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Innovative Assessment

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Educating Pablo: A Play About Through Course Assessment Systems

Dissecting the Conundrum of Testing Throughout the Year or Once at the End in a Conversation Between Teacher and Student

Various states have advanced through-course proposals, in which states administer tests throughout the year rather than only once at the end. Some of these proposals come through the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA). Others are externally funded initiatives or proposed as a one-time spring 2021 replacement for traditional end-of-year state tests.

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Implementing an Innovative State Assessment System While We’re Still Building It: 

Houston, I Think We Might Have a Problem

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting different results. Recently, I have been thinking about how this adage applies to innovative state assessment systems—those systems states are developing that offer new ways of measuring student proficiency for use in state accountability systems. I have concluded that one of the reasons that successful innovation in state assessment systems has been so rare is that we continue to ask states to implement innovative assessment systems before the state or the system is ready.

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Here Comes the Sun – Research and Testing Conferences are Back!

Conference Season is a Welcome Break from the Long Winter

The arrival of spring brings with it the spring 2021 conference season – another sign that we may be moving out of the extended COVID-19 winter. Among the first events canceled last spring, annual educational research and testing conferences are returning this spring, albeit with virtual formats. Center professionals welcome these opportunities to share our work with the broader academic and practice communities and to learn about the latest thinking and research that will shape our future.

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Keeping up the PACE: Evaluating Grade 8 Student Achievement Outcomes for New Hampshire’s Innovative Assessment System

This is the third in a series of posts by our 2020 summer interns and their mentors based on their project and the assessment and accountability issues they addressed this summer. Alexandra Stone, from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, worked with Carla Evans on analyses to evaluate the effects on student achievement in the NH PACE program.

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Remote Learning Provides an Opportunity to Rethink Assessment (and Learning)

COVID-19 School Closures Provide an Opportunity to Think About and Assess Learning Differently

Jal Mehta, author of In Search of Deeper Learning, was recently interviewed by Rick Hess about how to support deeper learning during the COVID-19 shutdown and remote learning.

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A Path Forward: Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization to Support Improvements in Assessment and Accountability

Starting a Discussion on How Federal Policy Can Better Support Innovation to Increase Student Learning Opportunities

Here at the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, we think a lot about the multiple factors involved in promoting student learning through more meaningful state assessment and accountability systems. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the current authorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), is the most significant influence on contemporary state assessment and accountability.  We believe a number of changes to ESEA could help promote innovation, restore balance, and improve outcomes.

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Are Test-Takers Getting the Most from Technology-Enhanced Items?

Establishing Scoring Rules to Make the Use of TEIs More Efficient and Effective

Technology-Enhanced Items (TEIs) are a kind of test question or task. A characteristic feature of TEIs is that, in contrast to traditional multiple-choice (MC) items, which require the selection or “bubbling” of a single option, TEIs generally require test-takers to make more than one interaction with the item.

The most interesting TEIs are simulations with game-like contexts. Picture a virtual laboratory where the goal is to isolate a specific compound, or a simulated garden where the test-taker can conduct an experiment to learn about (or be tested on) a concept in genetics. 

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How Can Every Educator Achieve Assessment Literacy?

Thoughts About Scaling Educational Reform Initiatives to Increase Educators’ Assessment Literacy

I am encouraged that so many educational leaders are wrestling with systematically bringing educational reforms to scale. Unfortunately, as these leaders have come to realize, achieving widespread implementation of meaningful reforms is really hard – especially when pursuing a goal of increasing assessment literacy.

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The Reality of Innovation in Educational Assessment

Part 2 – Innovation in Educational Assessment is Messy and May Have a Different Goal Than Stakeholders Would Like

This post is the follow-up to my previous post discussing the realities of innovation in large-scale educational assessment. In Part 1, I defined innovation as a change that not only improved an existing process or product, but also was found to have solved a problem or meet a need and, therefore, was adopted and used; that is, it changed the way things were done in the field.  

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The Reality Faced by Innovators of Educational Assessments

Part 1 – What Does Innovative Assessment Really Mean, and What Has Recent Assessment Innovation Looked Like?

The Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ostensibly offers states the flexibility needed to “establish, operate, and evaluate an innovative assessment system” with the goal of using that educational assessment to meet the ESSA academic assessment and statewide accountability system requirements. 

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