Assessment Vs. Diagnosis
Assessment: “The act or process of gathering
information in order to better understand the
strengths and weaknesses of student learning,
as by observation, testing, interviews, ext.” (Vogt
& Shearer, 2011, p. 91).
Diagnosis: A diagnosis is the process of
identifying and labeling a disability or disorder.
These assessments should be administered to
all students. The purpose of this assessment is
to identify student needs through the
assessment of critical needs. While this
assessment will not give data to guide
instruction, it will provide baseline data on
This assessment is used as a follow-up to screening
assessments. Diagnostic instruments are usually
administered to students individually and thus, are
more time consuming. These assessments are either
norm-referenced or criterion based. The Just Read,
Florida website provides a chart of primary and
secondary diagnostic instruments.
Progress monitoring is a scientifically based, formative
assessment. It is used to assess students performance
and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. This
assessment is given weekly, biweekly, or monthly. It can
be administered to individual students who are receiving
differentiated instruction or to an entire class class of
Progress monitoring can be used to determine a specific
type of instruction that a student may need.
The following website has resources for progress
“Outcome measures are designed to indicate
whether the goals of a program have been met”
(Gunning, 2010, p. 65). They are summative and
standardized assessments that are given to groups
of students. The data from these assessments is
used to determine if students have made adequate
yearly progress, identify global trends, and compare
data between schools, districts, and states. An
example of an outcome measurement assessment is
the FCAT test.
Gunning, T. G. (2010). Assessing and correcting reading and
writing difficulties (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Just Read, Florida! (2013). Retrieved November 19, 2013, from
Student Progress Monitoring: The National Center on Student
Progress Monitoring. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2013, from
Vogt, M. E., & Shearer, B. A. (2011). Reading specialists and
literacy coaches in the real world (3rd ed.). Boston, MA:
Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.