As an essential aspect of K-12 instruction, assessment impacts everything from district level decisions about resources and training to classroom level decisions that differentiate instruction and personalize learning. From the district perspective, it affects instructional needs, curriculum, and school funding while helping to answer the following critical questions: Are our students learning what they need to learn and at the right pace? And if not, what can we be doing better to create a roadmap for student success?
“Of course, great teaching and strong support for students matter most in how well students are learning,” NMC/CoSN write in their 2016 Horizon Report (opens in new tab), “but clear standards and useful assessments that actually measure the standards provide the needed foundation for success. They signal what’s important and how well students are doing.”
More specifically, high quality assessment empowers educators to be more effective by optimizing assessment use to boost student achievement, and:
- Allow for students to use assessment data to make choices about their areas of concentration and focus. This creates and environment of “choice” and helps to spur student motivation. It also provides complete visibility into individual student knowledge and readiness and leverages assessment to understand precisely what each student does (and doesn’t) know.
- Produce valid and reliable results. Assessment data is 85%-95% reliable when it’s created by content experts within an assessment organization, (add source if we are quoting directly)
- Offer connections to standards-based instructional resources. These assets should include learning objects, including vetted OER, that are interactive and responsive.
- Provide structured assessments as well as flexible classroom assessment capabilites. Fixed formats provide a high-level view of student knowledge and facilitate comparative analysis. Classroom assessment creation tools should be robust, and allow for the creation of tech-enhanced item types
- Generates meaningful and actionable insights. High quality assessment takes the massive quantities of performance data and translates that into meaningful, actionable reports that pinpoint current student progress, predict future achievement, and inform instruction. Administrators use the data to run various levels of reports, detect patterns at all of those levels, and uncover academic areas that require additional resources.
4 Steps to Optimizing Assessment and Boosting Student Achievement
(opens in new tab)The McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) Assessment Optimization Process guides you through assessment optimization in four easy steps.
5 Key Considerations When Evaluating an Assessment System (opens in new tab)
Today, sophisticated assessment systems bring complete visibility into individual student knowledge and readiness. This infographic spells out the five critical components to consider when evaluating an assessment system.
Uncovering Exactly What Each Student Knows and is Ready to Learn Next (opens in new tab)
The right assessment system can work in any size classroom, school or district. This paper reviews five critical components that every school district should consider when evaluating assessment systems.
- Best Free Formative Assessment Tools and Apps (opens in new tab)
- Assessing Students in Online and Virtual Classrooms (opens in new tab)
- How It’s Done: Assessing and Teaching SEL Competencies (opens in new tab)