Co-Assessing in the School Library

So far this month, Judi talked about co-planning and Lucy addressed co-teaching.5227436224_aa52b49262_z

An important, but often left out, step in a collaborative relationship is co-assessment. The teacher and librarian have planned together and taught together, so it seems natural that the team should also assess together. However, time and other commitments often are allowed to get in the way of this step and the assessment is often left to just one of the educators.

In Lucy’s post earlier this week, one of the descriptions of co-teaching was “Both professionals coordinate and deliver substantive instruction and have active roles.” The same is true for co-assessing. One model for co-assessing might look like this:

  • The teacher assesses the content, the librarian assesses the library skills, and together they assess the product.

Assessment is not something that is just done at the end of the lesson or unit. Best practice is to continually assess for learning so you know the students are learning the intended information and making progress toward the lesson objectives.

A recent blog post by Angela Stockman describes “10 things you don’t know about formative assessment.”

Stockman’s first tip is “Formative assessment is a verb, not a noun.” It is something we do in order to learn about the student; it is not a thing. Assessment is active and continuous. Good assessments inform good teaching. Assessments are directly related to the learning objectives. After you spend the time planning and teaching, you need to know that your students have learned. You need to know that your collaborative teaching experience had a positive impact on the students. Once you have collected data related to student learning, you can use this to show the importance of your effective school library program. You can also use this data to encourage other teachers to join in a collaborative relationship.

One of the best parts of co-assessing is that the librarian has the opportunity to see the project through to the end. So many times a class comes in for the research part of a project but the librarian does not see the final product. When you are co-planning, be sure to set aside time so you can be there for the presentations at the end. This goes a long way in building trust and relationships. It shows the students (and the teachers) that you care and that their hard work matters to you.

How do you assess learning in a collaborative lesson? Do you divide the assessment responsibilities or do you work side-by-side to assess together? What is your favorite formative assessment strategy in the library?


Stockman, A. (2015, June 15). 10 things you don’t know about formative assessment. [Blog]. Retrieved from

Photo courtesy of PNASH via Flicker.


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