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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development

Classroom Assessment Certificate

The certificate is designed for educators such as teachers, administrators, coaches, program leaders, and curriculum leaders, who desire to learn how to develop, select, use, administer, and interpret educational assessments. The goal of this certificate is for participants to become well-informed assessment designers and developers, critical assessment consumers, assessment evaluators, and advocators of reliable, valid and fair assessments for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

The learning goals of the three‐course certificate are:

  • Develop quality assessments, which provide reliable and valid information for making instructional decisions at the classroom and at the school level.
  • Become aware of the role of classroom assessment in the context of high‐stakes testing and how it can help to maximize student learning and achievement.
  • Become critical users of assessment instruments and assessment information.
  • Become users, developers, and advocates of assessments, which are fair, reliable, and valid for diverse populations.

Certificate Structure

The certificate is designed as a three‐course sequence. Each course is designed to provide knowledge and skills that are considered building blocks for the next courses. The three courses are designed around four ideas, which are spiraled in the courses and allow participants to achieve the learning goals: assessment development, evaluation of assessments (validity, reliability, and fairness), consumers of assessments (selection of assessments and interpretation of large‐scale assessment data), and issues of validity, reliability, bias, and fairness of assessments for diverse populations.

The certificate consists of three courses, totaling 9 credit hours, and may be earned in one year. The certificate sequence begins in spring and ends in fall.

Certificate Format



All courses are three graduate credit hours. Tuition is $359.50/credit, plus student fees of $10/credit, plus $100 online course fee, for a total of $1,208.50/course.​​

Related Degree Programs

MA Educational Psychology - Research and Evaluation

Courses Term Offered
RSEM 5600: Issues in Assessment Development>
The main focus of this course is on the process of item development including defining the knowledge and skills to be assessed, the nature of the task to be used to gather the information which can tap that knowledge and skills, and issues about reliability, validity, and fairness for classroom and large‐scale purposes. The course goals lays a solid foundation for understanding the purposes of assessment, types of knowledge to be assessed, type of and nature of different types of assessment items, and the technical quality of the assessments, particularly reliability, validity, and fairness.
First: Spring

RSEM 5610: Formative and Summative Assessment

The main focus of this course is assessment development in the context of a unit or module being implemented in the participants’ classrooms or schools. The goals of this course focus on: differentiating roles and characteristics of formative and summative assessments, applying what participants have learned about valid, reliable, and fair assessment development in designing and developing formative and summative assessments for a unit that they will select and implement, developing strategies for informal formative assessment strategies, and using the information gathered to improve students’ learning.

Second: Summer
RSEM 5620: Analyzing, Using, and Reporting Assessment Results
Three main goals guide this course: knowledge and skills for analyzing, using, and reporting assessment results, assessment of language proficiency and academic achievement of English language learners (ELLs), and learning and achievement in the context of accountability systems. The goals of this course focus on (1) designing data sets which can provide the necessary structure to conduct simple data analysis which helps to respond to questions about students’ learning and achievement in various educational contexts (e.g. classroom, school, school district, and state etc.; (2) conducting simple data analyses such as descriptives and correlations, (3) reporting results from these analyses and interpreting results from both internal (e.g., pre‐unit‐assessment and end‐of‐unit assessment) and external assessments (e.g., state assessments), and (4) validity and fairness issues in the testing of linguistically diverse populations. Critical issues that K‐12 practitioners should know about large‐scale assessments will be also discussed for participants to be become critical consumers of assessments and the information they provide.
Third: Fall

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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