AssessmentAssessment is the process of measuring a student's knowledge or skills.
There are two types of assessment: (1) summative assessment; and (2) formative assessment. Summative assessment is used to grade students; summative assessment is generally carried out towards the end of a course. Formative assessment is used to aid learning; it is not used for grading and is normally carried out in the early stages of a course.
A common form of formative assessment is diagnostic assessment. Diagnostic assessment measures a student's current knowledge and skills for the purpose of identifying a suitable program of learning. Self-assessment is a form of diagnostic assessment which involves students assessing themselves.
Assessment (either summative or formative) can be objective or subjective. Objective assessment is a form of questioning which has a single correct answer. Subjective assessment is a form of questioning which may have more than one current answer (or more than one way of expressing the correct answer). There are various types of objective and subjective questions. Objective question types include true/false, multiple-choice, multiple-response and matching questions. Subjective questions include extended-response questions and essays. Objective assessment is becoming more popular due to the increased use of online assessment (e-assessment) since this form of questioning a well-suited to computerisation.
Assessment should be valid and reliable. A valid assessment is one which measures what it is intended to measure. For example, it would not be valid to assess driving skills through a written test (alone); the most valid way of assessing driving skills would be through a combination of practical assessment and written test. Teachers frequently complain that some examinations do not properly assess the syllabus upon which the examination is based; they are, effectively, questioning the validity of the exam.
Reliability relates to the consistency of an assessment. A reliable assessment is one which consistently achieves the same results with the same or a similar cohort of students. Various factors affect reliability -- including ambiguous questions, too many options within a question paper, vague marking instructions and poorly trained markers.
A good assessment is valid and reliable. Note that an assessment may be valid but unreliable or reliable but invalid or unreliable and invalid. In practice, an assessment is rarely completely valid or entirely reliable.
Although validity and reliability are the main measures of an assessment, there are other considerations such as practicality (which relates to the feasibility of the assessment), fairness (which relates to its application across various cohorts - such as males and females) and authenticity (which relates to its realism).
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Conducts research on important topics related to K-12 educational testing. Affiliated with UCLA. Contains varied, interesting, professional research reports.
The Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy
An educational research organization located at Boston College in the School of Education. Focuses on fairness issues.
The Tests and the Brightest by James Fallows
Criticisms of the College Board.
A listing of current research reports about various issues and new innovations in educational testing.
National Assessment Governing Board
Provides specifics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as well as the proposed Voluntary National Tests in Reading and Math.
The Performance Indicators in Primary Schools Project (PIPS)
Based at the CEM Centre, University of Durham. It monitors the attainment, value-added and attitudes of pupils between the ages of 4 and 11 years.
ETS's Teaching and Learning Division
Promotes good teaching through licensing, advanced certification, and professional development for teachers and school administrators. Includes information on the Praxis and National Board series.
1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
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The Testing And Assessment Page For The American Psychological Association (APA)
Information on psychological testing and assessment including: finding and obtaining psychological tests, test standards and other guidelines, testing information clearinghouses, and links to other testing-related sites.
Parent Soup Education Central: Standardized Testing
Mention standardized tests and many of us freeze in our tracks. We know our kids are smart and capable, but will the tests show it? What do those scores really mean? This site includes information on K-12 as well as college admissions tests.
Standards, Testing and Accountability
This site, sponsored by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, contains a lengthy list of publications, articles, and links about educational testing as it relates to standard-setting, teacher and school accountability, and educational reform.
What Do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us?
Rand Corporation's study of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS)test scores in Texas. Includes link to Rand Corp. press release and Rand CEO's statement.
Talent Assessment, Inc.
Talent Assessment Inc., geared towards vocational evaluation, has been offering comprehensive assessment and training programs to schools and teachers, tailored to suit your school's individual needs, since 1982.
Performance Assessment Clearinghouse
Located within the Assessment Resource Center (ARC) in the University of Missouri, this database contains searchable performance assessments, complete with Adobe Acrobat Teacher's Guides.
Office of Research Measurement and Evaluation
A multifaceted educational research agency dedicated to conducting both targeted educational research focusing on issues affecting students in Arkansas and general theoretical work in statistics, testing, and educational measurement.
Question Base is a free questions editor and tester. The program must be downloaded before any questions can be identified.
Assessment and Evaluation on the Internet
An index offered by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment & Evaluation of sources pertaining to educational and psychological testing.
Eleven Plus in Buckinghamshire
Information for parents about the Buckinghamshire eleven plus secondary school selection tests.
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Assessment development and research organization. Directory of tests for a variety of age groups and subjects. Information for applicants with disabilities, research reports, conferences, careers, educational news.
National Center for Educational Assessment (NCEA)
Online and on-site tests that are aligned with state, provincial and international standards. Based in Canada. Tests for groups and individuals from grade K to 12 in a variety of subjects. Custom tests and test exchange.
Number 2 Pencil
A psychometrician's weblog devoted to standardized testing. Aimed at parents, teachers, and general readers. Includes ideas, research and news.
World Class Arena
International initiative designed to identify and assess gifted and talented students. Devised by the Department for Education and Skills in the UK. Example questions, online assessments, registration details for schools. Focuses on mathematics and problem solving.
Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre
Part of the University of Durham. Produces tests for schools and institutions, including the Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) series. Includes forum and details of projects, costs, conferences and publications.
Mary Immaculate College Reading Attainment Test (MICRA-T)
Standardized reading and mathematics attainment tests for primary schools in Ireland. Details of the standardization procedure and levels of the test. Sample tests available.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NAEP reports on U.S. student performance with comprehensive information about what students at grades 4, 8, and 12 know and can do in various subject areas.
NCEO--Minnesota Report 7
A compendium of research and resources for testing students with disabilities.
Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation
Referreed, full-text on-line journal whose purpose is to provide education professionals access to relevant articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practices.
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