Topic 4: Formal assessment. Application Of Norm-referenced Tests & Criterion –Referenced Tests. ASSESSMENT. Informal assessment Formal assessment. Informal Assessment. Informal assessment
Application Of Norm-referenced Tests & Criterion –Referenced Tests
Formal assessments are used "to assess overall achievement, to compare a student's performance with others at their age or grade, or to identify comparable strengths and weaknesses with peers" (Weaver, 2007, p. 1).
Many students get nervous while taking formal assessments and may not perform as well.
Rely on multiple choice questions, i.e. with this form, students are never required to come up with their own answers, but to select the best from a list.
It cannot measure the depth of a student's knowledge.
NRT refers to a pattern/average regarded as typical for a specific group.
They have standardized, formal procedures for administering, timing and scoring.
They have been "normed“/administered to a representative sample of similar age/grade level students so that final test results can be compared to students of similar characteristics.
Percentile scoresindicate a student’s position relative to the group. E.g. a student scoring in the 95th percentile, means that the student scored higher than 95 percent of similar students.
Grade Equivalent Scores are used mainly in elementary schools. They convert a student’s raw scores to the grade level equivalent to the student’s score. Eg., a fifth grade student who scores the following: math 5.6, language arts 6.7, and science 7.4 may not necessarily be ready to skip a grade because the material on the test probably does not include sixth and seventh grade material.
Standard Scoresderived from raw scores by making use of the norming information obtained when the test was developed. Standard scores inform you about how far above or below the average, or mean, your student’s score falls.
They assume statistical rigor in that they are reliable (i.e., dependable and stable) and valid (i.e., measure what they are reported to measure);
The quality of test items is generally high, i.e. they are developed by test experts, pilot tested, and undergo revision prior to publication and use.
Administration procedures are standardized & test items are designed to rank examinees for the purpose of placing them in specific programs/ instructional groups.
Provide meaningful information regarding average performance, eg., in a particular school/district. i.e can decrease the likelihood of bias in educational decision-making because a student's test performance is compared to other students whose demographic and background factors are similar.
Opportunity to compare data on students' educational outcomes to instructional curricula to which students have already been exposed.
Useful in facilitating decisions such as identifying the educational needs of students, determining standards for student progress, and identifying and making decisions about students' eligibility.
These norms are useful for identifying students at risk for school failure.
The test items is seldom aligned with curricular content taught in educational settings (with the exception of locally normed tests) –
By right, the items on a NRT should correspond to the content of the curriculum taught in a classroom.
Results of a NRT devoid of content validity make it difficult to determine effective interventions that are needed for a student experiencing academic and/or behavioral challenges.
NRTs do not allow for monitoring academic progress over an extended period of time; instead, they provide an index of achievement or performance in comparison to a norm group at one specific point in time.
The conclusions based on the examinee's test performance may be misleading due to the disparities that exist between examinees and the norm group in terms of skills and experiences.
“When a child's general background experiences differ from those of the children on whom a test was standardized, then the use of the norms of that test as an index for evaluating that child's current performance or for predicting future performances may be inappropriate” (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1991, p. 18).
students are tested on their mastery of skills;
the tests are based upon common developmental ranges;
they help the teacher plan according to the child’s needs for classroom instruction;
the assessment could be used over a developmental age span to determine a child’s growth in acquiring skills as a response to intervention;
the measure intelligence;
teacher’s response to intervention guides their instruction.
It does not allow comparing the performance of students in a particular location with national norms. For example, a school would be unable to compare 5th grade achievement levels in a district, and therefore be unable to measure how a school is performing against other schools.
It is time-consuming and complex to develop. Teachers will be required to find time to write a curriculum and assessments with an already full work-load. It might require more staff to come in and help.
It costs a lot of money, time and effort. Creating a specific curriculum incur extra cost & time - to hire more experienced staff; and most likely the staff will have to be professionals who have experience.
Needs efficient leadership & collaboration, and lack of leadership can cause problems - eg. if a school is creating assessments for special ed students with no well-trained professionals, they might not be able to create assessments that are learner-centered.
It may slow the process of curriculum change if tests are constantly changed. Hard for curriculum developers to know what is working/not working because tests tend to be different from one school to another. May require years of collecting data to know what is working and what is not.