Developing and Using Classroom Assessments (3rd Edition)

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9780130942043: Developing and Using Classroom Assessments (3rd Edition)

This brief, inexpensive book focuses on how to write, construct, and use assessments in the classroom. It continues to take a balanced approach to assessment, involving both traditional and innovative techniques. It includes the development and use of written tests, informal assessments, portfolios, and performance assessments. This balanced approach to assessment is what prospective teachers need when they get into the classroom. Coverage includes integrating assessments into the learning process, showing the implications of research in cognitive psychology and showing how classroom assessments can facilitate transfer of learning and development of problem solving skills. For professionals in the field of Educational Psychology or anyone interested in teaching methods.

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From the Publisher:

This inexpensive short paperback focuses on teacher development and use of a wide range of assessments. In Developing and Using Classroom Assessments, Oosterhof provides both prospective and practicing teachers with a thorough, balanced integration of theoretical principles and hands-on experiences of assessment techniques that are relevant to today's classroom.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book and the accompanying Web site provide a significant but succinct discussion of the development and use of classroom assessments. The book is designed for college courses and other settings for which a full survey textbook is inappropriate in terms of coverage and cost. Developing and Using Classroom Assessments is particularly appropriate in the following settings:

  • An educational psychology course that includes a substantive discussion of assessment
  • An integrated methods course in which assessment is taught as one of several components
  • A full-length assessment course that uses a series of readings or involves the class in extensive field experience
  • Self-study by school teachers and post-secondary instructors

FEATURES OP THIS BOOK

This book engages the reader. To illustrate, take time to page through the book and you will find numerous queries embedded in the text. Each is labeled "Apply What You Are Learning" and invites the reader to immediately apply recently learned concepts to realistic situations. Subsequent text often builds on these queries. This book also engages readers by drawing upon the considerable experience each of us has had with assessments as students and teachers. The introduction to each chapter uses familiar situations to establish relevance for issues to be addressed. Each chapter concludes with activities that connect the content of that chapter to real-world needs in the classroom.

Developing and Using Classroom Assessments also incorporates the broader context within which classroom assessments occur. For instance, the major implications of cognitive psychology to assessment are discussed throughout the book, such as the differences between declarative and procedural knowledge, the nature of problem solving, and options for assessing each. Similarly, in recognition that informal assessments represent a high proportion of classroom assessment activities, a full chapter is devoted to using informal observations and questions, and another chapter addresses their use to integrate assessment into instruction.

ORGANIZATION

Developing and Using Classroom Assessments is organized into four parts. Part I provides the teacher with a framework for assessing students. Components of this framework include determining how results of an assessment will be used, establishing the behaviors that indicate whether or not learning has taken place, gathering evidence to determine whether an assessment is valid, and establishing whether it is reasonable to generalize from observed performance to unobserved performance. These components of the assessment framework are illustrated with practical and familiar examples. This assessment framework is then applied extensively in Parts II, III, and IV of the book.

Parts II and III are concerned with the development, administration, and scoring of assessments. Part II focuses on written tests, including the essay, short-answer, and objectively scored formats. In Chapters 6 through 9, the reader learns when and how to use each format, including nontrivial attributes that should be built into each type of test item. The reader immediately practices what has been learned by critiquing a combination of well-constructed and faulty test items. Chapter 10 is concerned with helping students take written tests.

Part III focuses on alternative assessments, including informal observations and questions, performance assessments, and portfolios. Books on assessment often provide a cursory treatment of the casual observation and questioning of students, even though these informal assessments provide the basis for most formative evaluations in the classroom. Chapter 11 discusses these assessments in some detail. It identifies qualities critical to casual questioning and observation and illustrates their relevance through analogies to social interactions with which readers are very familiar. Two chapters are devoted to performance assessments. Chapter 12 addresses several factors to consider when using this powerful assessment medium, including characteristics, options for scoring, and things to do before creating each performance assessment. Chapter 13 describes in detail procedures to follow when creating performance assessments. The creation of five performance assessments is illustrated. Chapter 14 describes how to use portfolios to integrate assessment and instruction, including how to design portfolios and how to guide their use by students.

Part IV focuses on the use of assessments. Chapter 15 is concerned with integrating assessment into instruction. Particular attention is given to specific roles of assessment within cognitivist and constructivist approaches to learning. Chapter 16 describes how to report student performance to parents and others outside the classroom. Issues addressed include inferring what a student knows from what was observed, establishing performance standards, and assigning grades. Chapter 17 addresses the interpretation of students' scores on standardized tests. A significant section helps the reader evaluate common uses of standardized tests that directly affect classroom activities.

FEATURES OF THE WEB SITE

A Web site has been developed to supplement this book. Incorporating a Web site provides added flexibility, helps the book achieve relevance, and makes it easier to remain current within a rapidly evolving field. The address of the web site is www.prenhall.com/oosterhof.

The Web site is organized into three parts. The first part contains self-instructional modules and illustrations designed to supplement the book. For example, one illustration shows ways to use a word processor to produce written tests more efficiently. Another shows the effect that changing the number of observations has orb the probability of correctly categorizing student achievement. The instructional modules deal with specialized topics that often are included in an introductory measurement course. For instance, one module helps the user understand the significant effect regression often has on test scores. Another shows what correction for guessing or formula scoring does and does not accomplish. A series of modules address standard deviation and correlation along with their role in computing reliability and validity coefficients.

The second part of the Web site describes a number of course projects that relate to topics addressed in the book. Many of these projects include worked-out examples created by practicing teachers and others.

The third part of the Web site provides links to a variety of sites on the Internet associated with educational measurement, particularly those concerned with assessments in the classroom. These sites provide access to current professional papers and reports, discussion of issues, information about school testing programs, and access to listservs, software, and search engines.

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