Assessments

What are they?

Performance Assessments

A performance assessment is different from a multiple-choice test in that it requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list.

One type of performance assessment is called the open-ended or extended response exercise. These types of exercises are questions or other prompts that require students to explore a topic orally or in writing.

Rationale: Because they require students to actively demonstrate what they know, performance assessments may be a more valid indicator of students’ knowledge and abilities. There is a big difference between answering multiple choice questions about writing and actually writing.

A formative assessment provides feedback to the teacher for the purpose of improving instruction. Formative assessments typically count as practice, not graded work. After students respond to an initial question and teachers receive feedback from a formative assessment, teachers may choose to create an assignment or exercise from the assessment to allow students a chance to revise or extend their writing.

Common Formative Assessments

In  Learning by Doing by Richard DuFour, page 214, we read about the purposes of the common formative assessment:  “…Common formative assessments are used frequently throughout the year to identify (1) individual students who need additional time and support for learning, (2) the teaching strategies most effective in helping students acquire the intended knowledge and skills, (3) program concerns – areas in which students generally are having difficulty achieving the intended standard- and (4) improvement goals for individual teachers and the team.”

It’s difficult to discuss or improve student learning if you can’t talk about something all students have participated in. Our use of common formative performance assessments will give teachers an opportunity to assess student learning and then discuss ways to improve student learning with their department colleagues.

Benchmark Assessments

Benchmark assessments are assessments administered periodically throughout the school year, at specified times during a curriculum sequence, to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to an explicit set of longer-term learning goals. The design and choice of benchmark assessments is driven by the purpose, intended users, and uses of the instruments. Benchmark assessment can inform policy, instructional planning, and decision-making at the classroom, school and/or district levels (Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center – A WestEd and CRREST partnership)

Benchmark Assessments used by Jordan School District include the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) to measure growth in reading comprehension. Teachers of students in grades 7 to 11 are required to test their students in the fall and spring of each school year. A winter assessment may be administered as well, but that is not required. Teachers, school and district administrators review the data to determine which students need additional support in reading.

As of the 2015-2016 School year, teacher-created SLO’s will be used to report student progress.  These can be found on Mastery Connect, along with other formative assessments designed by Language Arts Teachers in our district.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessment takes place after the learning has been completed and provides information and feedback that sums up the teaching and learning process. Typically, no more formal learning is taking place at this stage, other than incidental learning which might take place through the completion of projects and assignments. (Northern Illinois University Instructional Design Center)

Types of Summative Assessment

  • Examinations (major, high-stakes exams [eg. Utah’s SAGE Assessment)
  • Final examination (a truly summative assessment)
  • Term papers (drafts submitted throughout the semester would be a formative assessment)
  • Projects (project phases submitted at various completion points could be formatively assessed)
  • Portfolios (could also be assessed during it’s development as a formative assessment)
  • Performances