Assessing Students With the Enrichment Triad Model

“Evidence of learning needs to be diverse because it requires performance and self-assessment or reflection to demonstrate application and the ability to articulate understandings.  This means that written work or test results can never be enough.  Observing application of knowledge, listening to students articulate understandings, and engaging students in demonstrating acquisition of knowledge can be valid evidence.” (Anne Davies, 2007)

According to Anne Davies, an expert in classroom assessment, the criteria for assessment must allow for many different ways for students to select and represent their learning, and the criteria should allow for a range of representations of the learning.  The Enrichment Triad Model does just that.  Since students choose their own path in Type III, they are selecting criteria for assessment that is specific to their own interests and abilities.  It allows for very individualized formative assessment and evaluation of learning.

There are many forms of assessment that can be used with the Triad Enrichment Model. Much of the assessment that occurs is assessment for learning, or formative assessment. Below we will highlight some of the ways to assess students learning in the classroom, focusing on pre-, during, and post-Triad. 

Interest Survey & Learning Style Inventory

Before beginning Triad, it is extremely important to conduct Interest Surveys. These surveys help to determine the topic that will be selected for Triad and will help the classroom teacher to identify areas of interest and strengths pertaining to the student. Another pre-assessment that students generally complete is a learning style inventory. This helps the teacher to ensure they are teaching the students in their preferred way and gives the student an opportunity to learn and understand how their own knowledge acquisition preferences. A sample of an older elementary interest survey that can be used can be found in the  Printable Triad Resources.

 K-W-L Chart

Before and during Triad, teachers can complete a Know - Want to Know - Learned (K-W-L) Chart to help assess student’s knowledge on their topic. Each student will complete a chart before Triad so that the teacher can assess prior knowledge and determine what students wish to learn over the course of Triad. During Triad, students can re-visit their K-W-L chart to include information about what they have learned and what they still want to know. Adding to the chart is important because students can refer back to their charts when trying to choose a Type III topic. The “Want to Know” category will help the teacher plan further lessons that are of interest to the students. A sample K-W-L chart can be found  in the Printable Triad Resources.


Over the course of Triad, students participate in completing a web. This web helps students to reflect on all of the topics covered in Triad. All students are expected to participate in the creation of the web and the teacher should monitor the participation. An easy way to ensure that all students are participating is by going around the classroom asking students what they have learned, adding it to the web if desired. The web can take shape in many forms: it can be placed on a bulletin board, written on a white-board that will not be erased, or completed on a computer program. During Triad, the web will continually expand so adequate space needs to be allotted for this expansion.


A great way to assess how students are doing with Triad is to have them keep a journal relating to what they have learned, what they have enjoyed, and any questions they may have. Journaling will help the student to keep a running record of their progress and will help record any ideas of what they would like to research further, either through an IRP or Type III investigation. The teacher should offer descriptive feedback and further probe the students with at least one thought provoking question. Students should be aware that the teacher is going to monitor the journals, ensuring the content is appropriate. An idea that can be used in the classroom is offering students the opportunity to write journal entries to peers. Peer-assessment is a valuable assessment tool which further promotes a learning community within the classroom. Peers can provide feedback and answer any questions the author might have had.

IRP Rubric / Feedback

For students to experience full success in Type III, they need to experience guidance and descriptive feedback beforehand. IRP provides an excellent way for students to receive this guidance and feedback, ensuring students grow and expand their presenting skills. Feedback should be positive and focus on one or two points of improvement for the student to work towards. The rubric for IRP focuses on delivery, enthusiasm and creativity, and strength of materials and organization. Teachers can adapt this rubric or use one of their choosing to assess students’ IRP. Teachers may also choose to have students self-assess after an IRP to help develop the skills of self-reflection that will lead to students’ increased ability to reflect critically on the quality of their own work. A sample rubric in the Printable Triad Resources.

Celebration Assessment Rubric

There are many ways that students can be assessed on their final presentation; however, it is all about deciding what works best for you and for your students. Students have plenty of opportunity to improve their skills through the descriptive feedback that is provided after an IRP presentation. The way the celebration is assessed should be similar to that of an IRP assessment and students should be familiar with the expectations. Teachers should take the time to observe students working on their final product and presentation since the journey to the final day is just as important as their final presentation. A sample type of assessment that teachers can use when reflecting on the celebration is found in the Printable Triad Resources.


The survey serves as a post-Triad assessment because it provides feedback to the teacher which can help to shape the events of future Triads. These questions allow the teacher to gage how students feel about Triad and how they felt it influenced their learning. Should the teacher receive unfavourable results in a specific section, the teacher can strive to improve this area next time. Triad is student-centered but the success of the students is directly influenced and impacted by the abilities of the teacher, therefore, the teacher requires descriptive feedback in order to improve. A sample survey can be found in the Printable Triad Resources, with ideas of questions that can be asked. Also included is a sample exit survey that is beneficial for use with lower elementary level students. This particular survey was used with a Grade One Olympic Triad and provides examples of  the type of questions that can be asked to students in this age range.  This survey can also be found in the Printable Triad Resources.