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How Should We Measure Student Learning? The Many Forms of Assessment

How Should We Measure Student Learning? The Many Forms of Assessment
Linda: The United States is at a moment where it could really transform its assessment systems. Most of our testing is multiple choice tests, pick one answer out of five, which is something you will never do in applying knowledge in the real world. Our assessments need to evolve to reflect the skills and knowledge that we actually value and that we need schools to teach and our children to learn. Human beings are naturally learners. We are learning every moment of every day. In school, we have particular things to learn and we know that students learn more effectively when we're clear about what the goals are. Chinasa: I kind of like, I want like a goal in my head about what to do with information that I get. Erin: I look at the beginning of the year and I say, what are the big ideas that I want students to know in the whole year and what are the major skills I want them to be able to do? Linda: Assessment should occur early and often and throughout the process. Student: Connection. Related:  Assessments

10 ways to assess learning without tests… | What Ed Said A tweet by @wmchamberlain which caught my eye the other day, was the catalyst for this 10 ways post. Today’s #edchat discussion about the arts got me thinking further (as always). The arts can be integrated across other disciplines and can add another powerful layer to learning, be it history, maths, literature or bible! Every one of these tasks includes natural differentiation for different levels of ability. 1. Use the online cartoon creator, ToonDoo, to create a cartoon (or toonbook) which demonstrates your knowledge, explains your thinking about a topic or illustrates your understanding of a concept. 2. Work with your group to produce and present a play which demonstrates what you have learnt. 3. Make a video to demonstrate your learning. 4. Select a series of images that relate to your learning. 5. Create a headline that shows your understanding of the topic. 6. Write a blog post that shows your learning, or clarifies your thinking. 7. 8. 9. 10. Best of all. Like this:

Assessing learning without tests - The Washington Post . Courtesy of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth In this era in which standardized tests are the be-all and end-all of accountability, it may seem impossible to imagine a teacher evaluating how well students are learning without giving them a test. By Joanne Yatvin Throughout my years as a teacher I was never much of a test giver. As I write this, I can almost see the looks of distain on the faces of some readers. In my view, the purpose of education is to enable all students to become fully functioning adults in all the roles they have chosen or are given to play: family member, community contributor, responsible citizen, humanitarian, etc. Our assessments of student learning were what any good teacher can see in students’ projects, writing, artwork, talk, and behavior. In the elementary grades, students often worked with partners or in small groups, assisting, persuading, compromising, leading, and following. Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

What Schools Could Use Instead Of Standardized Tests : NPR Ed Close your eyes for a minute and daydream about a world without bubble tests. Education Week recently reported that some Republican Senate aides are doing more than dreaming — they're drafting a bill that would eliminate the federal mandate on standardized testing. Annual tests for every child in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, plus one in high school, have been a centerpiece of federal education law since 2002. No Child Left Behind, the current incarnation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, requires them. But this law has been overdue for reauthorization since before President Obama took office. Discussions about cutting back on these requirements comes at a time of growing concern about the number of tests kids take and the time they spend taking them. The Council of Chief State School Officers and the country's largest school districts have spoken out in favor of reducing the number of standardized tests students take. Here are four possible answers. 1) Sampling.

5 Ideas to Prepare Students for Success Without Standardized Testing | Lisa Nielsen Just type the word "testing" into the search box on Facebook and you'll find thousands of parents distraught over the standardized tests their children are being forced to take despite the fact that these parents know it is not in the best interests for their children who in many cases are becoming physically ill and emotionally traumatized by the experience of sitting for up to two weeks straight filling out bubble sheets and answering prompts. Schools are reluctant and even misleading when it comes to informing parents they can simply opt out often arguing that although they acknowledge that it might not be in the best interest of the child, without standardized tests, everything will fall apart. For many there is no alternative imaginable as in this comment from a graduate student studying to be a teacher. I can't STAND standardized tests. Isn't it odd 1. Students can be assessed in a standardized way by authentically demonstrating how standards have been met. 2. 3. 4.

Educators Spend Four Weeks Per Year Assessing Student Reading Skills | Whitepapers | Research | Lexia Learning Embedded Assessment Reduces Cost, Dependence on Traditional Testing and Ties Data to Instruction Data-driven instruction is an approach embraced by most educators, but establishing a process and a school culture truly focused on data has proven to be an elusive goal for many schools. Most data-driven approaches focus on an assessment-laden routine of testing students, gathering and analyzing data, and then making instructional decisions based on these findings. However, this process tends to be very time-consuming, expensive and overwhelming. A recent study by Lexia Learning shows that educators spend, on average, nearly an entire instructional month (16 days) focused on assessment of reading skills, while students spend more than a week-and-a-half (7.7 days) of instructional time on reading tests. The Cost of Over-Assessing Students In December 2011, Lexia Learning conducted a survey of K–12 educators regarding commonly used reading assessments. Efficient Use of Embedded Assessment

