Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Do We Change Assessment?

In her recent perspective piece, "Winds of Change in the Assessment World?," Kathleen Blake Yancey states, "I think most of us, if asked about assessment and testing, would say pretty much the same thing: we have more tests and bad tests than ever before."

BUT WAIT, Kathi gives us hope that things may be changing as she shares two new and very different assessment programs: the Insight Resume used by Oregon State University and a portfolio assessment used by the Virginia Beach Schools, written about in her November 2008 Council Chronicle article "Assessment Models Worth Sharing."

What emerging trends in assessment are you seeing?


Jeanie said...

The page isn't available - could someone check it?

In our district we're working to move to common assessments in grade levels/courses. For English and Social Science we ask for written assessments as opposed to multiple choice. We provide release time for teachers on collaborative groups to norm the assessments and score them together.

Anonymous said...

The links to the two cited articles are not available. I would love to read about both programs.

Joshua Piper
Farmington, IL

Susanne Nobles said...

My department is really working on authentic assessment -- a very old term that has become new again in light of "21st century skills." We want to be sure we are testing our students on what they can DO with what we have studied, not on recall of facts alone. One big change I made this year in this direction was on a unit test where I had them respond to an editorial that references the book they read. I then followed this up with a writing assignment where they wrote their own editorials using the one they had responded to as a guide. The scaffolding of these assignments worked so well -- better than I had hoped! Their editorials were just excellent and reflected their depth of understanding even though they were not specifically about the books we had read.

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We provide release time for teachers on collaborative groups to norm the assessments and score them together.
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