Assessment and Evaluation
Although the research brief below uses incorrect terminology (formative assessment), it remains an applicable read.
Level 4 Clarification
Fair and Authentic Assessment
Some Assessment Links
Growing Success, 2010:
Criterion-referenced Assessment and Evaluation Ontario, like a number of other jurisdictions, has moved from norm-referenced to criterion-referenced assessment and evaluation. This means that teachers assess and evaluate student work with reference to established criteria for four levels of achievement that are standard across the province, rather than by comparison with work done by other students, or through the ranking of student performance, or with reference to performance standards developed by individual teachers for their own classrooms. (There is no expectation that a certain number or percentage of students must be allocated to any one level of achievement.)
In the past, assessment and evaluation performance standards varied from teacher to teacher and from school to school, and this led to results that were not always fair for all students. Criterion-referenced assessment and evaluation ensure that the assessment and evaluation of student learning in schools across the province are based on the application of the same set of well-defined performance standards. The goal of using a criterion-based approach is to make the assessment and evaluation of student achievement as fair, reliable, and transparent as possible.
(taken from, A Guide to Effective Instruction in Mathematics; Volume Five)
Over the years, students have been given a variety of timed tests to demonstrate their learning, using worksheets similar to the one listing unrelated facts in the example… This custom does not help students to consolidate their understanding. A time limit should not be placed on tests or worksheets when students are in the process of learning their basic facts, for the following reasons:
· A time limit discourages students from double-checking for accuracy
· A time limit may intimidate students who cannot recall the facts quickly but who may be very accurate
· Timed tests can create negative attitudes about mathematics in students who are not competitive
· Timed tests do not provide a window into a student’s thinking
· Timed tests do not tell the teacher what strategies students are using
It is important for teachers to focus assessments not only on the answer students give, but also on the strategies they use to produce those answers and on their understanding of the underlying mathematical concepts and connections.
“Teachers who use timed tests believe that the tests help children learn basic facts. This perspective makes no instructional sense… Children who have difficulty with skills or who work more slowly run the risk of reinforcing wrong practices under pressure. Also, they can become fearful about, and negative toward, their mathematics learning.” (Burns, 1995, p. 408)