In the "Assessment and Student Learning" media segment, Dr. Stiggins presents the concept of student-centered assessment, which he contrasts with what he calls a behavior-management driven assessment system. Compare and contrast these two approaches to assessment.
Student-centered assessment and behavior-management driven assessment methods incorporate various aspects of effective student learning. Both methods focus on the individual aspects such student’s strengths and interests. This entails adjusting learning objectives, assignments and other aspects that facilitate individualized assessment. However, student-centered learning focuses on promoting learning and advancement through appropriate feedbacks to students and teachers on relevant approaches to the realization of learning objectives. Behavior-management driven assessment does clearly define this aspect. Although both methods identify the importance of student grading, student-centered assessment incorporates aspects of formative assessment. This method promotes active participation of students in goal setting regarding learning and evaluation of personal progress. It gives students some form of control over their own learning and progress and helps them to develop self-regulatory habits. Behavior-management driven assessment lacks this aspect, as its execution is largely a role of educators. Student-centered assessment and behavior-management driven assessment consider motivation as a crucial aspect in student assessment. In this regard both methods adopt aspects that motivate students during assessment to help to minimize anxiety and enhance performance (Stiggins et al., 2007). Although student-centered assessment focuses on the individual aspects of learning for a student, it does not address emotional factors relating to student learning, which is the case in behavior-management driven assessment. This method incorporates aspects such as praise in motivating student learning. It considers that emotional sobriety of a student is crucial concerning the attainment of learning objectives. Another crucial aspect of the behavior-management driven assessment is the management of confrontation within the learning environment. An environment, which supports learning, is critical concerning attainment of learning goals. This method addresses strategies that facilitate the involvement of teachers and parents in student learning. Furthermore, it describes learning as a process that requires repeated evaluation and implementation of learning objectives, which is crucial in strengthening the certainty about student’s outcome.
As Dr. Marzano discusses in the "Assessment and Student Learning" media segment, the line between instruction and assessment begins to blur when assessment is used throughout the learning experience to inform the teaching and learning process. Consider Dr. Marzano's discussion about assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Describe the differences between these types of assessment and the purposes of each.
There exist differences between assessment for learning and assessment of learning. First, assessment of learning incorporates different activities that result in the evaluation of the performance of students. An example is the allocation of the grade during learning exercise and appearance of the grade in the report. On the other hand, assessment for learning incorporates tasks that do not result in the evaluation of an individual’s performance. Teachers and learners use the information obtained through the assessment for learning to evaluate progress in relation to the learning goals and objectives rather than as a basis for assigning grades. The purpose of the assessment for learning is to create the framework upon which students can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and plan on the appropriate approach to improve on the highlighted areas. In addition, this framework is beneficial to learning administrators concerning the identification of various barriers to learning objectives, and measures that help to eliminate such barriers (Marzano, 2006). The scope of assessment for learning describes insignificant point value in its execution. The scope of assessment of learning defines a standard upon which teachers and other stakeholders in student learning evaluate performance. Unlike assessment for learning, assessment of learning has high point value.
The frequency of assessment for learning is a variable since this kind of assessment is an ongoing process. Furthermore, assessment for learning is undefined as a type of a measure due to its wide scope of operation that only focuses on the obtaining of information that benefits the learning process. On the other hand, assessment of learning adopts an approach that constitutes pre-defined intervals of evaluation. These intervals provide teachers with an opportunity to test the knowledge that they expected the students to have mastered over a particular duration. Thus, assessment of learning attaches significant importance to accountability as per the outlined objectives.
In the "Assessment Principles and Practices" media segment, Jay McTighe discusses the characteristics, uses, advantages, and limitations of different types of assessment and the concepts of validity and reliability. In light of the information provided in the media segment, compare the use of criterion-referenced assessment versus norm-referenced assessment. Then explain the concepts of validity and reliability and why these are important to the teaching practice.
Norm-referenced assessment and criterion- referenced assessment differ in various aspects, such as their objectives, manner of content selection and the scoring process. The purpose of the norm-referenced tests (NRTs) is to highlight different ranks of achievement among students and define a scope upon which instructors can grade students in a particular order, mostly from high performers to low achievers. On the other hand, criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) serve the purpose of evaluating an individual’s performance without comparing the tests taken by an individual with group performance. Thus, CRTs illustrate performance of a student in comparison to a pre-determined performance level established through the efforts of stakeholders such as educators or policymakers. This differs from the NRTs approach in which the ranking of students depends on a norm test. This affects the aspect of test selection in order to meet the criteria for the two tests. The similarity between NRTs and CRTs concerns the aspect of standardization that adopts uniform procedures to allow the comparability of performance by different individuals.
Validity and reliability are crucial aspects concerning evaluation of the achievement of learning objectives. The aspect of validity in learning objectives describes the degree to which the adopted method of assessment measures the objectives of concern. This entails the adherence of the assessment content to the objectives of learning, tests relevance to external aspects and the influence of diverse educational variables to a students’ performance. Reliability concerns aspects of stability, available alternatives and consistency in relation to learning objectives. The outcomes realized from the repeated administration of a test help instructors to establish the level of reliability for a particular assessment. Available alternatives for assessment should present similar levels of reliability in evaluating educational objectives. Consistency in this regard creates a dependable framework for accessing students. Thus, reliability and validity create an assessment framework that is free from any form of bias and distortion.
“Classroom assessment and grading practices have the potential not only to measure and report learning but also to promote it” (McTighe, 2005). Based on the article "Seven Practices for Effective Learning," describe the three categories of assessment discussed by McTighe and explain the degree to which each may promote learning.
The three categories of assessment are formative assessment, summative assessment and diagnostic assessment. Formative assessment is an ongoing process, which entails the enhancement of a learner’s level of comprehension through integration of new concepts. This process promotes aspects of immediate feedback that allows a learner to adjust behavior and understanding in accordance with stipulated objectives. In addition, formative assessment allows an instructor to modify instructional objectives and concepts to fit the level of understanding and performance among students. The flexibility associated with formative assessment enables educators to achieve optimal learning objectives while giving student control over their own performance and provides support to a wide variety of stakeholders.
Summative assessment occurs at pre-determined intervals, mostly after a certain period of learning. This method of assessment focuses on the need to obtain results that enable teachers to rank students against a defined standard. Summative assessment does not promote immediate feedback concerning a student’s performance. In addition, it does not provide an opportunity for reassessment. These features depict summative assessment as a concept that has minimal impacts concerning the ongoing enhancement of a student’s performance and understanding. However, summative assessment is critical in establishing the students’ level of performance as compared to defined standards, such as ACT. In addition, it provides a framework for benchmarking curriculums and instructions between learning intervals (McTighe & O'Connor, 2005).
Diagnostic assessment is a form of testing that occurs before the commencement of instruction. This form of assessment, which focuses on a particular field of knowledge, helps the instructors to obtain the general idea concerning students’ level of comprehension in a certain domain of knowledge. Based on the information derived from diagnostic assessment, educators can develop lesson plans and modify learning objectives to meet the needs of students. Diagnostic assessment does not facilitate the evaluation of a student during or after the learning duration. Thus, its scope largely narrows on the definition of learning objectives.