In this series of self-directed and facilitated virtual sessions, you will learn how to use a variety of assessments and the principles of backward design in both remote and in-person ESOL classes. 

Please note: This course will take place in Blackboard, where you will find all virtual session information, course materials, and additional resources. You cannot access the online course from the SABES website. You will receive a separate email one to two days before the course begins with instructions on how to access the Zoom session. If you do not receive these instructions, please check your Spam folder and/or send an email to nruskin@edc.org.


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers who wish to strengthen their ability to use different types of assessment and backward design to improve student learning outcomes in both remote and in-person classes

Assessment is an essential element of effective instruction. In this hands-on workshop, you will explore the purpose, benefits, and application of a variety of assessments: needs assessments, student self-assessments, and formative and summative assessments. Presenters will model these assessments throughout the course, and you will have opportunities to apply them. You will use the principles of backward design to identify learning outcomes, define effective assessment strategies, and build a learning plan that will guide learners to successful achievement of the targeted objectives.

1/12/24  Module 1: Independent Preliminary Activities provides foundational knowledge about assessment. It includes a needs assessment and a self-assessment, as well as a review of Massachusetts ESOL Professional Standard 5: Assessment.

1/19/24  Module 2: Facilitated Virtual Session 1 covers how to use needs assessments and self-assessments to customize instruction for students. It also covers how to apply backward design principles to align assessment to instructional goals. 

1/19/24 - 1/26/24  Module 3: Independent Activities guides you in applying the first two sessions by designing a needs assessment and then identifying learning objectives and assessments for the unit that are informed by the results of the needs assessment.

1/26/24  Module 4: Facilitated Virtual Session 2 explores how to develop effective summative assessments based on learning objectives and how to select and design tools, such as rubrics, to measure and evaluate learning.

1/26/24 - 2/2/24  Module 5: Independent Activities guides you in applying key elements from the second facilitated session by designing a project-based summative assessment with a single-point rubric. You will also preview formative, peer, and student self-assessment strategies and activities.

2/2/24  Module 6: Facilitated Virtual Session 3 focuses on peer and student self-assessments and explores a variety of formative assessment techniques to gauge student learning, check for understanding, and inform instruction. There will be time at the end of the final session to reflect on key learnings from the entire PD series.

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Use needs assessments to customize instruction for your students
  • Apply backward design principles to align assessments to instructional goals
  • Use summative assessments to evaluate learning at the end of a unit
  • Provide meaningful feedback and opportunities for learner engagement in assessment activities
  • Use formative assessments to gauge student learning and inform instruction
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)

Participants should have the ability to participate in Zoom virtual sessions.

01/12/2024 - 8:00 am
01/19/2024 - 1:00 pm to 01/19/2024 - 3:00 pm
01/26/2024 - 1:00 pm to 01/26/2024 - 3:00 pm
02/02/2024 - 1:00 pm to 02/02/2024 - 3:00 pm

United States

PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching
Curriculum Development
Digital Literacy
Distance and Blended Learning
ESOL/English Learners
MA ELPS (Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards)