About This Chapter
Assessments of Learning
An assessment can be as simple as watching someone and scoring them on how well they did something. It may also be done through a standardized test, such as those done in school. As you'll learn in these lessons, the formal and informal assessments can be done through performance or written testing. No matter what type of assessment is being done, the goal is pretty much the same - to measure the abilities of a person. Our lessons introduce you to many types of assessments and the differences between them.
When an assessment is done, the results are only going to be accurate and useful if the assessment process was done correctly. Let our lessons teach you the qualities of a good assessment. Learn how to determine if an assessment method is practical, reliable and valid. Then, dig a little deeper to discover how assessments can become more reliable and valid.
In order to conclude a completed assessment, you have to analyze the results. This involves understanding scores and percentile rankings. Our lessons cover important points, such as raw score, percentile rank, result summarizing and grade-equivalent scores. You'll also discover common concepts that are used in figuring scores and results, such as mean, median, mode and bell curves. Discover the differences between norm- and criterion-referenced scoring. Then, see how formative and summative evaluations stack up against each other.
It's important, as an assessor, to understand the challenges you may face when giving a true assessment. Our lessons introduce you to high-stakes testing and problems that can occur with it. You'll also get to take a look at testing bias, cultural bias and language differences, which can all affect your assessments. Finally, study how assessments can be properly used and misused in the classroom. Thanks for watching!
1. Forms of Assessment: Informal, Formal, Paper-Pencil & Performance Assessments
Educators often need to assess students' learning and achievement. There are multiple forms of assessments that educators use to not only gain knowledge about a student's level of understanding but also to guide the direction of future lessons and course curriculum. This lesson will differentiate between formal and informal assessments and paper-pencil versus performance-based assessments used in educational settings.
2. Standardized Assessments & Formative vs. Summative Evaluations
If you have ever attended a public school or college you have been subjected to a form of standardized assessment. These assessments serve multiple purposes and provide valuable information regarding one's abilities, understanding and potential. This lesson will introduce you to the types of standardized assessments commonly used in schools and discuss two other types of assessments: formative and summative.
3. Qualities of Good Assessments: Standardization, Practicality, Reliability & Validity
Have you ever been in the middle of an assessment and thought, 'This question is unfair!' or 'This exam covers material I have never seen before!' If so, the assessment probably did not possess the qualities that make an assessment effective. This lesson will introduce you to the qualities of good assessments: reliability, standardization, validity, and practicality.
4. Validity in Assessments: Content, Construct & Predictive Validity
Ensuring that an assessment measures what it is intended to measure is a critical component in education. Assessment results are used to predict future achievement and current knowledge. This lesson will define the term validity and differentiate between content, construct, and predictive validity.
5. The Reliability Coefficient and the Reliability of Assessments
How are test scores affected by day-to-day changes of a student? Do different people rate students' performances the same? These questions are addressed through the understanding of reliability. This lesson will define reliability, explain how reliability is measured, and explore methods to enhance reliability of assessments in the classroom.
6. Performance Assessments: Product vs. Process
Playing a musical instrument, creating a spreadsheet and performing in a play are all activities that many of us engage in on a regular basis. These activities are also examples of ways teachers assess a student's mastery of a subject in educational settings. This lesson will define performance-based assessments and discuss the various uses of performance assessments in the classroom.
7. Summarizing Assessment Results: Understanding Basic Statistics of Score Distribution
Summarizing test results is a critical component of the assessment process. In order for results to be used effectively, they must be summarized in a way that allows educators to compare the achievement of one student to others. This lesson will describe the first step in summarizing results: understanding the basic statistics of score distribution.
8. Summarizing Assessment Results: Comparing Test Scores to a Larger Population
Assessment results can yield valuable information about the individual test-taker and the larger population of test-takers. This lesson will describe how to compare test scores to a larger population by explaining standard score, stanines, z-score, percentile rank and cumulative percentage.
9. Using Standard Deviation and Bell Curves for Assessment
When a teacher gives an exam in class, how does she decide if the test scores were good or bad? This lesson focuses on classroom assessment, specifically how to analyze the variability of scores within a given group of students. We'll discuss both standard deviation and bell curves.
10. Norm- vs. Criterion-Referenced Scoring: Advantages & Disadvantages
Assessment results allow educators to make important decisions about students' knowledge, abilities and future educational potential. There are multiple ways to summarize and interpret assessment results. This lesson will discuss ways to summarize norm-referenced assessments and criterion-referenced assessments.
11. Using Mean, Median, and Mode for Assessment
How does a teacher decide what is a good exam score and what is a bad one? This lesson focuses on classroom assessment, but instead of different types of assessment (such as essay versus true/false questions), we'll discuss statistical methods for summarizing scores on any form of testing. Specifically, this lesson covers the statistical tools known as the mean, median and mode.
12. Standardized Tests in Education: Advantages and Disadvantages
Standardized tests are used frequently in educational settings. This lesson will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of these tests and also explore factors that impact standardized test performance.
13. High-Stakes Testing: Accountability and Problems
Do high test scores equal high achievement? Many politicians and educational reformers think the answer is yes. High-stakes standardized testing has become commonplace in American schools. This lesson will define high-stakes testing and accountability and present problems associated with these types of tests.
14. Testing Bias, Cultural Bias & Language Differences in Assessments
Assessments are used to gain useful information about test-takers' knowledge, skills and progress. Sometimes, however, the results of these assessments are incorrect due to biases. This lesson will differentiate and discuss types of testing bias and differences among test-takers that may lead to testing bias.
15. Use and Misuse of Assessments in the Classroom
Assessments are excellent tools in the classroom. Used properly, they provide invaluable information about student knowledge and progress. However, if misused, assessments can misrepresent the actual knowledge and learning taking place in the classroom. This lesson will discuss the use and misuse of standardized assessments.
16. Special Education and Ecological Assessments
An ecological assessment is one type of assessment that is used to help students that have special needs. In this lesson, we discuss ecological assessments, what they entail, and how they are used.
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