ACT Training and Professional Learning

ACT product training and professional learning for educators and career development professionals.

Anchoring Your Curriculum

This three-hour workshop focuses on the knowledge and skills that are the backbone of ACT assessment. Designed with the secondary teacher, content leader, and administrator in mind, this workshop session begins with providing a strong, but focused foundational overview of the ACT test as a measure of college and career readiness. Participants will study the test specifications and test blueprints to understand the content assessed by the ACT, including Reporting Category data analysis and DOK connections to each content test. Work expands to include ACT key performance data to connect ACT scores with the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and to make the connection back to your local curriculum and course objectives, allowing for an analysis of coverage of local learning objectives and ACT standards to meet your students' instructional needs to become College and Career Ready.

Learning Objectives

ACT Literacy
  • Focused foundational overview of the ACT, including test specifications, test blueprints for each content area assessment, and ACT Benchmarks related to student readiness
  • Abbreviated sample ACT assessment, followed by ACT Test Question Analysis activity later in the workshop

Translating Scores into Skills

  • Identify key ACT data points to describe the connection between score ranges to skills
  • Identify courses taken to ACT skills
  • Expand the use of ACT data to understand the current level of performance of students in your school, through aggregated and disaggregated data reports

Translating Skills into Scores

  • Analyze district curriculum against the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards
  • Utilize ACT sample test question for alignment with the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and "depth of knowledge"
Intended Audience
  • High School Core Contect Teachers (English/Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies)
  • non-Core Teachers (Social Studies, Foreign Language, CTE, Special Education, etc.)
  • Principals/Asst. Principals
  • Deans
  • District-level Administrators
What people are saying:
"Very well put together with structured time for each activity. I liked the use of ACT test questions to show how they relate directly to the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. I also really liked the explanation of how the ACT benchmark scores relate to success in the specific college courses."
-Educator, South Carolina

Rigorous and Relevant Instruction

This three-hour workshop is designed to help educators increase rigor and relevance of classroom instruction. Participants will study the definitions of rigor and relevance and compare those definitions to their common sense understanding, and then examine how these concepts can be applied to four content areas: English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Educators will work closely with Webb Depth of Knowledge as a tool for analysis of rigor. Exemplary lessons and assignments for each of the four content areas will be evaluated for rigor and relevance, and participants will also apply their learning to their own lesson and task design. Participants will also leave with a valuable compendium of research-based instructional strategies that can be used in every classroom.

Learning Objectives 

  • Understand expansive definitions of instructional rigor and relevance
  • Understand and recognize key elements of Webb Depth of Knowledge
  • Practice in designing classroom assessments using the Depth of Knowledge
  • Study and evaluate sample lesson plans and student tasks for rigor and relevance and apply practice to one's own classroom
  • Consider how to bring lesson and assignment evaluation into departmental, grade level, or PLC meetings
  • Review and plan implementation of research-based instructional strategies for engaging students in inquiry, sharing ideas, learning independently, and for monitoring student learning
Intended Audience
  • Middle and High School Core Content Teachers (English/Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies)
  • Administrators
What people are saying:
"I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss rigor and relevance with others specific to my content area and in terms of assessment, instruction and curriculum. And, I really liked the books we received."
-Educator, Alabama

Strengthening Formative Assessment and Feedback

Assessment Literacy Workshop A

This workshop provides educators information about the fundamentals of high quality and evidence-based formative assessment and feedback strategies and guides them in a series of activities to reflect upon their practice and make plans for enhancements to better support student learning. Participants will also examine how they can design and use multiple choice items for generating insight into their students thinking and for guiding instruction. Teachers will leave this workshop ready to better support students, identify student misconceptions, and plan corrective interventions.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the role of summative and formative assessment in the learning process
  • Learn more about evidence-based best practices for formative assessment and feedback
  • Plan specific ways in which to improve practices to support student learning
  • Understand how multiple-choice assessment items can be designed and used to guide instruction
  • Practice writing multiple choice items with distractors to identify student misconceptions
Intended Audience
  • Middle and High School Teachers
  • Administrators
What people are saying:
"I liked the pace and the ability to work on the tasks and get feedback.
-Educator, Wisconsin

Strengthening Performance Assessment

Assessment Literacy Workshop B

This three-hour workshop provides educators information about the fundamentals of designing and using Performance Assessment for better engaging and evaluating student higher order thinking skills (Webb DOK 3 and 4). Participants will also learn how to design quality constructed response assessment items and examine effective ways to design and use rubrics for assessing student performances.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the fundamentals of high-quality performanceassessment
  • Consider how to elevate task thinking levels to higher levels of Webb
  • Practice writing quality constructed adn extended response items
  • Study best practices in rubric design and usage
  • Practice preparing rubrics for performance assessment
Intended Audience
  • Middle and High School Teachers
  • Administrators

Examining the ACT Writing Test

This three-hour workshop brings the ACT Writing Test front and center. Knowing that the writing essay test is a 40-minute test is just the beginning. The workshop explains the ACT Writing test, including test specifications and the actual scoring rubric. Participants will score an essay using the rubric, then compare their scoring to student essays at each score level. Participants will also learn to create effective writing prompts, using the ACT Writing Test template, for immediate use in your classroom. This workshop is activity-based and those attending will work and interact with others throughout.  

Learning Objectives 

The ACT Writing Test
  • Explore the ACT writing test as a curriculum-based argumentative writing task and construct 
  • Discuss how writing occurs in real-life situations and how it is used in the classroom
  • Review the four writing domains that make up the ACT Writing Test through a Domain Self-Assessment Activity

Sample ACT Writing Prompt - Dissecting the Prompt

  • Review the structure of actual ACT writing prompts and develop similar prompt ideas you can use in the classroom
  • Each section of the writing prompt is described, and examples are presented
  • Multiple actual ACT writing prompts are provided as part of the workshop

The Scoring Rubric

  • Compare score to actual student writing samples representing each scoring level of the ACT Writing Test
  • Learn how to ACT Writing Test is scored and how this score is combined with the ACT English content score and the ACT Reading content score to become the ELA score
  • Score a student response using the actual testing rubric
Intended Audience
  • High School Core Teachers
  • Instructional Coaches
  • School-level ACT Prep Teachers
  • Principals
  • District-level Administrators

Ready to Schedule Your Workshop?

Have questions? Email us at professionallearning@act.org or complete this contact form.