This course introduces the essential concepts and practices of educational assessment from the perspective of an elementary classroom teacher. Candidates will explore the continuum of assessment options including selected-response, constructed-response, and performance assessments as they apply to published assessments, teacher-made classroom-based assessment, current high-stakes assessments, and next generation assessments.
In the course project, Assessment Handbook, students demonstrate mastery of skills and concepts in the context of a handbook that can be used as a reference throughout their teaching careers. Concepts and skills include:
- Reliability, validity, fairness (absence of bias)
- Error of measurement
- Ethical test preparation
- Assessment accommodations
- Item analysis
- Assessment-based grading
- Selected- and constructed-response items
- Performance tasks
- Holistic, analytic, and skill-based rubrics
- Formative assessment strategies
In Forum discussions, students actively engage in discussions concerning current topics in educational assessment including:
- Sample assessment items
- Assessment scoring systems
- Grading systems
- Technology systems
Course Learning Objectives
- Differentiate between the following score types: (1) percentile; (2) grade-equivalent; and (3) scale score and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each.
- Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate test preparation practices in the age of high-stakes assessment.
- Define standard error of measurement, describe how it is related to reliability, and explain why teachers should pay attention to it.
- Distinguish between the three types of reliability; distinguish between the three types of validity.
- Analyze possible sources of assessment bias and error and apply techniques to eliminate bias and error.
- Describe the purpose of an accommodation and apply four types of assessment accommodations for English language learners and students with disabilities.
- Apply “assessment-based grading” as appropriate based on the strengths and weaknesses of each type of grading system.
- Write high-quality selected-response (including binary-choice, multiple binary-choice, multiple-choice, matching, and fill-in) and constructed-response (including short-answer and essay) assessment items. Select or create high-quality performance assessment tasks.
- Analyze test item data (difficulty index, discrimination index, and distractor analysis) to make decisions about student learning and test item improvement.
- Develop holistic and analytic scoring rubrics for constructed-response assessment items.
- Develop skill-focused scoring rubrics for performance assessment tasks.
- Distinguish between formative and summative assessment.
- Relate formative assessment strategies to classroom applications.
- Compare current state accountability assessments to next generation assessments. Describe the problems next generation assessments are expected to solve.