Students are the intended beneficiaries of educational reform solutions. Yet rarely are they asked in meaningful ways about their perceptions of the effects of these solutions on their learning. Educators and policy makers are answerable to many stakeholders. This investigation centers on the primary group of stakeholders - students.
The executive summary and following report summarize what was learned from interviewing Idaho students on the topic of assessment, and suggests ideas that have been generated regarding what might be done with this information at a local level, as a result of that communication.
Formative assessment is a deliberate process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides actionable feedback that is used to adjust ongoing teaching and learning strategies to improve students' self-assessment, reflection and attainment of curricular learning targets/goals.
"Classroom assessments FOR learning" (formative) "informs instructional decisions along the way to success." (Stiggins R. 2006)
The Digital Library is a critical component of the Smarter Balanced system of assessments. Smarter Balanced is committed to providing formative resources, tools, and professional learning opportunities for educators to tailor instruction based on student needs.
The Digital Library, is a critical component of the Smarter Balanced system of assessments that will include a variety of resources to improve teaching and learning. This site provides teachers with an online clearinghouse of classroom-based, formative assessment strategies and practices that enhance day-to-day instruction, including resources to interpret data and reports from the Smarter Balanced summative and interim assessments. It is interactive and allows educators from member states to use and rate resources and collaborate.
The State Leadership Team oversees state input on the Digital Library and provides training, support and guidance to the State Network of Educators. The State Network of Educators provides feedback and guidance on the resources to be included in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library. They take part in professional development workshops on formative assessment and the Digital Library, and use an established Quality Criteria framework to submit and review resources.
Please find listed below the Idaho team members that have been submitting and evaluating professional learning resources for inclusion in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's Digital Library of formative assessment tools and practices. Their contributions and input have enriched our state's experience with the Digital Library and furthered the understanding of formative assessment in Idaho.
"Assessment administered multiple times during a school year, usually outside of instruction, to evaluate students' knowledge and skills relative to specific set of academic goals in order to inform policymaker or educator decisions at the student, classroom, school, or district level. Specific interim assessment designs are driven by the purposes and intended uses, but the results of any interim assessment must be reported in a manner allowing aggregation across students, occasions, or concepts." (CCSSO)
Smarter Balanced will provide an Interim Assessment option. The purpose of the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment System in mathematics and English language arts (ELA/Literacy) is to complement the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment by:
The non-secure items and tasks in the Interim Assessment System are developed under the same conditions, protocols, and review procedures as those used in the Summative Assessment. Therefore, they assess the same Common Core State Standards, adhere to the same principles of universal design so as to be accessible to all students, and provide evidence to support Smarter Balanced claims in mathematics and ELA. The application of evidence-centered design (ECD) processes and procedures in the development of items and tasks helps assure that each item or task clearly elicits student responses that support the relevant evidence statements and thus are aligned to the associated claims and standards. This explicit linkage of items and tasks to claims through evidence statements underscores the strength of the validity chain that ties assessment results to the claims.
The Interim Assessment System contains two distinct online components that draw from the same non-secure bank of items and performance tasks:
Most items are scored by the Smarter Balanced test-delivery engine. The scoring of human-scored aspects of constructed-response items and performance tasks is a local or state responsibility. Both provide results that teachers and administrators can examine in relation to the Common Core State Standards and then adjust instruction accordingly. The Smarter Balanced Digital Library offers guidance on how and when to use each type of assessment, how to evaluate students' responses, and how to interpret results. The full range of capabilities that are ultimately offered by the Interim Assessment System will depend on the ability to fully engage the computer-adaptive technology and ongoing enhancements of the system's technology. In the initial phase, schools and districts in member states can use both the Interim Comprehensive Assessment and the Interim Assessment Blocks, but should be informed that the pool of Interim items that are initially available may result in students being exposed to the same items on repeated testing occasions. In future years, as the interim item bank is more fully populated, concerns about item exposure will diminish.
Formative Assessment Resources & Activities are made possible by a grant from the Joseph & Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and are part of the ISEE Implementation. *ISEE Phase II Grant Sites are given priority for some professional development offerings.