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Student Assessment

Student assessment systems are rapidly changing in countries all over the world on many levels. Assessment systems increasingly are being tied to curriculum standards, developed by state and local authorities, which all students are expected to master. Assessment is viewed as a way to hold schools accountable for achieving targeted standards. In addition, the nature of testing also is changing. There is a movement away from traditional close-ended multiple choice tests, to more broad-based assessment instruments that seek to measure student's higher order thinking skills and development over time. Educators also are coming to view assessment as a key tool for diagnosing student learning needs and for shaping classroom instructional practice.

The student assessment section of the IEQ Teacher Resource Portal provides education program planners and teacher development specialists with access to web-based resources related to current trends in classroom assessment. Such resources include case studies, descriptions of alternative approaches to primary school assessment, sample test instruments, and classroom strategies that can be used to link assessment and instructional practice.



Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
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ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Regarding Assessment, Evaluation and Research Information National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
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www.4teachers The International Association for the Evaluation of Academic Achievement
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Effective Schools and Teachers The International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks
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Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Assessment Library Internet Learning Network
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North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Alberta Assessment Consortium
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The FINE Foundation
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Title: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Language: English
URL: http://www.ascd.org
Managing Organization: The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is an international, non-profit, non-partisan education association committed to the mission of forging covenants in teaching and learning for the success of all learners.
Type(s) of assessment: performance-based assessment, portfolio assessment, and classroom-based assessment.
Resources for Teachers: Professional Development Online, an online tutorial on performance-based assessment is one in a series of tutorials designed for teachers (both pre- and in-service), principals, curriculum directors, parents, and others. The tutorial takes only a few minutes and incorporates current articles, but ends in the ASCD bookstore.
Full text articles about all aspects of assessment are available on the site via the search engine. A search on "assessment resources" found the full text of A Teacher's Guide to Performance-Based Learning and Assessment, and articles such as: Making Sure That Assessment Improves Performance; Moving from Seat Time to Mastery: One District's System (a case study); Implementing Performance Assessment in the Classroom, and Using Assessment to Improve Learning.
A section called Hot Topics lists bibliographic resources on selected topics, which currently includes portfolio assessment. Both ERIC abstracts and ASCD resources are presented.
At the sites Reading Room, users can download journals and newsletters such as the ASCD Internet newsletter, Education Bulletin, which covers assessment. Also available online are the Journals Educational Leadership, the Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, and six different newsletters.
Links: Web Wonders includes a listing of US based sites addressing different aspects of assessment.
The Organization: ASCD is an international, non-profit, non-governmental and non-partisan organisation that provides professional development in curriculum and pedagogical leadership; interacts with its members through grassroots relations and networking, leadership forums, and active collaborations.
Comments: This site has valuable free information on assessment, but also serves to market the publications of ASCD. ASCD does have an international site, which seems to still be in development, as is their new Assessment Consortium site which can be accessed via their web links page, Web Wonders.


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Title: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
URL: http://www.pisa.oecd.org
Language: Site in English, some materials available in both English and French. Some links are to national PISA programs which are in host country language.
Managing Organization: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Member countries are from Europe, North and South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Type(s) of assessment: This site describes an international collaborative effort to develop a method of assessing students that is valid across countries, that measures relevant skills and is based on authentic life. PISA is a standardised assessment being conducted by OECD in 32 countries on students' life competencies, to be repeated in three-year cycles. The study assesses, with pencil and paper tests, reading literacy (in 2000), mathematical literacy (2003) and scientific literacy (2006), of 15-year-olds and will then concentrate on the value of the skills acquired by testing performance in real-life situations.
Resources for Teachers: Teachers can access survey results on this site for comparison purposes.
Study outcomes that will be made available include a basic profile of knowledge and skills among students at the end of compulsory schooling, contextual indicators relating student results to school characteristics, and trend indicators showing how results change over time.
Publications available on-line in PDF format describe the study in detail, and include PISA newsletters, brochures, and assessments as well as manuals and technical documents for survey implementers. New publication available, Measuring Student Knowledge and Skills: A New Framework for Assessment.
Links: To participant national sites, in host country languages, and to sites of members of PISA consortium.
Comments: The results of the study trials are being used to select items that contribute to indicators of useful skills and knowledge and that are internationally valid for making comparisons of students in different countries.


