Welcome to Planful Learning and Assessment LLC

Keeping learning fun

Combining the evidence from learning science with the wisdom of experienced teachers to provide students, parents, and educators engaging and effective learning and assessment content.

Planful learning and assessment

Planful

Full of or rich in plans; Characterized by planning; Organized; Systematic.

Oxford English Dictionary

Our Areas of Expertise


Impactful Innovation

Innovation

Designing impactful innovation has been elusive.  The challenge is invention alone fails to positively change people’s lives. We help organizations put all the pieces together to create successful innovation.

Principled Design

Principled Design

Principled design is a way of thinking. On the assessment side, Principled Assessment Design is a family of related approaches including cognitive design systems, evidence‐centered design, principled design for efficacy, and assessment engineering.

Learning Science

Learning Sciences

The Learning Sciences have influenced the Common Core Math and the Next Generation Science Standards and NAEP Reading 2025. We support educators and students, and improve instruction and assessment, by combining teachers’ wisdom with Learning Sciences findings.

Engaging Content

Interested learners

Creating interesting learning and assessment content for kids has been hit-or-miss. We make it predictable by starting with the science on what makes tasks and activities engaging and relevant. We then tailor this knowledge to students’ lives and where they learn.

Modern Validity

Validity

Contemporary approaches view validity as an evidence-based argument made to a particular audience. We bring the tools, expertise, and experience to help you build strong validity arguments for the audience important to you.

What we’re thinking about …

Recent Blog Posts


surprised multiethnic schoolchildren watching laptop on urban bench

What Does a Task Engineered for Engagement Look Life?

After publishing the second blog on engineer engaging learning and assessment content, I promised I would publish a blog illustrating the use of content features to motivate student engagement. In the blog today, I fulfill that promise by presenting two versions of the same NGSS-aligned, phenomenon-driven science task. The first version lacks most of the features of assessment tasks that inspire engagement and, sadly, looks like most assessment tasks. The second version is packed with just those features I discussed in the earlier blog demonstrating how to engineer engaging learning and assessment content.

glasses with optical lenses placed on shelves

Planning for Different Perspectives in Developing Validity and Efficacy Arguments

No field or profession can prescribe what is or isn’t validity or efficacy evidence. Different fields have distinctive ways of asking questions, addressing a literature, criticizing ideas, and presenting arguments. The differences make sense from a socio-cultural perspective as each of these stakeholders—you might call them customers if you are in marketing or users if you are in product development—is coming from a different culture of evidence and set of life experiences. But this seems chaotic if you are trying to collect validity or efficacy evidence and construct an argument with it.

positive diverse people making faces at camera

How Do We Engineer Engaging Learning and Assessment Tasks?

This is the second part of a two-part blog series on engaging learning and assessment content.  In part one, I explained why engaging learning and assessment content is important for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework, and the 2025 NAEP Mathematics andContinue reading How Do We Engineer Engaging Learning and Assessment Tasks?

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