Starr has partnered with The Core Collaborative to offer workshops based on three of her best-selling books: Hacking Assessment, Peer Feedback in the Classroom, and Teaching Students to Self-Assess.

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Hacking Assessment Series


The Hacking Assessment Series is a tool kit for helping educators and all stakeholders involved change the way they assess for learning. Each workshop will provide leaders, teachers, students, and parents an entryway into a more student-centered experience.

Workshops in this Series:

Shifting the Assessment Mindset

In this workshop, participants will explore their beliefs and values around assessment. By reviewing current practices, participants will shift their practice to a more inclusive, student-centered experience. This workshop will also address stakeholder buy-in and a basic understanding of formative assessment through project-based learning. This also includes other assessment peripheries like extra credit, late work, homework and other compliance measures that don’t aid in assessment for learning.

Rebrand Assignments as Learning Experiences

Rather than just make an assignment to have a grade to put in the grade book, each learning experience should provide multiple pathways to learning where student voice and choice are highlighted in the experience of learning. Participants will take assignments they currently use and rebrand them into deeper, more memorable learning experiences that will target very specific learning outcomes.

Facilitate Student Partnerships to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Since school needs to be about the learner, it is essential to have learners involved in the development of their learning. By providing ample opportunities for students to partner with their teachers, students will be more likely to buy into the learning. In this workshop, participants will discover ways they can include students in the planning, designing and assessing of their learning experiences.

Tracking Learning Progress Transparently

The communication of learning needs to be on-going and specific to ensure all stakeholders know how they are doing. Traditional grade books don’t allow for the most important information, the actual progress of student learning. In this workshop, participants will learn how to provide feedback without grades against standards and success criteria in a way that students, families, and colleagues can understand. We will talk about how technology can aid in this communication.

Teach Reflection!

At the heart of learning is reflection, the metacognitive process that allows us to dig deeper into the understanding of what we know and can do and what we continue to need practice with. Teaching students to be reflective in their practice will go a long way to helping classroom teachers be more effective in their instructional practices. In this workshop, participants will learn what excellent standards-based reflection looks like and how to help students enrich their meta-cognitive practices. Educators will learn to scaffold the process and learn to embed reflection for better student learning and teacher feedback.

Teach Students to Self-Grade

Grading is the most laborious part of being an educator and too often we get it wrong. If we can engage students in a meaningful way in the process, think about how much more useful our communication of learning can be. In this workshop, participants will learn how to bring students into the assessment process. We will talk about co-creation of rubrics and success criteria and how to get students to look more objectively at their own learning on a mastery scale. This workshop is ideal to be done with students and teachers alike.

Defending learning with student-led portfolios

Report cards are but a snapshot and by the time parents see them, they are usually obsolete. Portfolios is a far more productive and meaningful way for students to express their growth as learners and for schools to communicate progress. In this workshop, we will discuss the steps to building successful portfolios: collection, selection, reflection, and connection. First participants will learn to teach students what to collect and why, how to select their examples of learning, how to write reflectively about growth and then connect the learning across contents.

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Peer Feedback in the Secondary Classroom


Peer Feedback is one means of creating lifelong, assessment capable learners. Students who understand success criteria, standards and what mastery looks like, are more able to provide excellent feedback for their peers and be more cognizant of their own learning. As educators, we have a duty to teach students how to identify, label and provide both positive and constructive feedback that deepens personal and collective learning.

Workshops in this Series:

Cultivating a Classroom Culture of Feedback

Whenever we want students to be collaborative partners, we need to cultivate an environment that ensures trust and competence among peers. In this workshop, educators will learn ways to establish a culture where peer feedback can thrive. Through specific, transferrable activities and development of plans to bring back to the classroom, teachers will discover how to let go of the reins of control and empower the students to work together to be successful. Students can participate in this workshop as well.

The Look and Sound of Effective Feedback

Feedback is a term we use all of the time and many feel they do it well. Unfortunately, generic feedback doesn’t help anyone succeed. In this workshop, we will look at current practices and specific ways we can provide more aligned feedback to tasks at hand. We will explore how much feedback to give, when to give it and when to prioritize. Teachers should bring student work for the biggest benefit in learning.

