Assessment Quick Facts

Learning team B SPE 578

Using Assessments in the classroom

Assessing student growth and achievement in the classroom is a major component of teaching. Having a greater understanding of how the assessments will impact students with exceptionalities will help create a classroom environment conducive of learning for all students and ability levels. This chart consists of different assessment types and the key facts you will need to know to implement them into your lesson plans and classroom instruction.
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Objective Test

  • What does the assessment look like? An objective test can have true or false questions, matching, graphical hotspots, and text input.

  • When is the assessment most appropriate? This is a test that can be given after the per-assessment and before the post-assessment to keep the student on task.

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment? The weakness of objective is that most educators find it to be limited to the specifics of the test and or limited in factual details. This can lead to essay questions or a performance-based test. It has been pointed out, by Robert Ebel, the objective testing strength is in multiple choice testing. This can shower ‘higher- order abilities”.

  • As a teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery? The test itself is limited but not useless to assess what the student has mastered or what they have not mastered according to the score of the test. It is not a true testing but gives the educators a point in which to start with the student.

  • How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities? This is not an appropriate test for exceptional students. In multiple choices, they would be more inclined to choose any answer. Even with trying they may choose the right answer with knowing why they chose the answer or the meaning of their choice.

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Pre-Assessment

Examples:

Running Record, Sentene Prompts, Self-assessments, Three facts and a fib, Think-Pair- share

What does the assessment look like?

  • The pre-assessment can be standardized testing or they can be locally-based testing. The form that the test takes depends on the one the district decides to use.


When is the assessment most appropriate?

  • A Pre-assessment test is appropriate at the beginning of the decision of the student’s instruction. This is considered the “entry point”.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment?

  • The weakness to a pre-assessment testing is with the changes in students and those who attend. In some cases the pre-assessment cannot determine if the student is learning more for the lessons given or if the student has matured. Another weakness is those students that dropped out during the pre-assessment could make the post-assessment scores higher. This is because those students that remained were those who were successful during both assessments. The strengths of pre-assessment testing are it gives the educator or a team of educators a starting point for the student. Without it the educators or team of educators may miss something vital to the student’s achievement of educational goals.

As a teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery?

  • The pre-assessment is exactly what it states; it is assessing the student before any educational decision can be made on his or her behalf. This assessment is to pin-point the student’s strengths and weaknesses to determine the correct path to take for the student to successfully reach objectives and goals.

How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities?

This is an excellent way to determine the amount of help, type of help and if the students should be in a self-contained classroom, general classroom, or both general and special education classroom. This can help develop the student’s IEP if he or she needs one.

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Preformance-Based Assessment

Examples:

Oral or mediated presentation Actual demonstrations, participation in an event, Interview

When is the assessment most appropriate?

  • This assessment is appropriate after the pre-assessment and can be used before the post-assessment or as an alternative to standardized post-assessment testing.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment?

  • The weakness of performance is it is time consuming and in some of the activities the materials may not be at the educator’s disposal or the parents. The strength is it is a creative alternative to standardizing testing. It shows what the students has learned, encouraging them to do it in a creative fashion. Other forms such as oral testing help the student with speaking in public. The downside to this is that some students are unable to do well orally.

As a teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery?

  • The teacher uses a scale to grade or determine the students’ knowledge. This teacher may use a rubrics or scale to determine mastery

How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities?

  • A an appropriate level some forms of performance-based testing can be used such as oral testing in phonics.

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Formative Assessment

Examples:

  • oral language, writings, observation, learning response logs, discussion, peer/ self assessments.

What does the assessment look like?

Formative assessments are given during instruction and assess students progress with a given lesson.

When is the assessment most appropriate?

  • This form of assessing students is most appropriate while instruction is taking place to track students understanding of material as well as provide students with feedback. Teachers can also use the formative assessment to adjust instruction throughout a lesson to determine what should be covered and how (Burden 2013).

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment?

    • Strengths: ( Dodge, 2014)

      • Formative assessments are typically not graded and can decrease students test anxiety.

      • They serve as practice for students and allow for teachers to use corrective instruction and give students the opportunity to show mastery again.

      • Teachers have to do less re-teaching of information at the end before a final test.

      • Students struggling with concepts and content can have their issues addressed early on and corrected before moving on to additional information.

    • Weaknesses: (Dodge, 2014)

      • Teachers have to take valuable lesson time to complete assessments throughout the lesson and may feel rushed through other areas of the unit to make up the time lost.

      • Teachers are not properly trained on how to use the assessments.

      • Formative assessments are often ungraded work students may be less likely to take the work seriously causing teachers to receive inaccurate feedback that is then used to shape the continued instruction.

As a teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery?

