Categories for Effective Instruction

What do we know about standardized testing?

May 19, 2021

Standardized Testing and the Controversy Surrounding It. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general understanding of standardized testing as well as the current controversy surrounding it, particularly in the context of performance-based accountability systems. The overview addresses the following questions related to standardized testing:

  • What do stakeholders need to understand about standardized testing?
  • What is the history of standardized tests and how have the tests been used?
  • What are the reasons for the current controversy over standardized testing?

Citation: Polster, P.P., Detrich, R., & States, J., (2021). Standardized Testing: The Controversy Surrounding It. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/student-standardized-tests.

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/student-standardized-tests

 


 

How can I use formative assessment to plan instruction and help students drive their own learning?

May 18, 2021

Teachers’ Essential Guide to Formative Assessment. This article offers information on how to implement formative assessments that will enhance student performance. The author defines formative assessment and highlights the benefits a teacher can expect when effectively implementing ongoing progress monitoring in the classroom. Formative assessment is defined, tips summarized to guide teachers in selecting the proper assessment tool for the task, and practical techniques for educators to consider are included for how to maximize the effectiveness of formative assessments.

Citation: Knowles, J. (2020). Teachers’ Essential Guide to Formative Assessment.

Link: https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/teachers-essential-guide-to-formative-assessment

 


 

How do I effectively use formative and summative assessments in the classroom?

May 18, 2021

Playing like you practice: Formative and Summative Techniques to Assess Student Learning. This chapter offers a practical review of formative and summative assessment techniques, the evidence for their effectiveness in the classroom, and provides concrete strategies and resources for a range of classroom contexts and formats. The formative assessment techniques can be incorporated into virtually any class, in-person or online. Each of these strategies are adaptable to many different course contexts and virtually any topic. The most common form of summative assessment is the multiple-choice exam. Beyond examinations, summative assessment can involve a wide range of projects and other written assignments. At the most complex and challenging end of the spectrum of summative assessment techniques, the portfolio involves a collection of artifacts of student learning organized around a particular learning outcome.

Citation: Beers, M. J. (2020). Formative and Summative Techniques to Assess Student Learning. High impact teaching for sport and exercise psychology educators.

Link: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4XvgDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT96&dq=summative+and+formative+student+assessment&ots=IHIr0ooPku&sig=Gz4NZofIwfhfPDSj36euGJcvxHw#v=onepage&q=summative%20and%20formative%20student%20assessment&f=false

 


 

What Does the Research Say About Testing?

May 17, 2021

For many teachers, the image of students sitting in silence filling out bubbles, computing mathematical equations, or writing timed essays causes an intensely negative reaction. Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002 and its 2015 update, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), every third through eighth grader in U.S. public schools now takes tests calibrated to state standards, with the aggregate results made public. In a study of the nation’s largest urban school districts, students took an average of 112 standardized tests between pre-K and grade 12. The pushback on high-stakes testing has also accelerated a national conversation about how students truly learn and retain information. This paper acknowledges the validity of teachers concerns, but discusses the need for well-designed classroom tests and quizzes and standardized exams.

Citation: Berwick, C. (2019). What Does the Research Say About Testing? Marin County, CA: Edutopia.

Link: https://www.edutopia.org/article/what-does-research-say-about-testing

 


 

How can teachers effectively assess students skills when returning to school after Covid-19?

May 12, 2021

Back-to-school metrics: How to assess conditions for teaching and learning and to measure student progress during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest is featuring a blog series addressing the many challenges that educators, caregivers, and students are facing. In this post, Susan Bowles Therriault, Ed.D., a managing researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), describes school- and classroom-level metrics that administrators and teachers can use to assess teaching and learning conditions and measure student progress and engagement in a remote or hybrid learning setting. 

Citation: Therriault, S. B. (2020). Back-to-school metrics: How to assess conditions for teaching and learning and to measure student progress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regional Education Laboratory Program (REL).

Link: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/midwest/blogs/back-to-school-metrics-covid.aspx

 


 

What teacher prerequisites need to be in place for using formative assessment in their classroom practice?