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Title: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Regarding Assessment, Evaluation and Research Information.
URL: http://ericae.net/
Language: English, users can search the site in German or Spanish.
Managing Organization: United States Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, located at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Type(s) of assessment: All
Resources for teachers: Vast resources all geared towards assessment include an assessment search engine, database of abstracts, list serve, full-text library of articles and books, on-line journal, and how-to materials for practitioners.
  • Assessment and Evaluation on the Internet. A search engine of assessment resources across the Internet. The resources are carefully organised and annotated.
  • ERIC/AE Abstracts in Progress - an experimental database of abstracts for the most recent articles and papers on assessment, evaluation, research methods and learning theory.
  • K12ASSESS-L Listserv - K12ASSESS-L provides educators with a fast, convenient, and topical electronic discussion forum focusing on issues related to educational assessment in grades K-12.
  • Full Text Internet Library - carefully selected and organised links to the best full-text books, reports, journal articles, newsletter articles and papers on the Internet that address educational measurement, evaluation and learning theory. (addresses performance based assessment, classroom assessment, large scale assessment and rationales and approaches)
  • Practical Assessment Research and Evaluation - an on-line journal provides education professionals access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practice, especially at the local education agency (LEA) level. Focus is on the latest techniques.
  • How-to Series - on-line, full-text books and booklets addressing practical evaluation, research, measurement, and statistical issues.
Links: A very comprehensive collection of annotated links to the best sites on the internet that address educational assessment, evaluation and research.
Comments: Appears to be one of the best resources on the web for assessment and education in general.


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Title: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
URL: http://www.cse.ucla.edu
Language: English
Managing Organization: U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
Type(s) of assessment: Performance assessment, classroom assessment, assessment design, assessing students with disabilities, standards based accountability, LAUSD assessment (a methodology being developed at UCLA for the Los Angeles Unified School District).
Resources for teachers: Features listed below highlight information about assessment.
Library: CRESST Technical Reports available in Acrobat PDF format; Quarterly newsletter (CRESST Line) register to receive this on-line for free, access back issues; sample performance assessments for history, science, and mathematics are available for (based on California standards.) Items are available in English-Language Arts for k-3, and Mathematics for k-8; scoring rubrics are available, as are policy briefs. Guidebook series available in PDF includes: Assessing the Whole Child Guidebook, CRESST Performance Assessment Models, Los Angeles Learning Center Assessment Guidebook, Los Angeles Learning Center Standards Guidebook Portfolios and High Technology Guidebook, and the Writing What You Read Guidebook.(Books, monographs and videos available for purchase.)
Ask the Expert feature promises to promptly answer your questions regarding assessment and educational reform.
The Parents Page contains links, articles and Web sites about assessment information for parents of K-12 age children, as well as links to US Regional Education Labs.
Download conference presentations from the October 2000, APEC Conference on Assessment. Presentations by senior researchers can be downloaded in powerpoint format.
Links: To US Department of Education, clearinghouses (ERIC), educational resources, professional organisations, science and math assessment sites and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (12 RD sites.)
The Organization: CRESST, a unique partnership of UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and it's Center for the Study of Evaluation., conducts research on important topics related to K-12 educational testing. The CRESST mission focuses on the assessment of educational quality, addressing persistent problems in the design and use of assessment systems to serve multiple purposes.
Comments:


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Title: www.4teachers
URL: http://www.4teachers.org/
Language: English, some Spanish
Managing Organization: High Plains Regional Technology In Education Consortium (HPR*TEC), based at the University of Kansas
Type(s) of assessment: Alternative assessment, authentic assessment, rubrics, special needs assessment, and portfolios.
Resources for teachers: This site is organised into four sections: Stars (success stories), Professional Development, Tools, Integrating Technology. Most of the assessment information and resources are found under Professional Development. From the Professional Development section three features are particularly relevant: TRACKSTAR, information on student assessment, and information on technology assessment and impact. All three offer concisely described links to resources in the form of articles, reports, studies, list-serve discussion groups, and distance education opportunities.
The TRACKSTAR features "tracks that other teachers have found useful" web links address the sub themes of: Alternative Assessments, Portfolios Assessment, Grading Alternatives Assessment and IEPs, Educational Portfolios, Electronic Portfolios and Piaget. Standardised testing links explore certification resources, information about standardised testing, types of standardised tests (their pros and cons) etc.
The section on Student Assessment links the user to resources on using learning indicators, using rubrics, special needs assessment, and using portfolios.
The section on Technology Assessment and Impact addresses assessing technology planning, assessing web resources, assessing technology impact, and evaluations and reports.
Links: Links serve as the basis for the content of this site, although the focus is on the subject matter and far less on the site that the user is gleaning the information from. Link to over 200 school websites.
Comments: This is a general resource site for teachers with a very strong focus and extensive content on assessment. US focus but many links lead to resources in Canada, Australia and Europe.


