Effective Student Assessment andEvaluation in the ClassroomKNOWLEDGE SKILLS ATTRIBUTES
ALBERTA EDUCATION CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION DATAEffective Student Assessment and Evaluation in the Classroom: Knowledge and Skills and Attributes.ISBN 0 – 7785 – 4747 – 71. Teachers -- Training of -- Alberta.2. Teaching -- Alberta -- Standards. 3. Educational tests and measurements-- Alberta. 4. Grading and marking (Students) -- Alberta. 5. Students -- Rating of -- Alberta.LB3058.C2.E27 2006371.27For more information contact:Teacher Development and Certification BranchAlberta Education44 Capital Boulevard10044 – 108 Street N.W.Edmonton, AlbertaT5J 5E6Telephone: (780) 427-2045 – to be connected toll-free call 310-0000Fax: (780) 422-4199A PDF version of this document is available on the Council of Alberta Teaching Standards (COATS) website at:http://www.teachingquality.ab.ca/resources/This document is intended for:1. ACADEMIC STAFF - FACULTIES OF EDUCATION2. GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS - FACULTIES OF EDUCATION3. SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS4. SUPERINTENDENTS5. TEACHERSCopyright 2006, the Crown in Right of Alberta, as represented by the Minister of Education,Alberta Education, Teacher Development and Certification Branch, 44 Capital Boulevard, 10044 – 108 Street N.W., Edmonton, Alberta,Canada T5J 5E6Every effort has been made to provide proper acknowledgement of original sources. If cases are identified where this has not beendone, please notify Alberta Education so appropriate corrective action can be taken.Permission is given by the copyright owner to reproduce this document, or any part thereof, for education purposes and on a non-profitbasis, with the exception of materials cited for which Alberta Education does not own copyright.
OverviewEffective Student Assessment and Evaluation inprovide a foundation for more in-depththe Classroom: Core Knowledge and Skills andinformation gathering and research aboutAttributes (Effective Student Assessment) is theways that Alberta teacher professionalproduct of a collaborative effort among Alberta’sdevelopment institutions and professionalbasic education stakeholders. The purpose of thedevelopment providers may further enhancedocument is to more clearly articulate the studentthe quality of teaching in Alberta byassessment knowledge, skills and attributesstrengthening education graduates’ studentexpected under the Teaching Quality Standardassessment competencies.Ministerial Order of applicants for Alberta interimThe document presents a snapshot of current,professional teacher certification.sound student assessment practices. All thoseThe document aims to:involved in its preparation recognize thatstudent assessment is a dynamic field that isserve as a statement of the repertoire of studentconstantly evolving; therefore, any guide toassessment principles and core knowledge,student assessment like this document must beskills and attributes that all Alberta teacherperiodically revisited and revised.preparation institutions, each in their uniquemanner, are expected to provide to theirThe Expert Committee’s final draft was reviewedgraduates;by 32 attendees at the 2005 Colloquium onStudent Assessment (Colloquium) that includedinform prospective employers about the studentrepresentatives of Alberta teacher preparationassessment principles and core knowledge, skillsprograms, the Alberta Assessment Consortium,and attributes they may reasonably expect ofthe College of Alberta School Superintendentsrecent Alberta, Bachelor of Education graduates(CASS), the Alberta Teachers’ Associationas they begin their teaching careers;(ATA) and Alberta Education. On the basis oftheir review, Colloquium attendees suggestedprovide a summary of the core studenta number of amendments to the Expertassessment principles, knowledge and skillsCommittee’s draft. These suggestions focusedwhich teachers, school authorities, professionalprimarily not on substance but rather urgeddevelopment providers and others may usegreater emphasis on specific issues, for example,when planning and developing professionalthe important role of teachers’ professionalgrowth opportunities for beginning and otherjudgment in assessment for student learning.teachers; andE F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O Mi