May 12, 2021

Formative assessment: A systematic review of critical teacher prerequisites for classroom practice. Formative assessment has the potential to support teaching and learning in the classroom. This study reviewed the literature on formative assessment to identify prerequisites for effective use of formative assessment by teachers. The results show that (1) knowledge and skills (e.g., data literacy), (2), psychological factors (e.g., social pressure), and (3) social factors (e.g., collaboration) influence the use of formative assessment. The prerequisites identified can inform professional development initiatives regarding formative assessment, as well as teacher education programs.

Citation: Schildkamp, K., van der Kleij, F. M., Heitink, M. C., Kippers, W. B., & Veldkamp, B. P. (2020). Formative assessment: A systematic review of critical teacher prerequisites for classroom practice. International Journal of Educational Research, 103, 101602.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883035520300082

 


 

What impact does formative assessment have on inquiry skills in science instruction?

May 12, 2021

Formative Assessment As A Tool To Enhance The Development Of Inquiry Skills In Science Education. Formative assessment (FA) is considered a powerful tool to enhance learning. However, there have been few studies addressing how the implementa- tion of FA influences the development of inquiry skills so far. This research intends to determine the efficacy of teaching using FA in the development of students’ inquiry skills. 

Citation: Ganajová, M., Sotáková, I., Lukáč, S., Ješková, Z., Jurková, V., & Orosová, R. (2021). Formative Assessment As A Tool To Enhance The Development Of Inquiry Skills In Science Education. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 20(2), 204.

Link: https://www.proquest.com/openview/4bb3a5d830d061f88f2bd018b6f08304/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=4477238

 


 

How important is assessment during Covid-19?

May 5, 2021

NEPC Review: “Student Assessment During COVID-19. School closings and the ever-increasing number of deaths provide the backdrop for a proposal by the Center for American Progress (CAP) to deny waivers of the federally mandated administration of standardized tests in spring 2021. Further, the federal government proposes to add to those assessments in ways that CAP argues would make the test results more useful. In its recent report, CAP sides with the Department of Education’s policy of denying such requests for waivers, and it calls for additional assessments that “capture multiple as- pects of student well-being, including social-emotional needs, engagement, and conditions for learning” as well as supplementary gathering of student information. The report contends this will ensure greater equity in the time of the pandemic, supposedly through the addition of the new measures to annual assessments. 

Citation: Glass, G.V., Mathis, W.J., & Berliner, D.C. (2020). NEPC Review: “Student Assessment During COVID-19.” Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved May 5, 2021 from http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/pandemic-assessment

Link: https://nepc.colorado.edu/sites/default/files/reviews/NR%20Berliner-Glass-Mathis_0.pdf

 


 

What are the costs of providing effective coaching?

April 14, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness of Instructional Coaching: Implementing a Design-Based, Continuous Improvement Model to Advance Teacher Professional Development. Schools devote substantial resources to teacher professional development each year. Yet studies show much of this investment is directed toward ineffective short-term workshops that have little impact on instructional change or student outcomes. At the same time, more intensive job-embedded forms of professional learning, such as instructional coaching, require substantially more resources than traditional professional development. The authors report the results of a two-year study assessing the cost-effectiveness of instructional coaching through a design-based, continuous improvement research model. Our findings suggest that coaching programs can become more cost-effective over time, as coaches and teachers refine their work together. 

Citation: Knight, D. S., & Skrtic, T. M. (2020). Cost-Effectiveness of Instructional Coaching: Implementing a Design-Based, Continuous Improvement Model to Advance Teacher Professional Development. Journal of School Leadership, 1052684620972048.

Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1052684620972048

 


 

What does the research inform educators about professional development?

April 13, 2021

The Effects Of High-Quality Professional Development On Teachers And Students. This study includes an analysis of 52 randomized controlled trials evaluating teacher development programs, in order to establish their impact on pupil and teacher outcomes. The results suggest continued professional development has a significant effect on student learning.

Citation: Fletcher-Wood, H. and Zuccollo, J. (2020). The Effects Of High-Quality Professional Development On Teachers And Students: A Rapid Review and Meta-analysis. London, UK: Education Policy Institute. https://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/EPI-Wellcome_CPD-Review__2020.pdf

Link: https://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/EPI-Wellcome_CPD-Review__2020.pdf