Page 1

Effective classroombased assessment Eddy White


   

This slide show was used for a workshop in Kyoto, Japan for the JALT (Japanese Association for Language Teachers) Pan SIG Conference May, 2008 It has been modified and revised for an online format and audience

Assessment literacy should be an issue of concern and professional development for all educators.

Are you assessment literate? How would you respond to this question in a job interview? In a discussion with colleagues?

reminder • Focus= classroom–based assessment

•  Not large-scale, externally administered, standardized testing



Research suggests that teachers spend from one-quarter to one-third of their professional time on assessment-related activities.

  Almost

all do so without the benefit of having learned the principles of sound assessment. (Stiggins, 2007)


1. Assessment literacy explained 2. Some fundamental assessment ideas 3. Your assessment practices 4. Words of Wisdom: the importance of assessment 5. Conclusion ( + References)

  the

kinds of assessment know-how and understanding that teachers need to assess their students effectively   Assessment literate educators should have knowledge and skills related to the basic principles of quality assessment practices (SERVE Center, University of North Carolina, 2004)

Assessment skills educators need 1.How to define clear learning goals, which are the basis of developing or choosing ways to assess student learning 2. How to make use of a variety of assessment methods to gather evidence of student learning 3. How to analyze achievement data (both quantitative and qualitative) and make good inferences from the data gathered 4. How to provide appropriate feedback to students 5. How to make appropriate instructional modifications to help students improve 6. How to involve students in the assessment process (e.g. self and peer assessment), and effectively communicate results 7. Most importantly, how to engineer an effective classroom assessment environment that boosts student motivation to learn. (SERVE Center, Univ. of North Carolina, 2004)

A basic understanding of statistics may be useful to organize information, perform analyses, and display data. But . . .

  Generally,


These techniques are based on principles for developing large scale objective tests, with limited relevance to the assessment context of classrooom teachers.

teachers do not calculate reliability estimates, standard error of measurement, validity coefficients, etc.

(McMillan, 2003)



Historically, educational leaders and teachers have not been given the opportunity to learn about sound classroom assessment practices. Further, over the years, the measurement community has narrowed its role to one of maximizing the efficiency and accuracy of high-stakes testing while playing virtually no attention to assessment as it plays out for teachers or learners day to day in the classroom.

  Assessment

for studentlearning   Not assessment as measurement

Assessment Literacy Know-how and understanding teachers need to assess students effectively and maximize learning

Characteristics of an assessment literate educator •  superior knowledge about content and substance of what is to be learned •  knowledge about learners and learning and a desire to help students develop, improve and do better •  skills in selecting and creating assessment tasks •  knowledge of criteria and standards appropriate to assessment tasks •  evaluative skills and expertise in the analysis and use of assessment information •  expertise in giving appropriate, targeted feedback (Sadler, 1998)

ď ˝â€Ż understand

the difference between sound and unsound assessment practices.

ď ˝â€Ż Assessment-literate

educators come to any assessment knowing what they are assessing, why they are doing so, how best to assess the achievement of interest, how to generate sound samples of performance, what can go wrong, and how to prevent these problems before they occur.

Assessment literate teachers understand how to use assessment as a teaching tool to promote learning.

3 Questions

  1.What

are the ‘five cardinal criteria’ that can be used to design and evaluate all types of assessment?

Source: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices (Brown,2004)

Five key assessment principles validity





(Brown, 2004)

ď ˝â€Ż These

questions provide an excellent criterion for a self-assessment of the assessment frameworks we design and implement.

Quiz question # 2


  Three

types, each serving a different purpose

Q. What are they?

1. Diagnostic 2. Summative 3. Formative

  precedes  

instruction, pre-assessments

used to check students prior knowledge and skill levels, identify student misconceptions, profile learners’ interests, etc.

  provide

information to assist teacher planning and guide differentiated instruction

  normally

not graded

summarizes what students have learned at the conclusion of an instructional segment   evaluative; reported as a score or grade   results typically ‘count’ and appear on report cards and transcripts   used alone, insufficient tools for maximizing student learning   waiting until the end of a teaching period to find out how well students have learned - too late  

Assessment of Learning

  on-going,

occurs concurrently with instruction   provides specific feedback to teachers and students for the purpose of guiding teaching to improve learning   formal and informal methods, such as ungraded quizzes, oral questioning, teacher observation, draft work, self- and peer-assessment, etc.   results not factored into summative evaluation and grading Assessment for Learning

Formative assessment is at the heart of effective teaching. This seminal Black and Wiliam (1998) source is easily accessed online.

