Technology Based Assessment



What is assessment?

Assessment is the process of collecting information from students about their learning experience. Classroom assessment can range from student observations to administering quizzes and tests. An assessment can provide answers to important questions like: Are students learning? Are teachers teaching effectively? An assessment can take the form of an informal quiz, a strictly monitored exam, a portfolio or rubric of learner developed materials, or an evaluation of how the learner performs a given task (Allesi & Trollip 2001).

Technology and Assessment

With the exponential advancement in information technology, classroom assessment tools are also getting a facelift with teachers having more effective ways of assessing their students. Research provides evidence of a surge in computer products that promise to transform teaching and help the teacher in assessing his/her students with ease. Differentiating instruction can be daunting for a teacher in a traditional classroom. With technology there is a possibility to change that.

Imagine a classroom where students learned at their own pace and teachers used technology to tailor each student's learning. The School of One is one such school program being implemented in New York City public schools that teaches math to 7th graders in a unique way. "The School of One combines face-to-face instruction, software-based activities, and online lessons designed to move each new 7th grader through a defined set of math benchmarks at his or her own pace. As students enter school each morning, they view their schedules for the day on a computer monitor-similar to the arrival and departure monitors at airports-and proceed to the assigned locations. A student's schedule could include traditional lessons from a certified teacher, small-group work, virtual learning, or specific computer-based activities. After each half-day of instruction, teachers enter data on students' progress and instructional needs into a computer program that recommend the next day's tasks. Preliminary data showed significant student progress toward mastering the skills targeted in the program, officials say. The district is continuing to track participants' progress (Manzo, K 2010)".
This link provides more information on The School of One http://schoolofone.org/concept.html

This video shows Education Secretary Arne Duncan discussing the importance of technology based assessment as well as the success of the The School of One model.




Assessment in the Classroom


Traditional Assessment vs. Technology Based Assessment


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Research on Computer Based Assessment

Pelligrino, J. and Quellmalz, E. (2010) examined technology based classroom programs that provided opportunities for authentic tasks leading to integrating knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving. The researches found that such programs including science based simulations tested knowledge and inquiry process not possible by paper based booklets. The authors recommend developing "balanced, multilevel assessment systems that involve articulating relationships among curriculum-embedded, benchmark, and summative assessments that operate across classroom, district, state, national, and international levels."

Lantz, M. (2010) analyzed the the use of clickers - individual response devices that allow students to answer questions quickly and anonymously, in the classroom. More teachers are employing clickers for active learning, however, some educator consider these tools as "an amusing novelty." The researcher found that clickers if used with cognitive principles can benefit in student learning. The following are some advantages of clickers in the classroom:
  • Students become actively engaged in the lesson and give them a mental break.
  • Students get feedback of how well they understand the lesson.
  • An instructor gets a sense of how much students have grasped the concept.
  • Students who usually hesitate to participate in class are more likely to engage anonymously.

Salend, S. J. (2009) evaluated technology based assessment resources and provided the following guidelines for their integration:
  • Refine and assess technology based assessment resources to ensure that they are achieving the intended outcomes.
  • Examine student learning as well as mastery of standards.
  • Ensure there is equity in technology availability among students.
  • Reflect on the time, resources, and preparation it takes to implement these resources.
"Educators should proceed gradually, bridge the digital divide, teach students to be good digital citizens, safeguard students and their work, and keep abreast of new technologies and assessment strategies. They should also carefully evaluate the various technologies to identify those most effective, equitable, and appropriate for use by students and teachers. and determine the extent to which the use of technology-based assessment strategies align with their instructional program and curricular goals (Salend, 2009)".


Resources for Educators

Technology Based Assessment Tools - alternate to traditional assessment


Handheld Technology
Handheld computers have a great potential to aid teachers assess their students effectively. They are portable making it easier to use them just anywhere where students are learning. The following assessment software is available for handheld computers:

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/cft/resources/teaching_resources/technology/crs.htm

Wireless Generation mClass handheld assessment software simplifies maintaining running records of students' progress in reading and math.
http://www.wirelessgeneration.com/

Apple offers apps for educators that include monitoring student progress.
http://www.apple.com/education

Education Testing Service (ETS) offers assessment tools including formative assessment test bank as well as Criterion - an online writing evaluation service.
http://www.ets.org

Media-X Systems have created a software that works on all handheld devices that allow teachers to convert observations into data that can be shared with others.
http://www.media-x.com/ProductseTeacher.html

Student Response Systems integrating instruction and assessment



http://www.einstruction.com/products/student-response-systems
http://smarttech.com/us/Solutions/Higher+Education+Solutions/Products+for+higher+education/Complementary+hardware+products/SMART+Response


Educational Games
American Museum of Natural History - http://www.ology.amnh.org
http://epistemicgames.org/eg/category/games/
Funbrain http://www.funbrain.com
BrainPOP http://www.brainpop.com
PowerPoint Games - http://jc-schools.net/write/games/index.html

Blogs
http://www.edublogs.org
http://www.blogger.com

Podcasts
http://www.epnweb.org/index.php?view_mode = about

Digital Video
http://www.tech4learning.com/mediablender/index.html
iMovie - http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie
http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Home

Digital Storytelling
http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu

Wikis and Student Portfolios
http://www.pbwiki.com/education.wiki
http://www.pupilpages.com

Computer Simulations and Virtual Learning
Interactive Mathematics on the Internet - http://wims.unice.fr/wims/en_home.html
Virtual History Museum - http://vhm.msu.edu/site/default.php

Rubrics
RubiStar - http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php
Rubrics for Teachers - http://rubrics4teachers.com

Webquests
http://trackstar.4teachers.org/trackstar
http://www.webquest.org/index.php

Reading and Math Assessment
http://www.perfectionlearning.com/accelerated-reader
http://www.renlearn.com/am/
http://www.vantagelearning.com/school/products/spms/
Destination Reading and Destination Math from Houghton Mifflin
http://www.hmhinnovation.com/DR.php
http://www.hmhinnovation.com/DM.php

Online Learning and Assessment
http://castlesoftware.com/home/home.htm
http://www.writetolearn.net
Write to Learn is from Pearson that combines practice and assessment in reading comprehension with writing about what is learned. The program provides immediate feedback on various aspects of writing.



References

Salend, S. J. (2009). Technology-Based Classroom Assessments: Alternatives to Testing. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 41(6), 49-58. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Lantz, Michael E. (2010). The use of 'Clickers' in the classroom : Teaching innovation or merely an amusing novelty? Computers in Human Behavior 26.4, 556-561.
Pellegrino, J. W., & Quellmalz, E. S. (2010). Perspectives on the Integration of Technology and Assessment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43(2), 119-134. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Manzo, K. K. (2010). The Personal Approach. Education Week 16-17, 19-20.
Alessi, S. & Trollip, S. (2001). Multimedia for learning: Methods and development. New York: Allyn and Bacon.


Created By:
Sunita Tendolkar