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Design in Five

Essential Phases to Create Engaging Assessment Practice, Second Edition

By: Nicole Dimich

Foreword by: Douglas Reeves

“The singular contribution of this book is shifting the focus of assessment from external audiences to students,” writes author and assessment expert Douglas Reeves in the foreword. Design in Five [Second Edition] inspires educators to rethink old ways of assessing student learning and empowers them to create meaningful, relevant assessments to ensure high levels of learning.

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Make assessments more relevant, meaningful, and focused on student learning

This second edition of the best-selling, award-winning Design in Five offers new and targeted information for reimagining assessment practices, as well as refined processes and protocols to fully engage learners. Refinements to the original five-phase protocol come from actual experiences of teachers who have engaged with the process. This is the book you need to design and use assessment well.

This book will help K–12 teachers, administrators, and students of teacher preparation courses:

  • Reflect on current assessment practices to determine their effectiveness
  • Learn and implement a five-phase process to design meaningful, relevant
  • assessments that lead to high levels of learning for all
  • Align and design items and tasks to learning goals
  • Design assessments that help students invest in their learning and take action to improve
  • Access numerous reproducible surveys, charts, and sample assessments

Related Topics


Additional Information

Product Code: BKG167, EKF711

ISBN: 9781960574107

Published By: Solution Tree

“In her second edition of Design in Five, Dimich shares powerful guiding principles and practices that foster an assessment-as-learning mindset for both educators and students. She effectively guides educators not only in the step-by-step design of meaningful assessments but in their use to maximize student engagement and learning. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to build confidence in their assessment practices while creating a culture of learning with their students.”

Kim Bailey, coauthor, Common Formative Assessment: A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities at Work®

“In this second edition of Design in Five, Nicole Dimich reaffirms her status as a trailblazer in the realm of assessment. Through a synthesis of research, practice, and unwavering dedication, Dimich offers educators a transformative road map to navigate the complexities of assessment with confidence and purpose. Drawing from rich encounters in classrooms and collaborative efforts with educators, Dimich elevates the discourse on assessment to new heights. This edition captures the essence of her journey, showcasing the evolution of assessment practices through real-world application and continuous improvement. By delving into the intricacies of assessment processes, Dimich equips educators with a deeper understanding of how to tailor assessment strategies to meet the diverse needs of learners effectively. As we embark on this journey together, let us heed Dimich’s call to action, embracing assessment as a cornerstone of student-centered learning and a catalyst for educational excellence.”

Anisa Baker-Busby, elementary practitioner, educational presenter and coach, and speaker

Design in Five, Second Edition serves as a practical blueprint for developing and utilizing engaging, efficient assessments as a seamless part of the instructional process. Drawing on her extensive work and experience with teachers and teams, Nicole Dimich guides the reader through five phases that will engage teachers and students as partners in the learning process. Authentic and practical, Design in Five, Second Edition is an absolute must-read for any educator who wants to build authentic assessments and actively engage students as partners in their learning journey.”

Bob Sonju, educator and coauthor, Simplifying the Journey

“When done well, assessment can guide and empower our learners . . . and when done poorly, it can be powerfully wrong! In the second edition of this seminal work, Nicole Dimich challenges us to rethink the very purpose of assessment, shifting from an overemphasis on high-stakes testing and assigning grades to purposely collecting timely, targeted information to guide teaching and learning. Equally important, this book provides a step-by-step process to help teachers take these powerful ideas from theory into practice.”

Mike Mattos, educator, author, and consultant

Design in Five, Second Edition is a welcomed rejuvenation of how assessment practices can nurture an efficacy of hope and possibility within our schools. This student-centered, teacher-empowering framework insists that our analysis of student work evolve from a place of compliance—score the work, enter the data, and move on to the next topic—to a place of commitment, guiding teams to describe what they do see in their students’ work and how that informs their next instructional moves. Instead of limiting data discussions to only focus on what’s wrong in students’ thinking, Nicole repositions assessment conversations as a tool to reveal the strengths of what students can do, which emboldens the adults to determine the most effective instructional strategies for this group of learners and collaboratively develop a plan that supports their unique journey toward mastery. If you are looking for a tool that humanizes assessment and provides direction on how to design, deliver, and discuss student work in a sustainable, intentional manner, then Design in Five is a must-read!”

Angie Freese, founder and principal revitalist, The Meant for More Collaborative

“This is a great book that will unite a campus and collaborative teams. With the main idea of developing appropriate assessments for students, the strategies found in the book will help develop a teacher’s pedagogy and once again instill the love of learning by our scholars. I highly recommend district and campus leadership purchase this book for book studies to improve the practice of our dedicated teachers. Design in Five navigates educators through breaking down assessments, providing collaborative teams a structure to develop effective student-friendly assessments and actual hands-on forms, which will rebuild the connection between our scholars and their educators.”

Josh Tovar, principal, Memorial Pathway Academy, Texas

“Nicole Dimich’s second edition of Design in Five: Essential Phases to Create Engaging Assessment Practice is practical and student-focused. This is the assessment book that every professional learning community (PLC) would appreciate when designing collaborative and engaging assessments for students.”

Keitha-Gail Martin-Kerr, associate professor of teaching, University of Minnesota
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