Dynamic assessment

Dynamic assessment

Dynamic assessment is a kind of interactive assessment used most in education. Dynamic assessment is a product of the research conducted by developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky.


Vygotsky's term Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) relates to the gap between what the child can learn unaided, and what he or she can learn with the help of an adult or a more capable peer. According to Vygotsky, it is impossible to understand a child's potential intellectual development using a one-way assessment.

Dynamic assessment is an interactive approach to psychological or psychoeducational assessment that embeds intervention within the assessment procedure. Most typically, there is a pretest then an intervention and then a posttest. This allows the assessor to determine the response of the client or student to the intervention. There are a number of different dynamic assessment procedures that have a wide variety of content domains.

One purpose of dynamic assessment is to determine if a student has the potential to learn a new skill.


The advent of remote control "clickers" has made it possible to integrate dynamic assessment with various types of instruction. Typically, handheld clickers are used to respond to multiple choice or yes/no assessment or survey questions. Applications might range from professors testing college students with clickers that have been assigned to individual student accounts, to organizations polling staff during strategic planning retreats, to simultaneous multimedia instruction and assessment of entry-level workers to ensure that all participants demonstrate understanding of the training content.

More advanced learner response systems enable learners to "contribute" responses as well as respond to closed response questions. These individual inputs can take the form of words, phrases, polls or estimates can then serve as both collaborative content creation components and assessment measures.

Some educational technology providers have combined advanced learner response systems with an Interactive Whiteboard which allows for a full teach, test, remediate cycle with one set of integrated tools.

External links

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