April 29, 2014 By Laura Greenstein, Ed.D.
300 words or less, really? How could I possibly say anything meaningful when I already just wasted 18? Okay then, if it’s about assessment, what is most important for educators to know? Would readers be more interested in a tirade about standardized testing or a thoughtful explanation of rational and balanced assessment?
Okay, I hear you; so just what is balanced assessment? Well, if I asked you which was more important: For the farmer to weigh his cows every week or to feed his cows every day, what would you say? Most agree that feeding them would be more effective for their longevity but what does this have to do with assessment?
I can answer that by asking you think about which of these questions is more relevant for teachers? Question 1. In objective testing, the term objective refers to the method of
- identifying the learning outcomes
- selecting the test content
- presenting the problem
- scoring the answers
- Technical Quality: Is it valid (measures the learning targets), reliable (results are consistent), and fair (suitable for a diverse range of learners)?
- Symbiotic: Does assessment inform teaching and does teaching supports key learning outcomes and is all of this is planned, purposeful, and responsive?
- Visible: Are the assessment targets clear to the learners and the assessment methods known to all constituents?
Would you agree that question one weighs the teachers and question two informs about their food preferences? So, next time you talk with teachers about testing and assessment, will you weigh them or adjust their nutritional routines to provide the best nourishment?