in higher education by Palomba and Banta 1999)

Assessment In North Carolina:

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Assessment in classrooms and schools of North Carolina is expected to be based on a comprehensive balanced assessment system. A comprehensive balanced assessment system includes classroom assessments, interim/benchmark assessments, and statewide assessments that are all aligned to state standards and objectives.