Assessments 101 – Understanding the Relationship Between Assessments and Learning


Assessments can sometimes be scary for both students and educators. But why is assessing students so hard? What can we as educators do to improve our understanding of the role of assessments in learning? I got a chance to talk with Shirley Li, a Senior Learning Scientist/Psychometrician, and Tavy Wells Chen, a Senior Software Product Manager focused on Assessments, for an essential Assessments 101 discussion. In the podcast we unpack words like screener, diagnostic, norming, and scaling to help educators better understand the relationship between assessments and learning.

🎧 Listen to the full episode:

Podcast Guests:

Tavy Wells Chen is a Senior Software Product Manager at Savvas Learning, focused on high-quality, teacher-friendly assessments. She has been working in the educational field tutoring, teaching, training, and directing for 17 years. The majority of her career was spent in public school systems in Florida, starting with teaching middle school Science and Math in Hillsborough County. After earning National Board Certification, Tavy moved to the district level to teach teachers the more rigorous Math involved in a new set of standards. She then transitioned into directing assessment, data, research, accountability, and evaluation in Duval and Orange Counties. Her dissertation was focused on interim assessment

Shirley Li is the Senior Learning Scientist/Psychometrician in the Assessment and Learning Analytics team with 10 years of experience in educational research. Shirley received her Ph.D in Educational Psychology from University of Connecticut, she specializes in the field of measurement, assessment and evaluation. Since joining Savvas, Shirley has been supporting the development of various assessment products.

Brandy Pitre is the Director of Assessment and Learning Analytics with over 22 years of experience in the education space, including focused experience in K-12 Core, Intervention, Supplemental and Assessment. Brandy began her educational career as an elementary school teacher where she spent 10 years teaching 2nd and 3rd grades. She then transitioned into Ed tech where she has spent the last 14 years supporting teachers and students across the country.

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.


About the Author

Brandy Pitre

Director of Assessment and Learning Analytics