The Working Committee on the Efficacy ofTeacher Preparation Programs and BeginningTeachers’ Opportunities for Professional Growth(Working Committee) duly considered suggestionsarising from the Colloquium and has made everyeffort to reflect them in this document while atthe same time maintaining the substance of theExpert Committee’s content.AcknowledgementsThe Expert Committee developed initial drafts ofEXPERT COMMITTEE CHAIR:the document while the Working Committee wasDr. W. Todd Rogers, University of Albertaresponsible for final editing and preparing theEXPERT COMMITTEE MEMBERS:document for publication.Dr. Nola Aitken, University of LethbridgeDale Armstrong, University of AlbertaiiDr. John Hull, King’s University CollegeDr. Joanne Neal, Concordia University CollegeDr. Hsing Chi Wang, University of CalgaryDr. Ian Winchester, University of CalgaryWORKING COMMITTEE CHAIR:Dr. Mark Swanson, Alberta EducationWORKING COMMITTEE MEMBERS:Dr. Fern Snart, University of AlbertaDr. Hans Smits, University of CalgaryDr. June McConaghy, Concordia University CollegeDr. Craig Loewen, University of LethbridgeDorothy Stanley, Alberta Teachers’ AssociationJerry Zimmer, College of Alberta School SuperintendentsDr. John Burger, Alberta EducationLaurette Setterlund, Alberta EducationE F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M
Table of ContentsOVERVIEW . iBACKGROUND . 1GLOSSARY OF TERMS . 3PROCEDURE . 7NATURE AND ROLE OF STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION . 9The Need for Student Assessment and Evaluation . 9Student Assessment and Evaluation Depend on Professional Judgment . 11iiiCORE STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATIONKNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS . 13A. Purposes of Classroom Assessment and Evaluation . 13B. Developing Classroom Assessment and Evaluation Methods . 15C. Selecting Classroom Assessment and Evaluation Methods . 18D. The Nature and Characteristics of External Testing and ExaminationPrograms . 20E. Analyzing and Using the Results of Classroom Assessments, ProvincialAchievement Tests, and Diploma Examinations . 23F. Communicating and Reporting Assessment Information and Results . 25SUMMARY . 27REFERENCES USED TO PREPARE THE REPORT . 29LIST OF RESOURCES . 31E F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M
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BackgroundSection 18(1) of the School Act for the Provinceassessment instruments including provincialof Alberta sets out the duties that teachers mustassessment instruments, and how to use theperform while providing instruction to or in theresults for the ultimate benefit of students.supervision of students. Included in this set of(Teaching Quality Standard Ministerial Order,duties is the requirement that teachers must1997)“regularly evaluate students and periodically reportUnder a Memorandum of Agreement aboutthe results to the students, the students’ parentsteacher certification between the Ministerand the board” (Section 18(1) (e); Province ofof Education and appropriate officials of theAlberta School Act, Chapter S-3, p. 24). Congruentuniversities and university colleges offeringwith this section of the Act, a series of 17teacher preparation programs in Alberta, theknowledge, skills, and attributes (KSAs) expectedMinister periodically reviews the efficacy of theseof applicants for interim professional teacherteacher preparation programs and beginningcertification were identified in the Teacher Qualityteachers’ opportunities for professional growth.Standard Ministerial Order #016/97 to guide theThe information and findings gathered from eachdesign of teacher preparation programs in Alberta.review serves as the basis for recommendationsKSA 2(k) refers, in broad terms, to the assessment,about ways to further enhance the quality ofevaluation, and communication knowledge, skills,teaching in Alberta that the Minister may makeand attributes beginning teachers are expected toto individuals in the universities and university/possess upon completion of a teacher preparationcolleges responsible for the teacher educationprogram:preparation programs and individuals in the fieldAs situations warrant, teachers who hold anresponsible for professional development.Interim Professional Certificate are expected toThe Working Committee represents teacherdemonstrate consistently that they understand:preparation institutions and key education1the purposes of student assessment. Theystakeholders in Alberta and directs and managesknow how to assess the range of learningthe periodic reviews on behalf of the Minister.objectives by selecting and developing aThe first of these reviews was completed invariety of classroom and large scale assessmentMarch 20021. The Working Committee’s report,techniques and instruments. They know how toEfficacy of Alberta Teacher Preparation Programsanalyse the results of classroom and large scaleand Beginning Teachers’ Professional GrowthA survey of teacher education graduates was completed as part of this review. The graduates were asked to indicate their perceptions of thedegree to which the teacher preparation program they completed prepared them in terms of each of the 17 KSAs.E F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M1