Why you should stop testing and start assessing By Torrey Trust April 20th, 2015 One educator issues a challenge to all: skip the Scantron and discover what students really know Ed. note: Innovation In Action is a new monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education. During the first day of the semester, one of my students commented: “Your class is the easiest class I have this semester. You don’t have any tests.” I teach graduate level courses about educational technology, such as Online Tools for Teaching and Learning. Don’t get me wrong, I still assess learning. These “creative products,” as I call them, allow my students to demonstrate their mastery in a variety of ways and provide me with a way to assess what my students are learning during class and make adjustments to my instruction. Next: How to change assessment practices

Testing Overload in America’s Schools States and school districts are far from the goal of better, fairer, and fewer. By Melissa Lazarín | October 16, 2014 PRINT: SHARE: Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF and Scribd versions. Download the report: PDFDownload introduction & summary: PDFRead it in your browser: Scribd In August, when the Lee County School Board in Southwest Florida voted 3-2 to opt out of the state’s mandated tests tied to the Common Core State Standards due to concerns about the overtesting of students, a packed room of opt-out supporters and parents erupted in cheers. As unpopular as Florida’s mandated tests are in many quarters, the state’s tests are not the sole culprit. The Lee County vote, which was later rescinded due to concerns that the decision could place the district in violation of state law and risk losing funding, highlights how the issues of overtesting and the way in which tests results will be used have become more and more controversial in recent months.

Civics Education Testing Only Required In 9 States For High School Graduation: CIRCLE Study A study by the Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning & Engagement at Tufts University has found that most states do not emphasize civic education, which includes learning about citizenship, government, law, current events and related topics. In the current school year, 21 states require a state-designed social studies test — a significant decrease from 2001, when 34 states conducted regular assessments on social studies subjects. Only nine states require students to pass a social studies test to graduate from high school: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Georgia’s will be phased out, but Maryland and Florida are slated to add high-stakes tests. Although 39 states require at least one course in American government or civics, only eight states administer statewide, standardized tests specifically in civics/American government: California, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Politicians Introduce Bills That Would Work To Reduce The Role Of School Standardized Testing In the same week that the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held its first hearing on the issue of rewriting No Child Left Behind, two separate groups of lawmakers introduced bills that would also work to dial down aspects of the law’s divisive legacy. In recent weeks, lawmakers have renewed calls to rewrite the controversial school accountability law, which emphasizes standardized testing and doles out penalties for poor scores. While No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, expired in 2007, efforts to overhaul it have failed on several occasions and the law is still in effect today. The Obama administration has offered waivers allowing states to evade some of the law’s more stringent aspects, although states are still required to annually test students in reading and math in grades three through eight, as well as one time while students are in high school. The first bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Sen. The second bill, reintroduced by Rep.

Virginia students will take fewer Standards of Learning tests next year Spring is a busy time for third-grade teacher Marlon Mohammed, who is preparing his students to take the Virginia Standards of Learning tests for the first time. In addition to reviewing four years of material in reading, math, social studies and science for the cumulative state tests, he also has to teach them how to take the exams. That means familiarizing 8-year-olds and 9-year-olds at Discovery Elementary School in Ashburn with multiple-choice questions and conditioning them to sit through the hour-long tests. “I have never understood why in third grade, our youngest SOL test takers are taking four tests,” Mohammed said. “It seems like a lot.” That is poised to change next year. The bill, which had overwhelming support from lawmakers and statewide education groups, represents a significant departure from the test-based accountability system the state has built up over two decades. The number of end-of-course SOL tests in high school will remain at 12. Gov.

Why you should stop testing and start assessing By Torrey Trust April 20th, 2015 Both the ISTE Standards for Teachers (2008) and CAST’s Universal Design for Learning principles recommend allowing students to express their ideas and knowledge in a variety of ways. Yet, too often, students are asked to sit at a desk for hours on end to take the exact same multiple choice, short answer, or essay test to demonstrate what they learned. In the TED Talk “The Myth of the Average,” Todd Rose made an invaluable point: “Even though we have one of the most diverse countries in the history of the world, and even though it’s the 21st century, we still design our learning environments like textbooks for the average student.” According to Todd, when you design for the average (e.g., one-size-fits-all tests), you design for no one. With widespread access to the internet and thousands of free online tools, students can express their knowledge and demonstrate their skills in a variety of ways.

Cloud-based assessment platform is free for educators Creating, sharing, delivering and grading of tests, along with analysis of results, happens in real-time in one platform Being able to easily create and deliver quizzes and tests to students in the classroom, and then put the results of those tests to work immediately to help improve student learning was the motivation behind Apperson, Inc. making its Evo Academics assessment platform available free-of-charge to educators everywhere. The Free Teacher Edition, which was designed by teachers, allows educators to create online quizzes and tests, share tests with colleagues, build and store rubrics, assign tests to students through a student portal, access assessment results in real time, and generate student proficiency reports for the standards assessed. Evo Academics Free Teacher Edition allows educators to use one platform for both assessment creation and online testing. It supports several question types, including multiple choice, true/false, short answers and essays.

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