The end of the calendar year presents a natural time to reflect on resources that we’ve found to be interesting, informative, or thought provoking. This blog provides a list—in no particular order—of five websites related to K–12 assessment that caught our interest in 2018. We hope you will find these links helpful, and Happy New Year!
The Center for Assessment. The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, widely known as the Center for Assessment, recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. Their blog, “CenterLine,” provides helpful information on a broad range of assessment-related topics from statewide accountability to how teachers use assessment data to improve instruction.
Retrieval Practice. “Retrieval practice” is a learning strategy that can involve quizzing or low-stakes assessment as a way to recall information. There are many examples of blogs devoted to retrieval practice and how it relates to classroom assessment. We’ve chosen to highlight the following post by Aidan Severs because it provides concrete tips for teachers as well as links to resources explaining the cognitive science behind retrieval practice. Although this particular post highlights non-quiz tips for teachers, it includes plenty of useful information related to classroom assessment.
Polls on the Use of Educational Data. The Data Quality Campaign released the results from two polls about the use of educational data—one poll of parents and one of teachers. Complete with infographics, this post summarizes the findings of both polls. While many parents value educational data, teachers report that they don’t have enough time in their school days to make effective use of data.
Using Test Data to Devise Instructional Plans. Speaking of teachers using assessment data, Brian Bushart, the Curriculum Coordinator for Elementary Mathematics in Round Rock ISD (TX), wrote a blog post with an excellent example of using test data to devise instructional plans. He argues that reviewing items and student responses will yield “…a truer picture of what’s challenging your students so that you can more accurately target with what and how to support them.”
Including Teachers in Item Writing. Teacher Development published an open-access article on making large-scale assessment more relevant to educational practice by making it a part of teacher professional development. Despite the usual limitations of self-reported data and selection bias, authors Corey Palermo and Margareta Maria Thomson provide some evidence that involving teachers in item writing and review can be part of an effective professional development program.