  Students

are expected to guess the nature of assessment requirements   Assessment requirements are often separate to what happens in classes   Assessment often covers only a part of the course material   Assessment is often unclear to students   Assessment is often summative rather than formative

“Assessment is often shrouded in mystique, governed by tradition and has the tendency to be notoriously inadequate�(Beaumont-Kings,1994, p.1)

For many students, assessment is not an educational experience in itself, but a process of ‘guessing what the teacher wants’. (McLaughlin & Simpson, 2004)

  True–False

Item   Multiple Choice   Completion   Short Answer   Essay   Practical Exam   Papers/Reports   Projects   Questionnaires   Presentations

  Inventories   Checklists   Peer

Rating   Self Rating   Journals   Portfolios   Observations   Discussions   Interviews

Self-assess your assessment practices

How do your current practices match these statements?


Partly Not true true

classroombased assessment



3.  4.  5. 

Key learning outcomes have been identified and assessments based on them Assessment practice helps students to understand what they can do and where they need to improve Sharing of learning intentions is routine practice during classes Assessment practice enhances the learning process Students are involved in assessing their own work and that of their peers

More food for thought

Words of wisdom: Assessment

Assessment is the engine that drives learning. (Cowan, 1998)

Assessment is a central element in the overall quality of teaching and learning in higher education.   Well-designed assessment sets clear expectations, establishes a reasonable workload (one that does not push students into rote reproductive approaches to study), and provides opportunities for students to self-monitor, rehearse, practice and receive feedback.   Assessment is an integral component of a coherent educational experience.  

(James, McInnis, & Devlin, 2002, p.7)

ď ˝â€Ż The

spirit and style of student assessment defines the de facto curriculum. (Rowntree, 1987)




Improving student learning implies improving the assessment system. Teachers often assume that it is their teaching that directs student learning. In practice, assessment directs student learning, because it is the assessment system that defines what is worth learning. (Havnes, 2004, p.1)

  For

most students, assessment requirements literally define the curriculum.   Assessment is a potent strategic tool for educators with which to spell out the learning that will be rewarded and to guide students into effective approaches to study.   Equally, however, poorly designed assessment has the potential to hinder learning.

  Students

can, with difficulty, escape from the effects of poor teaching.   They cannot (by definition if they want to graduate) escape the effects of poor assessment. (Boud,1995)

ď ˝â€Ż There

is no getting away from the fact that most of the things that go wrong with assessment are our fault, the result of poor assessment design- and not the fault of our students. (Race et al., 2005)

The single most effective way of enhancing learning within higher education is through the improvement of assessment procedures. Assessment is at the core of the academic role of educators. (Holroyd, 2000, p. 43)

Assessment Literacy Know-how and understanding teachers need to assess students effectively and maximize learning




The teachers’ degree of assessment competence has a huge influence on the course being taught The degree of student learning and success in a course is also significantly impacted by the instructors’ assessment literacy It is an overlooked and undervalued aspect of professional development.

Improving assessment literacy and becoming more competent assessors means a personal commitment of time, effort and energy.

  “We

owe it to ourselves and our students to devote at least as much energy to ensuring that our assessment practices are worthwhile as we do to ensuring that we teach well”.

Dr. David Boud, University of Technology, Sydney (Boud, 1998, p. 2)

Dr. Sara Cushing Weigle Georgia State University

A solid understanding of assessment issues should be part of every teachers’ knowledge base, and teachers should be encouraged to equip themselves with this knowledge as part of their ongoing professional development. (2007, p. 207)

Are you assessment literate?

Assessment Literacy  
Assessment Literacy  

This is a pdf version of a slide show presentation I delivered at a language teachers conference in Japan in 2008.