Education

Knowing What Students Know

Using Assessment to Improve Student Learning and Enhance Classroom Instruction In the previous Blog, I talked about creating and sustaining a balanced assessment system—i.e., different ways to assess, balancing assessment types, and conditions and practices that need to be in place in order to implement and sustain a balanced assessment system. This week, I want to go inside the classroom and talk about things that teachers can do to gather information about student learning and to better understand and support this learning.  Here, I’m talking about knowing what each student … Read More


A Balanced Assessment System

Creating, Implementing, and Sustaining Effective Assessment Practices As a society, we’ve shifted the thinking about schools from places where it’s OK for some students to succeed and some to fail to places where the expectation is for all students to succeed. With this shift, the role of assessment has changed from separating successful and unsuccessful students to becoming a set of educational practices that support the learning of all students (Stiggins, 2008). What are these assessment practices and how can they be used to most effectively support learning? In the broadest sense, … Read More


Professional Development

Creating & Sustaining Effective Classroom Assessment Practices If you are trying to decide where to send your child to school, your best bet might be to focus on which teacher(s) your child gets rather than on which school. Why? The vast majority of studies that have examined the classroom teacher’s impact on student learning have come to a simple conclusion: Out of all aspects of schooling, the teacher has the most positive impact on student learning (for a review of several studies, see Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004). In addition to … Read More


Reflection on the MASA Conference

Last week, I attended the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) Fall Conference up in Duluth, Minnesota. The weather could not have been more perfect. We started the conference with a golf tournament to benefit the MASA Foundation. It was a great afternoon of golf to benefit a great foundation. One of the highlights of the conference was the opening keynote address by Dr. Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, where he also serves as the director of the Center … Read More


MN Cup: Lessons Learned

Last week, we completed the last round of competition in the 2011 MN Cup. We had won the High Tech division the week prior. In this last round, we competed for the overall prize against other division winners (Clean Technology, BioSciences, Social Entrepreneur, General, and Student). The overall cup was awarded to the BioSciences division winner AUM Cardiovascular, a company that has developed a handheld device capable of detecting coronary artery disease. Congratulations to AUM Cardiovascular founder and CEO Dr. Marie Johnson! Although we did not win the overall prize, we learned … Read More


Naiku Wins MN Cup High Tech Division

Yesterday, the Naiku team gave the presentation of our lives. We expressed our passion for making a positive impact on education. We explained our plans to do that with Naiku. Afterwards, the Minnesota Cup judges selected Naiku as the winner of the High Tech Division. We are honored that the judges recognized the importance of education and the work that Naiku is doing in educational technology. Next week, we will compete against the other division winners. It will be a fun and exciting competition. We aim to bring home the coveted … Read More


Naiku Selected as Finalist in MN Cup

We received some great news last Friday. The Minnesota Cup selected Naiku as one of four finalists in the High Tech Division. The Minnesota Cup is Minnesota’s largest business competition, seeking to find the next great business innovation in Minnesota. This is an annual competition that drew more than 1,000 submissions this year. Naiku is proud to be selected as a finalist. We do what we do at Naiku for the teachers and the students. Like other educators, we aim to improve the education of our students. We are so … Read More


Common Core State Standards

This is a guest blog from Takeshi Terada. Takeshi’s interests are in educational policy and assessment. He is particularly interested in data-driven educational evaluation, policy-making & analysis, and decision-making systems in K-12 education that apply both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, mostly using assessment test scores. Takeshi is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and can be reached at tera0026@umn.edu. Starting in October, Takeshi will be a Program Associate providing program and research support to the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) at Achieve, … Read More


Writing Short-Answer Items in Naiku

This week’s class focuses on the topic of item writing. All assessment items can be categorized either as a selected-response or a constructed-response item. I will be going over the advantages and disadvantages of each of the item type (i.e., true-false, multiple-choice, matching, short-answer, and essay items) in my class.  For this blog, I want to focus on short-answer items. Short-answer items require a word, short phrase, or a number response. There are three different varieties of short-answer items. The question variety asks a direct question. The completion variety presents an … Read More


Professional Responsibilities when Scoring Assessments

The topic in my class this week is Professional Responsibilities and Assessment Bias. To prepare my class lecture and activities for the week, I’m reviewing the Codes of Fair Testing Practices, Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement (CPR), and The Standards for Psychological and Educational Testing. There’s so much here. Educational measurement professionals and teachers have so much responsibility to ensure that the assessments are absent of bias, the results are reliable, and the uses, inferences, and interpretations of the assessment results are valid. I don’t want to overwhelm the students with all these codes … Read More


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