2 thoughts on “Why Do We Need Assessments?

  1. Charlie Puffers says:

    How can a computer adaptive test be considered standardized? How many adaptations are available for each right or wrong answer? Who are the people developing the questions for the tests and how are the questions normed?

    • CCER says:

      Standardizing the computer adaptive test is super complicated. Large banks of test items are developed and normed through field testing. Each question has to be evaluated to ensure that it asks what the test designers think it asks and that it produces a consistent response within a distribution of anticipated responses. The difficulty of each question also has to be determined. Only then can programers ensure that the computer is selecting appropriate items from the bank of questions at the correct level.

      In the summer and fall of 2012, Smarter Balanced worked with educators to develop assessment items and performance tasks in ELA and Math for the 2013 Pilot Test.

      In addition, Smarter Balanced has incrementally tested the content of the assessments and the technology that supports the assessments. They have completed:

      -Cognitive Labs in 2012-13: Individual students provided feedback to test developers about their experience with the innovative test questions, accommodations for students with special needs, and the testing software.
      -Small-scale Trials in 2012-13: Testing out additional questions and software features.
      -Pilot Test in Spring 2013: More than 650,000 students at about 4,000 schools across the Consortium responded to a preliminary pool of test questions and performance tasks.
      -Field Test in spring 2014: More than 4.2 million students in grades 3-8 and 11—including a small sample of students in grades 9 and 10—participated in the Field Test. The Field Test was a full practice run of the assessment system that helped ensure that test questions are accurate and fair for all students. It also gave teachers and schools a chance to gauge their readiness in advance of the first operational assessment in spring 2015.

      If you’re truly interested in learning about this process, you can learn more from this SBAC document: http://ctedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SBAC.pdf

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