5D™ Assessment

The better leaders see, the better they are able to lead.

Assessing leaders' ability to analyze classroom instruction

To provide teachers with targeted, thoughtful professional development and support, leaders need to know what constitutes high-quality classroom instruction.  To help leaders develop this expertise, CEL has developed an online process for assessing leaders' ability to analyze classroom instruction.

The online assessment process is simple and can be performed from any location.  Education leaders – superintendents, district office staff, building administrators, coaches, teacher leaders – watch a segment of a videotaped lesson and then respond to a series of questions about what they have observed. Their responses are evaluated by specially trained instructional leaders, using a rubric that was developed by researchers at the University of Washington in collaboration with CEL project directors.

5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning™ (5D)

CEL's rubric identifies the 5 dimensions and 13 sub-dimensions of teaching and learning.  After evaluating all the assessments, CEL provides comprehensive, in-depth reports assessing leaders’ skills within each dimension and sub-dimension and identifying existing strengths and target areas for future professional development.

5D Assessment Reports

Pictured below are examples of two charts included in these detailed reports.



The assessment may be used for a variety of purposes:

  • To screen applicants for instructional leadership roles;
  • To identify strengths and needs across a leadership team to guide the planning of targeted professional development;
  • To gauge learning within an organization over time by establishing baseline information and then conducting periodic additional assessments of leadership expertise.


CEL’s 5D assessment and 5D instructional framework for professional development are drawn from research on what constitutes high-quality teaching.  The research base for 5D includes, but is not limited to:

  • Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
  • Newman, King & Carmichael, Authentic Intellectual Engagement
  • Resnick & Zurawsky, Accountable Talk
  • Danielson & Bizar, Enhancing Professional Practice
  • Marzano, Pickering & Pollock, Classroom Instruction That Works
  • Stiggins, Assessment for Learning
  • Bransford, Brown & Cocking, Developing Expertise

Professional Development

In addition to the assessment, CEL provides on-site, customized professional development based on the 5 dimensions and 13 sub-dimensions of the 5D instructional framework to further develop instructional leadership.  To learn more about this professional development, click here.

Contact us

Contact us for a no-cost consultation on how the 5D assessment can support the improvement of teaching and learning in your district.