Opportunities (Efficacy Report), was presentedWorking Committee appointed an Expertto the Council on Alberta Teaching StandardsCommittee to develop a document that describes(COATS). COATS reviewed the 2002 report andthe core student assessment, evaluation, andprovided a set of recommendations to the Minister.communication knowledge, skills, and attributesthat are essential to meet KSA2(k).Among the recommendations made by COATS wasthat the Working Committee focus on KSA 2(k).The present document is a report of the work ofStudent assessment was one of the areas identifiedthe Expert Committee. The document can be used:in the Efficacy Report in which the quality ofi. as a statement of the repertoire of studentteacher preparation and beginning teachersassessment principles and core knowledge,opportunities for professional development neededskills, and attributes (including, as appropriate,to be enhanced. The Minister accepted thismethods and approaches) all preparationrecommendation.programs in Alberta are expected to provide toConsequently the Working Group held agraduates, notwithstanding that each individualcolloquium in April 2004 at which representativesprogram may deliver the repertoire in a mannerfrom the universities and university colleges thatand using approaches unique to it;offered teacher education programs and otherii. to inform employers about the core and level ofeducation stakeholders:student assessment principles, knowledge, and2shared current philosophies and practices relatedskills that they may reasonably expect of recentto providing Alberta teacher education graduatesAlberta BEd graduates when they commencewith the student assessment, evaluation, andtheir teaching careers in the classroom;communication knowledge and skills required foriii. as the core repertoire of student assessmentinterim professional teacher certification;principles, knowledge, and skills teachersandthemselves, schools, school authorities,professional development providers, anddiscussed possible steps or activities that couldothers may use when planning and developingbe taken to improve delivery to educationprofessional growth opportunities for beginningstudents and beginning teachers competenciesand other teachers; andrelated to student assessment and evaluation.iv. to provide the framework for more in-depthParticipants’ views reflected the complexityinformation gathering and research about theof assessing and evaluating student learningways Alberta teacher preparation institutionsand communicating the findings and results toand professional development providers maythe students’ parents and guardians, and thefurther enhance the quality of teaching inchallenge of preparing beginning teachers toAlberta with respect to student assessment.perform these activities. There appeared to be a(Alberta Core Student Principles, Knowledgeshared expectation that all education graduatesand Skills Project, June 21, 2004 Draft, p. 3)should develop a common foundation of studentassessment, evaluation, and communicationknowledge and skills. Toward this end, theE F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M
Glossary of TermsTo guide the preparation of this document, the Expert Committee defined the following concepts:Assessment: Assessment is the process ofClassroom Assessment: Assessmentscollecting information about a student to aid indeveloped or chosen and used by teachersmaking an evaluation about the progress andin their classrooms to determine the progressdevelopment of a student.and achievement of the knowledge, skills, andattitudes by their students, and used to refineAssessment Method: A strategy or techniquetheir own instruction.teachers who evaluate students may use toCriterion-Referenced: Evaluation relative toacquire assessment data and information.These methods include, but are not limitedgrade level curriculum standards (learningto, observations, anecdotal notes and records,outcomes).3text- and curriculum-embedded questions andDiagnosis: Diagnosis refers to the carefultests, paper-and-pencil tests, computer adaptiveinvestigation of a condition by its symptomsand on-line tests, oral questioning, benchmarksand history for purposes of identifyingor reference sets, interviews, peer-and self-specifics of the condition, for exampleassessments, standardized criterion-referencedidentifying students’ learning issues andand norm-referenced tests, and performanceneeds, so that the condition may beassessments (e.g., writing samples, exhibitions,effectively addressed. The term also refersportfolio assessment, and project and productto the opinion which formally reports on theassessments). Several labels have been usedinvestigation and its findings.to describe subsets of these alternatives, withthe most common being “direct assessment,”Diploma Examinations Program: School