Testing

Three Levels of Assessment

Questions to Ask at Each In the previous Blog, I attempted to go inside the classroom and look at using assessment practices that promote student learning—assessment for learning. I’d like to take a step back and look at the balanced assessment system, this time at the three levels of assessment, the information about student learning we can glean from each level, and at how we can best use the information from each level. Educators make all kinds of important decisions based on the information they get from a variety of … Read More


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


Key Assessment Terms

I’ve written about reliability, point-biserial correlation, metacognition, and other assessment terms and topics. Yet, I’ve failed to provide a definition (at least a glossary) of these key assessment terms and other terms found on the Naiku website and application. Well, it’s time to rectify that short-coming. I’ve now included a glossary of key assessment terms. You can find this glossary under Reference Sources on our homepage. You can also click here to go directly to the glossary.  


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


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


Focus on Effectiveness

As we move toward the start of the 2011-12 school year educators across the country are looking to improve their skills. Last week I attended a conference in Moorhead Minnesota titled: “Teaching & Learning: Focus on Effectiveness”. This daylong conference was attended by over 250 educators from the Fargo – Moorhead area. It included the following three keynote speakers: Dr. Mike Schmoker, a former school administrator, teacher and coach, is an author (FOCUS: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning) and the national consultant who looks at clarity of … Read More


Importance of Affective Assessments

When one thinks of educational assessment, one often thinks of cognitive measures.  We teach students important concepts, how to problem solve, and how to think critically. Then we create tests to determine whether the students can do or know those things. In this blog, I’ve written a lot about how to go about doing that. I’ve discussed validity, reliability, and item writing guidelines. Today, I’d like to write about the importance of affective measures. What are affective measures? These are assessments that focus on students’ attitudes, interests, and values. For … 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


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