Assessment Ideas & Items
This blog post from the Northwest Evaluation Association looks at easy-to-implement ideas for measuring student learning.
One idea: Keep the Question Going. The teacher asks one student a question and then asks another student if that answer seems reasonable or correct. Then, he asks a third student for an explanation of why there is an agreement or not. This helps keep all your students engaged and allows you to correct any misconceptions on-the-spot.
Teachers and administrators have been making a move from traditional paper-and-pencil type tests to alternate forms of assessment. Although its use has declined, the student portfolio can be used very effectively.
Why, then, do so many classroom teachers forego the use of portfolios as assessment tools? One reason might be that the portfolio is a very subjective form of assessment. Here are some ideas.
Dr. Helen Barrett has assembled a wide range of resources on digital student portfolios and digital storytelling. The FAQ sections is especially instructive.
Assessment Systems was founded out of work at the University of Minnesota. They have a lively blog covering topics in scoring and partial scoring, psychometrics, test development, credentialing and test security.
Assessment is an aspect of the rigorous formative assessment cycle that requires precision to be effective. The items, which make up an assessment, are the foundation upon which teachers build inferences about student understanding. Properly written items are needed to produce accurate data about student comprehension.
Take a look at sample assessment questions from Smarter Balanced.
From 1993 to 2003, the Balanced Assessment in Mathematics Program existed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The project group developed a large collection of innovative mathematics assessment tasks for grades K to 12. The library of over 300 mathematics assessment tasks developed during the project remains freely available through this web site. Teachers may use these materials in their own classrooms at no cost.
Smarter Balanced is a consortium of 15 states, one territory, and the Bureau of Indian Education working together to determine how the Smarter Balanced assessment system is developed and improved. The site includes practice tests and example questions. Check if your state is part of the consortium.
Many educational groups, especially training groups, prepare their own tailor-made assessments by purchasing items from an item-bank assessment group.
This capacity saves instructors an enormous amount of time and ensure some validity and reliability in contrast to home-grown versions.