exit“authentic assessment,” “performanceexaminations in selected Grade 12 courses,assessment,” and “alternative assessment.”the results from which count 50% toward theFor the purposes of the document, thefinal blended mark for each course. The mainterm assessment method has been used topurposes of these examinations are to:encompass all the strategies and techniquesthat might be used to collect information fromcertify the level of individual studentstudents about their progress toward attainingachievement in the selected Grade 12the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to becourses in which the student is enrolled andlearned.in terms of the expected learning outcomesprovided in the programs of studyE F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M
ensure that province-wide standards ofGrade Level of Achievement: A teacherachievement are maintainedjudgment, based on the results froma variety of classroom assessmentsreport individual and group results to assistthroughout the school year, expressed asschools, authorities, and the province ina whole number in relation to learningmonitoring and improving learning.outcomes in a subject area after acourse for a specific grade level has beenEvaluation: Evaluation involves making judgmentscompleted.about the quality, value, or worth of a response,product, or performance based on establishedNorm-referenced: Evaluation in relation tocriteria. Evaluations are usually based on multipleother students within a group.sources of information and can be used (i) toinform students, and their parents/guardians4Programs of Study: Alberta’s Kindergartenwhere applicable, about the progress they areto Grade 12 curriculum is outlined in legalmaking towards attaining the knowledge, skillsdocuments called programs of study.and attitudes to be learned; and (ii) to informEach document outlines why the programthe various personnel who make educationalis offered, what students are expecteddecisions (instructional, diagnostic, placement,to learn, and the basic principles aboutpromotion, graduation, curriculum planning,how students are to achieve the requiredprogram development, policy) about students.knowledge, skills, and attitudes.Formative Assessment: Assessments that takeProvincial Achievement Testing Program:place during instruction and learning to:End of year provincial achievement tests atGrades 3 (Language Arts and Mathematics)inform students, on an ongoing basis, aboutand 6 and 9 (Language Arts, Mathematics,their progress towards achieving the intendedScience, and Social Studies). The mainlearning outcomes as set out in the programspurposes of these tests are to:of studyprovide feedback to students and theiridentify the gains and difficulties students areparents/guardians on how well theexperiencing in what they are being asked tostudents have learned curriculum-basedlearn or performlearning outcomes as defined in theprograms of studyprovide specific, descriptive, and meaningfulfeedbackprovide information to teachers onmotivate students to learn by providinghow well their classes have achievedfeedback on a continuous basisthe learning outcomes set out in theprograms of study, permit comparison ofmonitor student performance toward thethe results of their own assessments toexpected learning outcomes as set out in thethe provincial achievement test results,programs of study and adjust instruction onand provide additional feedback on thethe basis of the findings where necessary.effectiveness of their teaching methodsE F F E C T I V ES T U D E N TA S S E S S M E N TA N DE V A L U A T I O NI NT H EC L A S S R O O M
provide information to principals on schoolthat the assessment used can be fairly andachievement patterns in relationship toequitably applied to different populationsprovincial results and other informationof students, ie., that for example, theavailable on overall achievement, for thelanguage used does not bias some studentsschool’s annual education results report,over others.and for setting school goals, priorities, andSummative Assessment: Assessments thattargets in their school’s education plantake place after an instructional segmentprovide to superintendents and school(e.g., group of integrated lessons, unit,trustees system-wide information onreporting period, grade) to:student achievement levels to allowdescribe the degree to which each studentcomparison with the provincial results and
to, observations, anecdotal notes and records, text- and curriculum-embedded questions and tests, paper-and-pencil tests, computer adaptive and on-line tests, oral questioning, benchmarks or reference sets, interviews, peer-and self-assessments, standardized criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests, and performance assessments (e.g., writing samples, exhibitions, portfolio assessment .