Classroom Assessment: Principles and Practice for Effective Standards-Based Instruction, 7th Edition

James H. McMillan

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Classroom Assessment: Principles and Practice for Effective Standards-Based Instruction, 7th Edition

By James H. McMillan
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James H. McMillan
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For courses in Assessment and Tests and Measurement.



A comprehensive, nontechnical, engaging, look at how assessment is used to improve student learning and motivation.

Drawing on recent research and new directions in the field, this concise, engaging book shows teachers how to use classroom assessment effectively for improving student learning and motivation. Key strategies and techniques are demonstrated through practical, realistic examples, suggestions, and case studies. The new edition emphasises formative assessment and includes more in-depth coverage of self-assessment, the impact of standards-based accountability testing, 21st century knowledge, dispositions and skills, technology-enhanced items, and assessment of culturally diverse students. Each chapter provides aids to help readers learn and practice the skills of that chapter, including new Teacher Corners features illustrating actual teachers’ thinking about classroom assessment, introductory case studies, chapter concept maps, new figures, suggestions for action research, self-instructional review exercises, and links to digital resources. 


James McMillan is Professor of Education in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He obtained his masters degree from Michigan State University and his doctorate from Northwestern University, and has taught at VCU for 35 years. Dr. McMillan has published several editions of three research methods textbooks and two assessment texts, in addition to over 60 journal articles, and has made many national, international and state presentations. He is editor of the Sage Handbook of Research on Classroom Assessment (2013) and has chaired two AERA Special Interest Groups - Classroom Assessment and Professors of Educational Research. His current research interests include classroom assessment, benchmark testing, student perceptions of assessment related to mistakes and learning errors, and the impact of high-stakes testing on educational policy, schools and students. Dr. McMillan resides in Richmond, Virginia, and summers in northwest lower Michigan.

  • See how to create and/or choose from just the right kind of high-quality assessment needed in a particular teaching situation.
    • Included is coverage of structured exercises, pretests, in-class assignments, quizzes, unit tests, structured response items, technology-enhanced items, rubrics, rating scales, and more.

    • Coverage of the construction and evaluation of different types of assessment provides students with detailed information about how to design effective assessments.

  • NEW! A restructuring of the information on formative assessment presents the subject more clearly aligned to actual teacher practice, whether formative assessment occurs during instruction or after a summative assessment is completed.

    • NEW! Two full chapters focus on formative assessment include new ways of conceptualising formative assessment to be more relevant to interactions with students and feedback. 

    • Separate chapters cover embedded formative assessment that occurs during instructions and summative-based formative assessment that occurs after taking a test or other assessment.
  • NEW! A new chapter on assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students provides coverage of assessment practices of these growing student populations.
  • An emphasis on assessment of non-cognitive traits introduces students to assessment practices that capture traits such as self-efficacy and self-regulation, and 21st century skills.
  • NEW! A new sequence of chapters allows students to incorporate the expanding influence of high-stakes accountability testing in their classroom assessments.
  • Become actively involved in learning about classroom assessment principles and how to use them effectively.
    • A non-technical, engaging writing style grabs students’ attention and motivates learning.

    • NEW! Introductory case studies of teachers at the beginning of each chapter engage students with teachers’ assessment decision making.

    • Teachers’ Corners vignettes, written by K-12 teachers, illustrate their perspectives about effective classroom assessment practices. Students see how to apply content to real-life, practical situations.
    • Suggestions for action research at the end of each chapter encourage students to gather information from real-life contexts to enrich and personalise in-depth student learning.
    • Checklists for writing and evaluating items provide a concise format of guidelines for practice to have effective items.

Table of contents
  • Chapter 1.  The Role of Assessment in Teaching and Learning
  • Chapter 2.  Standards and Cognitive Learning Targets
  • Chapter 3.  High-Quality Classroom Assessment
  • Chapter 4.  Embedded Formative Assessment
  • Chapter 5.  Summative-Based Formative Assessment
  • Chapter 6.  Summative Assessment I: Planning and Implementing Classroom Tests
  • Chapter 7.  Summative Assessment II: Using Standards-Based and Standardized Tests
  • Chapter 8.  Selected-Response Assessment: Multiple-Choice, Binary-Choice, and Matching Items
  • Chapter 9.  Constructed-Response Assessment: Completion, Short-Answer, and Essay Items
  • Chapter 10.  Performance Assessment
  • Chapter 11.  Assessing “Noncognitive” Dispositions and Traits
  • Chapter 12.  Assessing Students with Special Needs
  • Chapter 13.  Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Different Students
  • Chapter 14.  Grading and Reporting Student Performance