  • I would use the formative assessment to check for understanding for key concepts within a lesson.

How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities?

  • Students with exceptionalities will benefit tremendously by the proper use of formative assessments throughout a lesson to track the students progress and understanding. Also it allows the teacher to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of that student and the effectiveness of any modifications or accommodations made throughout a lessons activities.

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Summative Assessment

Summative assessments are typically used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs and services at the end of an academic year or at a predetermined time. The goal of summative assessments is to make a judgment of student competency after an instructional phase is complete ( Burden, 2013).


  • What does the assessment look like? Examples: Final Exam, Statewide Tests( SOL’s in Virginia), Entrance Exams( SAT and ACT).

  • When is the assessment most appropriate? Summative assessments are typically used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs and services at the end of an academic year or at a predetermined time. The goal of summative assessments is to make a judgment of student competency after an instructional phase is complete.

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses? Some weaknesses of summative assessments are that they can have a negative impact on student self esteem. Another weakness is the idea that teachers teach to the test. To meet standards, teachers are pressured to make sure that students can pass the state standard test at the end of the year, because of this pressure teachers are often criticized for not teaching students to think outside of the box. Some strengths of summative assessments are that they provide feedback and information that sums up the teaching and learning process.

  • As the teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery? I would use summative assessment as a final. Also, in our district each quarter a benchmark has to be administered to the students in each core subject.

  • How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities? Summative assessments are appropriate as long as the assessment is modified or accommodations are made to follow the exceptional child’s IEP.

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Norm-referenced evaluation



Norm-referenced evaluation is used to interpret a score of an individual by comparing it with the scores of other individuals. The purpose is to rank each student with respect to the achievement of others in broad areas of knowledge. Norm-referenced evaluation measures broad skills areas sampled from a variety of textbooks. Each skill is usually tested by less than four items and items vary in difficulty. An example of a norm-referenced test is an intelligence test used in determining eligibility for special education programs( Educational Psychology Interactive: Criterion-vs-Norm Referenced).




Criterion-referenced evaluation is used to interpret an individual’s performance by comparing it to some specified criterion. The object is to determine whether the student can or cannot perform at a certain standard (Burden, 2013).

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Standardized Assessment

What does the assessment look like?

Standardized assessment Are assessments created by experts or published assessments used in many classrooms and in different schools. They are given with the same contraints and time allocated to complete.There are four main types of standardized assessments used by schools: achievement assessment, scholastic aptitude assessment, specific aptitude assessment, and school readiness assessments.


  • Achievement assessment: Assess how much students have learned from classroom instruction and are usually common curriculum used across the state or the nation. Some examples include the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (used to assess IQ) and the National Assessment of Education Progress (referred to as NAEP).


  • Scholastic aptitude: used to predict future academic achievement. Most common example is the SAT

  • Specific Aptitude: Predicts future ability for success in specific content areas. Most common example is that used in armed forces career test called the ASVAB.


  • School readiness: Usually given before a child enters kindergarten or first grade to determine cognitive ability and skills


Examples: Language and technical proficiency assessments, psychological assessments to determine services, Aptitude test, admissions evaluation.


Strengths: They provide information on how much a student has learned in a subject

They provide information on how well students from one classroom compare to others in other classrooms

They track progress overtime.

Can provide information regarding developmental delays


Weaknesses:

Does not always indicate a student's mastery of specific information within a subject area

Can sometimes have a low correlation with student actual academic ability

Can create test anxiety in students causing them not to perform well making the results inaccurate of the students knowledge and ability.

As a teacher, how would you use the assessment to determine mastery?

This type assessment can be used to determine prior knowlege or placement for students

How appropriate is the assessment for students with exceptionalities?

Standardized assessments are the appropriate for students with exceptionalities when accommodations are made for them to be successful because a standardized test cannot e modified prior to testing. The most difficult piece can be with the vocabulary and comprehension. however there is often modifications made to scoring

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See attached Handouts for Example Assessments.

References:

Burden, . (2013). Methods for Effective Teaching: Meeting the Needs of All Students (6th ed.). Retrieved from http://The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.


Criterion-vs-Norm-Referenced Tests-Educational Psychology. (1996). Retrieved from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/.../crnmref.ht...


Dodge, J. (2014). Part of Collection:Assessments for the Differentiated Classrooms. Retrieved fromhttp://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-are-formative-assessments-and-why-should-we-use-them


Education Portal. (2014). Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/standardized-assessments-formative-vs-

summative-evaluations.html#lesson


Teachers Pay Teachers. (n.d). Retrieved from http://teacherspayteachers.com/product/free-math-Pre-Assessment-of-Basic-skills-Grades-6-8-146131


WPI. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wpi/edu/images/cms/ARC/objective-Exams.pdf