In an age of school accountability, K-12 public schools too often narrow assessment to standardized tests and written assignments. Design-Lab Schools use multiple forms of assessments for formative and summative evaluation of student progress. The comprehensive array of Design-Lab Schools Assessment Tools ™ include:


All Design-Lab Schools students maintain sketchbooks to record notes, images, and ideas each year. The sketchbooks are designated by a different color for each year in school (yellow, green, brown and black) similar to the colored belt system used to indicate mastery in the martial arts.


Design-Lab Schools student collect their work in portfolios each year to gauge individual growth and progress. Portfolios allow students, parents and teachers to physically see the students' maturation and progress across time. It is amazing to see the tangible progress in student achievement each year reflected in their portfolios. Portfolios are used to help students gain admission to the colleges, universities and careers of their choice.

Class Projects

Design-Lab Schools use Project-Based Learning (PBL) along with Design-Based Learning (DBLx ™) by which students demonstrate knowledge and understanding by creating physical, tangible images, objects, places and experiences. Design-Lab Schools students demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and understanding through application in real-world settings.


Design-Lab Schools students show their knowledge and skills on a regular basis to peers, teachers, parents and others through oral and visual presentations effectively using writing, speaking, movement, sounds, images, objects, spaces and experiences. Presentations, critiques, and charrettes are standard processes used by designers.


Design-Lab Schools students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding by creating interactive exhibitions that engage viewers in learning and understanding important ideas and information. The school will look like an interactive museum with the student’s knowledge and skills demonstrated throughout the building with tangible, physical images, objects, spaces and experiences.


Design-Lab Schools students display their knowledge and understanding on a regular basis by writing papers. These include research studies for their design projects, knowledge of history, media scripts, writing and editing for publications, design briefs, business plans, critiques, design criticism, lyrics for music, dialogue, narration and voice-overs for media, design proposals, text for presentation boards, etc.


Design-Lab Schools students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding through traditional quizzes, tests and exams including tests required by the state for graduation and those tests required for entry into colleges, universities and careers. Knowledge of U.S. and World History will include knowledge of the history of media and design. Vocabulary will include the language of media and design. Students will be able to read and write in a clear and compelling manner.