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Title: The International Association for the Evaluation of Academic Achievement
URL: http://www.iea.nl/
Language: English, selected IEA study information also available in German and Spanish
Managing Organization: The IEA is a non-profit international scientific society licensed in Belgium for the purpose of pedagogical research world-wide.
Type(s) of Assessment: Student assessments conducted on a global basis, program quality assessment.
Resources for Teachers: IEA assessment research studies described including The Third International Math and Science Study or TIMSS-R, and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, or PIRLS. Study instruments and procedures for both studies are clearly detailed. International achievement reports and technical reports in PDF format can be accessed and reviewed. Information is housed at the TIMSS International Study Center web-site at Boston College.
The TIMMS 99 study measured trends in student's math and science achievement around the world. The following international achievement reports can be downloaded in PDF format:
  • TIMSS 1999 International Mathematics Report, Findings from IEA's Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade.
  • TIMSS 1999 International Science Report, Findings from IEA's Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade.
And technical reports:
  • TIMSS 1999 Technical Report, Description of the methods and procedures used in IEA's Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the eighth grade.
The site promises more technical reports to be made available on-line over the next couple of months.
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, or PIRLS, is an international study measuring progress in literacy among fourth graders. The study also gathers information about home and school factors associated with learning to read. Users can download the PIRLS 2001 framework. Links: The IEA research information on the assessment studies is largely housed at linked sites. Participating Countries: from Africa, Asia, Oceana/Australia, North America, Europe, South America, Middle East.
Comments: IEA is an independent, international cooperative of research centers. Its mission is to conduct comparative studies that focus on educational policies and practices so as to enhance learning within and across systems of education. IEA studies are conducted on an international basis, They focus on educational policies and practices, thereby enabling the development of a conceptual framework that clarifies issues, suggests appropriate methods of investigation and uses those analytic tools that best elucidate key factors and issues related to student achievement.


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Title: Effective Schools and Teachers
URL: http://www1.worldbank.org/education/est/
Language: English
Managing Organization: World Bank Group, UK Department for International Development and the National Foundation for Educational Research for England and Wales.
Type(s) of assessment: General, diagnostic assessment.
Resources for teachers: Examines effective teaching and learning, which is divides into eight separate domains, one of which is "Curriculum, Assessment, Instructional Aids."
Supporting information on assessment is categorised under topic articles, case studies, checklists and other tools, references and bibliographic resources, training and presentations, and links. Case studies, the most numerous resource, include:
The sites search engine searches the World Bank project database, World Bank Reports, and Publication Abstracts.
Links: To the World Bank Global Distance EducationNet (Global DistEdNet) a strong search feature that yielded many articles on assessment.
Comments: The focus of this site is ways to create conditions for effective teaching. The site is divided into two main areas. The first introduces key ideas about effective schooling and teaching, it then examines the basis for ideas of effectiveness in education. Unfortunately the site is not very well organized, but it does offer a tremendous amount of information.


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Title: The International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks
URL: http://www.nfer.ac.uk/risheets/caq.htm
Language: English
Managing Organization: National Foundation for Educational Research
Type(s) of Assessment:
Resources for Teachers: This site probably has more value for the researcher or policy specialist. It describes the goals and methods of this study, a review of assessment frameworks in 17 countries, and a comparison with that of the UK. Papers about the study are available online, including:
Comments: The International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks comprises comparative descriptions of the education system in 16 countries. It is intended to inform the Qualification and Curriculum Authority's review of curriculum and assessment in England and to provide a context for interpreting the findings of international surveys.


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Title: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Assessment Library
URL: http://www.nwrel.org/eval/library/
Language: English
Managing Organization: United States Department of Education
Type(s) of Assessment: Alternative
Resources for Teachers: a wealth of resources for US-based teachers on assessment. The site translates research materials into resources and services on assessment of educational results. Resources include:
  • News and Upcoming Events. Information on institutes and workshop information for events scheduled throughout the country.
  • Six Traits of Reading Confidently and consistently assess student reading using a six-trait assessment scoring guide, giving readers the language and thinking skills to talk about texts with insight and purpose.
  • Oral Communication Assessment An approach to oral communication assessment and instruction which reinforces both academic and career-related communication competencies.
  • Creating Writers: Spanish A resource for the Creating Writers: Spanish (La creación de escritores: Español), institutes sponsored by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL).
  • Assessment Resource Library Search through NWREL's Resource Library with this search engine.
  • Library in the Sky NWREL's nationally-recognized comprehensive database of online educational resources and Web sites.
  • Toolkit98 Toolkit98 is designed to assist classroom teachers to become better assessors of student learning. The primary users of Toolkit98 are intended to be those who have responsibility to coordinate and facilitate professional development in assessment for teachers.
Comments: US focus.


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Additional Web Links Related to Assessment

Title: Internet Learning Network
URL: http://www.getsmarter.org/iln/parents_index.html (for parents and educators) http://www.getsmarter.org/index.cfm (for students)
Language: English
Managing Organization: In connection with The International Association for the Evaluation of Academic Achievement, this site is based on the results of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
Resources for Teachers: Teachers can direct students to this self-assessment site for students of science and math in grades k-12. It allows students to compare their performance with that of students in countries around the world. The site includes hints, tutorials and links to other sites to improve performance.

Title: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
URL: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/pathwayg.htm
Language: English
Resources for Teachers: Information addresses critical issues in assessment, provides supporting materials (essays) and additional resources including Internet links.
Comments: a rich resource site, US focused.

Title: Alberta Assessment Consortium
URL: http://www.aac.ab.ca/related.html
Language: English
Comments: This is a member's only resource site for Alberta teachers. Of value is their resource links page.

Title: The FINE Foundation
URL: http://www.iptv.org/finelink/hotlinks.html
Language: English
Comments: A list of Internet resources on student assessment.


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