A. Defining Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment is a method of gathering information about student progress. It can take many forms.
Evaluation is the weighing of assessment information against some standard (such as a curriculum learning objective) in order to make a judgment. Evaluation leads us to make a decision about learning and provides information to take action. The assignment of a course grade is an evaluation that is based on a variety of assessments.
B. Defining the Types of Assessments
The two main types of assessment are “formative” and “summative.” In a balanced assessment system, both summative and formative assessments are an integral part of information gathering. One way to think about the two types of assessment is:
Formative Assessment is assessment for learning. We use formative assessments to influence our instructional practices for the class and for individual students. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame. The following are some types of formative assessments.
- Diagnostic test
- Classroom review activity
- Lab reports
Summative Assessment is assessment of learning. While this type of assessment can influence our instructional practice, it is a longer term influence because the assessment usually occurs at the end of an instructional period. Summative assessments happen too far down the learning path to provide information at the classroom level and to make instructional adjustments and interventions during the learning process. The following are some types of formative assessments.
- Unit test
- Final exam
- IOWA test
C. Reporting Teacher/Classroom Assessment Information to Parents
We want parents to have all the assessment information that is necessary to assist their children in their learning activities. Teachers routinely provide information on summative and formative assessments. In addition, parents receive detailed IOWA reports.
D. Reporting Information Technology/Instructional Support Formative Assessment Information to Parents
As we have developed our Information Technology and Instructional Support Programs, we have integrated other Formative assessments into our standard assessment practices. We use these assessments to provide information about children’s progress in developing skills and learning important concepts and in most cases, we use this information to determine instructional support strategies. These are the assessments with their respective grade levels.
|Program||Grade level||Assessment||Reporting Practice|
|Imagination Station – Computer based reading skills development program||K-3||The program measures progress in learning basic reading skills. The classroom and instructional support teachers use the information to provide targeted instructional support.||Imagination Station progress reports are designed for teacher use. Information will be used in parent conferences as determined by the teachers. The purpose for sharing is to assist in identifying skills that may need instructional support.|
|Diagnostic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)||K-4||This individual assessment, administered by an instructional support teacher, assists in identifying children who are not developing critical literacy skills. The classroom and instructional support teachers use the information to provide targeted instructional support to children with identified needs.||K- Information will be used in parent conferences as determined by the teachers. 1st – All parents will receive a report three times a year. When children are receiving targeted instructional support, parents will receive biweekly progress reports. 2nd – 4th – Parents of children who are eligible for support services provided by the IU 21 will receive assessment information and notification.|
|Academy of Math -Computer based mathematics skills development||4-6||Students take a diagnostic assessment to begin the program and they are assigned a learning program according to their instructional level. AOM provides remediation, skills development, and enrichment based on the individual learning programs.||Reports are typically not shared with parents unless an instructional need is identified. Note: The classroom teachers monitor student progress and assist students as appropriate.|
|Compass Learning – Computer data base of instructional activities in all major subjects||K-8||Teachers select specific instructional activities for the students. The activities can be whole class or individualized.||The Compass program does not provide assessments that are useful for parents.Teachers can report on how they are using the program for their class or students.|