Always Learning

Novel Assessment Methodologies

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Bulletin #24: Learning Progressions: An Overview of Current Validation Methods

Learning progressions represent a set of skills or pieces of knowledge ordered sequentially from least to most complex. This sequence can guide instruction as well as assessment content. This paper describes several useful methods for validating learning progressions including validating the relationship between the progression and student knowledge as well as between the progression and associated assessments.

Soto, Amanda C.
Taylor, Melinda A.
05-24-2013
Establishing an Evidence-based Validity Argument for Performance Assessment

Recent initiatives have proposed to use performance tasks in ambitious new ways, including monitoring student growth and evaluating teacher effectiveness.

Lai, Emily R., Wei, Hua, Hall, Erika L., Fulkerson, Dennis 09-01-2012
Creating Curriculum-Embedded, Performance-Based Assessments for Measuring 21st Century Skills in K-5 Students

This paper will share the author’s experiences working with a large and diverse school district to design curriculum-embedded, performance-based assessments (PBAs) that measure 21st century skills in K-5 students.

Lai, Emily R. 04-01-2012
The Case for Performance-Based Tasks without Equating

This paper proposes a model for performance-based assessments that assumes random selection of performance-based tasks (PBTs) from a large pool, and that assumes tasks are comparable without equating PBTs.

Way, Walter D., Murphy, Daniel, Powers, Sonya, Keng, Leslie 04-01-2012
Connecting English Langage Learning and Academic Performance: A Prediction Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of English language proficiency and academic reading assessment scores to predict the future academic success of English learner (EL) students.

Kong, Jadie, Powers, Sonya, Starr, Laura, Williams, Natasha 04-01-2012
Bulletin #20: Performance-based Assessment: Some New Thoughts on an Old Idea

The purpose of this bulletin is to review arguments in favor and arguments against the use of performance-based assessments to assess student achievement in light of proposed test score uses

Lai, Emily R. 05-01-2011
What Item Writers Think When Writing Items: Towards A Theory OF Item Writing Expertise

The study of expert item writers offers the possibility of “bottling” the knowledge and skills acquired by these experts over years of hard work. The descriptions of the identified conceptual knowledge and skills of expert item writers could be incorporated into item writing workshops in order to equip new item writers with the tools necessary to produce quality figural response items.

Fulkerson, Dennis, Nichols, Paul, Mittelholtz, David 05-01-2010
Distractor Rationale Taxonomy: Diagnostic Assessment of Reading with Ordered Multiple-Choice Items

The distractor rataionale taxonomy (DRT) examined in this study is an understanding-level-driven distractor analysis system for multiple-choice items.  The DRT purposely creates distrators at different comprehension levels to pinpoint sources of misunderstanding.

Lin, Jie, Lee Chu, Kwang, Meng, Ying 05-01-2010
Bulletin #14: What Impact Does Calculator Use Have On Test Results?

Calculators are commonly used in mathematics and science instruction. In fact, over 20 years ago, two studies commissioned by the College Board (Kupin & Whittington, 1988; Pfeiffenberger & Zolandz, 1989) indicated that, at that time, nearly all math and science college instructors permitted use of calculators for all types of course work and at least some tests

Wolfe, Edward W. 05-01-2010
Bulletin #12: What is a learning progression?

Learning progressions describe in words and examples what it means to move over time toward more expert understanding. This bulletin discusses research, assessment development, and the Pearson Foundation support for ongoing efforts relating to learning progressions.

Nichols, Paul D. 02-02-2010
Bulletin #11: What is a Balanced Assessment System?

Under President Obama’s education reform agenda, the concept of a balanced assessment system has received increasing attention.

Nichols, Paul D. 01-01-2010
Bulletin #8: The Use of Separate Answer Sheets

As early as 1932, separate answer sheets for standardized tests were hailed as a financial boon for educational testing.

Ragland, Shelley 11-01-2009