EDU595: Secondary Assessment Strategies to Improve Learning

Course Credits:
Course Hours Per Week:

Course Overview

This course introduces the essential concepts and practices of educational assessment from the perspective of a secondary 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.