Page 33

Technology systems can provide educators, students, and parents with timely access to individual and aggregated longitudinal data, along with linkages to other datasets related to interventions deemed influential to student learning. This longitudinal access to linked datasets provides educators with insights into student learning that enable teachers to personalize and differentiate learning with a precision never before possible. The technology also enables educators and students to maintain new forms of evidence of student work in digital formats through online portfolios. The use of digital portfolios enables students to demonstrate complexities of learning through student artifacts and reflections and to show growth over time through comparisons of actual student work. On the instructional side, technology provides new venues for composition and production with multimodal media. The technology also allows for ease and sophistication of analysis and interpretation of student data using new analytics. For example, technology programs are now as accurate as humans in scoring short answer assessments. 61 It is striking across the four trends just reviewed, how measurement has failed to match the significant progress of the learning sciences over the last two decades, and failed to address the need for assessments of 21st century skills. Educators now know that students learn best in realworld situations, when tapping prior knowledge, while collaborating in participatory cultures, and while constructing their own sense making of the world. Unfortunately, while educators, students, and communities can create exciting, research based models, simulations, and authentic learning situations that maximize deep learning in students, the assessment community has yet to step up to measure such constructs in real time, over time. Until that happens, the unsophisticated measurement tools of today serve as a millstone around the neck of the 21st century learner. This represents a call to action to scale up the assessment models that work, increase the sophistication of the analysis tools to maximize data driven decision making, and invest in research and development in next generation assessment tools. 62, 63

Strategies for Scaling Up to 21st Century Assessments Consider the results of the 2009 PISA assessments of a half million 15-year-olds in more than 70 economies across the world. 64 The strongest performances were from Korea, Finland, Hong Kong-China, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and Shanghai-China. These are countries that have invested in education reform and transformation – including new approaches to student assessment. For example, high-ranking Finland relies on its teachers to design local assessments to evaluate student outcomes on national standards, along with a voluntary national assessment at two grade levels. Similarly, Singapore has moved more toward assessments of critical thinking and reasoning that are open-ended, with teachers encouraged to assess continually using a variety of methods including classroom observations, journaling in mathematics, oral and written communications and tests, as well as practical and investigative tasks. In the U.S., which ranks -31-

Assessment  

Assessment brief Metiri

Assessment  

Assessment brief Metiri

Advertisement