Social Studies Assessment Resources

Quality Assessment Design

  • These resources from the Ohio Department of Education introduce educators to the foundations of assessment literacy and quality assessment design and focus on the key skills and knowledge to critically design and review assessments.

Assessing Social Studies

  • Social Studies assessments address three areas: content, skills, and literacy. These categories often overlap.

    Content: What should students know?

    Content includes key concepts, vocabulary, events, and documents expressed in the Content Statements and Content Elaborations of Ohio's Learning Standards in Social Studies. This content is embedded into the CCS Curriculum and Instruction Guide section of the Curriculum Maps, along with unpacked standards.

    location icon Where to Locate Content Assessments

    CCS Curriculum MapsSample questions and stems and tasks are identified under each unpacked learning target. 

    MasteryConnect - There are multiple item banks, and individual assessments can draw simultaneously from multiple banks. Teachers should vet and evaluate each question to ensure alignment and relevance. 

    TCI - adopted program for core social studies classes, grades 6-11 (plus Economics and Global Issues electives). The assessment builder can be used to develop custom lesson and multi-lesson assessments. Teachers should vet and evaluate each question to ensure alignment and relevance. 


    Skills: What should students be able to do? 

    Social Studies skills are process standards, which allow teachers to measure growth over time. Ohio’s Learning Standards in Social Studies identify content knowledge and thinking skills with each social studies discipline: Civics, Economics.
    Social Studies Skills as a Continuum of Learning shows the vertical alignment of skills across grade bands in Ohio's Learning Standards. 
    The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework defines vertically aligned skills across the four dimensions of the framework.

    location icon Where to Locate Skills Assessments

    CCS Curriculum MapsSample questions and stems and tasks are identified under each unpacked learning target. 

    MasteryConnect and TCI item banks include skills assessments (see information above). 

    Additional Resources: 


    Literacy: What should students be able to do with text analysis and writing?

    Literacy and Writing standards for History/Social Studies 6–12  provide vertically-aligned text analysis and writing standards aligned with the College and Career Ready anchor standards. 


    location icon Where to Locate Reading and Writing Assessments

    • 6-12 Argumentative Writing Rubric (ODE)
    • The DBQ Project: Mini-Qs in World History, American History, and Civics (Contact Matt Doran about hard copies or digital access).
    • CommonLit  - primary and secondary source readings with assessments for history and social studies topics. 
    • Achieve the Core Text Sets
    • SAT Practice Tests - To group the questions related to history/social studies, download the “Scoring Your SAT Practice Test” for each test and scroll to the section labeled “Get Cross-Test Scores” (green)


    Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) and Assessments

    According to Norman Webb, interpreting and assigning depth-of-knowledge levels to both objectives within standards and assessment items is an essential requirement of alignment analysis.

    Access the article, Applying Webb’s Depth-of-Knowledge (DOK) Levels in Social Studies to understand how DOK levels relate to social studies assessment. 

OTES 2.0 and HQSD


    High-Quality Student Data (HQSD) is used to guide instructional decisions and meet student learning needs. The HQSD webpage on ILEAD provides criteria for HQSD instruments, ODE pre-approved instruments, CCS pre-approved instruments, and information on the district process for instrument approval. 

CCS Assessments Tools

  • Mastery Connect

    MasteryConnect is the CCS adopted Assessment Management System. Assessments can be distributed to students directly throughout MasteryConnect or via Canvas (as an external tool assignment). Assessment items are available for all core social studies classes, grades 6-11. 




    TCI is the CCS adopted Tier 1 program for social studies. Assessments can be constructed and administered in the TCI Assessment Builder tool of each program. Each lesson also includes a Processing Assignment that can serve as performance task assessments. View a video tutorial on the TCI assessment builder tool.


Assessment Instruments

  • Tests

    MasteryConnect and TCI Item Types: Multiple-Choice, Graphic-Response, Constructed-Response, Evidence-Based Sets


    Performance Tasks

    TCI Processing Assignments 

    Other Tasks: Thematic Essay, Document-Based Essay, RAFT essay, Research Paper, Historical Investigation, Editorial, Multimedia Presentation, Museum Exhibit