assess a pre assess assignment

This is one of two types of assignment - pre assess is all about finding out what students "know" already - a quick assess assignment - timely practice and pre assess - summary card (print at 69%) is available as an aid memoire.

Target: speedy but accurately finding out what students already "know"
  • Assessing a pre assess assignment is usually much quicker than assessing a timely practice assignment
  • A 15 question pre assess assignment can usually be assessed in well under a minute.


Go to Home / Classes / classname page
click on Assess Assignments  button.Steps to follow - in words

  1. Order the assignments by Type.
  2. From the pre assess assignments click on the student's name. 
  3. For each question decide the best button to select (please see further detail in the larger table below)


     This  option

    not allowed for

    pre assessment

    Summarybest learn later
    v. minor "oops"good answer
  4. Once all questions are assessed click the "Finished Assessment" button.
  5. Repeat steps 3 to 5 until all assignments are assessed.
Further detail
ButtonSummaryMore detail about what kind of quality of answer to include



Correct answer and a viable method (i.e. not too long winded)




Very nearly correct - the student seems to already "know" how to answer questions like this - but has made a very minor "oops". No teaching - merely practice - will be required e.g.

  • missed out one item from many in e.g. a tally chart, Venn etc
  • has "miscopied" a value but used a correct method
  • when asked "Is ... correct? Explain why" has explained fairly well but not written yes or no




Everything else. Answers that the teacher may consider for ~ but should get "best learn later" include

  • one out of a two part question answered correctly
  • correct method but fundamental numeracy error such as borrowing or carrying
  • too long winded method e.g. 7+7+7 ... a total of thirteen times
First the do's ...
  • Use the answers - the aim is to assess what each student can do independently and accurately - so the teacher brain should be focused on assessing "can the student do this independently and accurately" not on working out the answers. 
  • Use the tick or bin symbol for at least 90% of the questions (see info box err on the side of harsh)
Second the do not's ...
  • Don't show assessed pre assess assignments to students - this saves a lot of time, both marking time (as no comments are needed) and lesson time. If student's really want to know how they did in their pre assessment - offer to show any students who would like to, the opportunity to see their Learner's Progress Page at the end of the/ the next unit.
  • Don't give feedback next lesson - with pre assess if you have something important to say, the time to say it will be when the teacher first teaches the topic - so instead note the important thing in a diary or in the appropriate section of the pre assess and teach: options document 
  • Don't spend time deciding is this a very minor "oops" always err on the side of harsh - with pre assess you are trying to find what students already "know" and can answer "independently and accurately" (see info below for more on this)
  • Don't press the "Not Handed In" button - if the student "lost" their assignment - print them out another - if this happens a second time just select bin for all the questions. A strategy to deal with a student who "lose" their assignment twice - if further pre assess is to be done by the class is -
    • Speak to the student privately and offer them a chance to look at the questions and do any that they would like to do (it's just saying to the student, what was said to the class, about finding out what they "know" already, but it just seems more caring - sometimes this works.)

err on the side of harsh

With pre assess  - the teacher is trying to find what students already "know" and can answer "independently and accurately". Below is a short description of what happens in the app as a result of selecting each button - explaining why erring on the side of harsh enables more learning per student to take place. 

ButtonWhat timely practice does as a result - and why err on the side of harsh is best for pre assess
A question like this will be asked next lesson and another lesson within the week. If all 3 of these are given a tick, then the student will see 2 more within a term and if these 2 are also given a tick the student will only see questions like this twice more within the next 2 years. The first 3 are confirmation that the student can answer similar but different questions on the same kind of work, and the next 4 are the timely practice to ensure the student doesn't forget. So pre assess means the layer is fast tracked and so there is less unnecessary assessment.
A question like this will be asked next lesson, approximately 2 days after that, 3 days after that, 5 days after that etc. Avoid having too many questions each student can "almost do" returning  - to "haunt" the teacher - as instead of teaching the layer to all/ a group of students at a time that suits the teacher, the teacher will end up "tutoring" each/several students before having even taught the topic. Worse despite having invested all this work, the teacher will probably still have to teach the work to the student or may realise that the layer s/he has been tutoring the student on is not the layer s/he would have chosen to teach next.
No questions like this will be asked in the student's timely practice assignment. Instead when the teacher comes to teach the topic, the teacher will be able to see what the student already "knows" (on the way to mastery) and decide what is the best thing to teach the student next. The teacher may teach the layer next time the teacher teaches the topic (or may decide on a better layer to teach) but in the intervening time during pre assess the teacher saves much "helping" which isn't good value for time.