Equity for ALL in the Feedback Workshop

All feedback is not created equal and in peer feedback relationships, responsibility is not always delegated evenly. This workshop will focus on ways to ensure all students have roles they can be successful in and how to rotate and/or troubleshoot when roles aren’t being handled effectively. Since all students should feel confident with the feedback they receive from students, worrying less about only the teacher’s opinion, we must ensure that all students are capable of participating in this process. This workshop is especially good for collaborative group work.

Peer Feedback Trouble-Shooting

Why isn’t peer feedback working in my classroom? If we are asking students to provide feedback, expecting them to know how to do it, we are doomed to failure to start. Educators must set up a culture and use protocols to help students become adept at identifying areas of strength and weakness and then how to provide excellent, actionable feedback based on what they see. In this workshop, participants will explore their current practices and troubleshoot how to make them better. We will explore ways to enrich student understanding of learning and skills and how to help them be accountable for their own and peer growth.

Leveraging Student Expertise with Expert Groups

One way to facilitate peer feedback in the classroom is to develop expert groups. Expert groups teach a few students how to do one skill very well. This group then becomes the classroom experts on workshop days for providing feedback in this one particular area. In this workshop, participants will learn about what expert groups are, how to create them in their content areas and how to facilitate them during class. We will also look at ways to avoid common pitfalls and ensure the best experience for all students.

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Teaching Students to Self-Assess


Metacognition is at the heart of all learning. The more aware students are of their strengths and challenges, the abler they are to express what they know and can do and to ask for more targeted help. When educators build a culture of reflection in their spaces, students are able to set specific goals, reflect on the learning through the process and then effectively assess themselves against decided upon success criteria.

Workshops in this Series:

The Power of Learner-Centered Reflection

Reflection is an essential tool in the learning process regardless of our age. Learning to be intentional about reflection helps us grow as learners and helps teachers develop better learning experiences. In this workshop, participants will explore the nature of reflection, why it should be included in the work we do, how to embed it and how to deepen the reflections students share. Participants will explore their own reflective practices and determine how best to roll the practice out in their classrooms.

Expanding Learner Ownership with Co-Created Success Criteria

Understanding the standards is the start, being able to interpret and understand what success criteria will look like through the lens of the standard is equally important. When students know the success criteria before they begin their learning, they are better able to accomplish the task with higher levels of mastery. In this workshop, participants will learn important ways to bring students into the assessment process. We will discuss ways to go over rubrics and have students develop what success looks like based on their understanding of the task, standards and shared criteria. Effective feedback and reflection can only happen when students understand the standards they are working on. Too often, we assume students know or understand the standards and work from a place of assumption. In this workshop, participants will learn how to help students understand, internalize and speak the language of standards, so they can better express what they know and can do. Participants will also explore activities that can be done in class to help students rewrite standards in language that makes sense to them.

Goal setting for targeted learning

Goal setting is at the heart of truly personalized learning. Since each student comes to the table with different strengths and challenges, we can’t teach the whole class, the same thing all of the time. If we teach students to set specific goals, teachers are better able to provide exceptional, personalized feedback on learning. In this workshop, participants will deepen their methodology for teaching goal setting and then explore how to help students track progress for their own goals. We will also discuss data collection methods for intentional grouping and more targeted instruction.

Leveraging Standards-Based Reflection for Targeted Feedback

Now that students know how to reflect against standards, teachers need to use these reflections as a means to providing excellent, specific feedback. In this workshop, participants will review student reflections to be able to determine what kinds of feedback to provide and what strategies to suggest. Participants will also explore how to build on student goals and collect data for more focused instruction.


Watch Starr's videos, including her TEDx Talk and slideshows for EdWeek and Hack Learning. Connect with Starr online​. Visit her personal website, follow her on twitter, facebook, and linked in, and subscribe to her YouTube channel. Make sure to check out The Core Communiqué blog for articles from Starr.

Bring Starr or a Team Member to your School or System.