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Informal Assessment Techniques

Informal Assessment Techniques. 2. Introduction. Assessment methods are often needed that are more sensitive to the specific curriculum used in the classroomInformal methods of assessment

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Informal Assessment Techniques

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    1. Informal Assessment Techniques 1 Informal Assessment Techniques Assessment in Special Education Fall 2003 Erich Merkle, M.Ed., M.A.

    2. Informal Assessment Techniques 2 Introduction Assessment methods are often needed that are more sensitive to the specific curriculum used in the classroom Informal methods of assessment – nonstandard methods of measuring student progress. Generally not norm-referenced or standardized. Provides valuable information about program planning and intervention

    3. Informal Assessment Techniques 3 Norm-Referenced Assessment Hotly debated issue in field of SPED and SPSY – whether norm-referenced tests are valid and needed anymore. Norm-referenced tests usually do not represent material from curriculum Useless for evaluating what student has learned from the specific school curriculum Tests may have inadequate content validity relative to curriculum Test bias issues (including cultural bias), over use of tests causing inflated scores Norm-referenced tests are not sensitive to academic growth like tests linked to curriculum – may miss small gains in particular Over reliance on standardized scores for diagnosis In general, the moderate opinion is that norm-referenced tests should be used along with informal measures in a multimodal, multimethod assessment process.

    4. Informal Assessment Techniques 4 Criterion Referenced Assessment Compare the performance of a student to a given criterion – established objective within the curriculum, IEP criterion, or standard of published test instrument. Most are nonstandardized or designed by a teacher, there are also standardized criterion referenced measures. Other norm-referenced measures offer criterion-related objectives (e.g. KeyMath-R, K-TEA) May need to incorporate probes – tests used for indepth assessment of a specific skill or subskill.

    5. Informal Assessment Techniques 5 Standardized Criterion-Referenced Tests: Brigance Inventories Criterion-referenced assessment at various skill levels – each contains subtests with items referenced by objectives that can be used in writing IEPs. Brigance system has 3 different instruments for the various age groups served in SPED and only areas of interest are assessed (the entire instrument is not administered in its entirety.)

    6. Informal Assessment Techniques 6 Brigance Inventories (con’t) Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Early Development Children birth to age 7 Criterion-related measurement for self-help skills, prespeech/speech development, general knowledge, social/emotional development, reading readiness, manuscript writing, and beginning math. Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Basic Skills Elementary aged students Readiness, Reading (word recog, rading, word analysis, vocabulary), Language Arts (handwriting, grammar mechanics, spelling, reference skills), Math (grade level, numbers, operations, measurement) Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Essential Skills Intermediate and secondary age students Assesses academics, everyday survival skills and vocational skills

    7. Informal Assessment Techniques 7 Teacher Made Criterion Referenced Tests Most teachers develop their own criteron-referenced tests Permits linking test to currently used curriculum When a test is directly linked to the curriculum, it is called a Curriculum-Based Assessment (CBA) and sometimes described as a Direct Measurement.

    8. Informal Assessment Techniques 8 Teacher Made Tests (con’t) Determining exact criterion for passage may be problem: Quantify such as 80% of peers have completed ______ task Use school grading policies: 75% indicates improvement needed, 85% indicates average, 95% represents mastery Easy to understand approach, e.g. 5 of 7 correct Shapiro et al topology: >95% ? mastery of objective 90% to 95% ? Instructional level 76% to 89% ? Difficult level <76% ? Failure level

    9. Informal Assessment Techniques 9 CBA & Direct Measurement Best measure of how much student has mastered curriculum should be composed of material from the curriculum or the items of actual curriculum tasks from daily instruction Designing CBM Must determined what skills/concepts are to be developed from instruction These are target behaviors teacher seeks to increase, with the measurement of these target skills through curriculum = CBM Set goals based on curriculum Progress must be measured frequently throughout instruction for intervention

    10. Informal Assessment Techniques 10 Shinn, Nolet, and Knutson (1990): Most CBM should include the following tasks: Reading – students read aloud from basal readers for 1 minute. The # of words read correctly / minute = decision-making metric Spelling – students write words that are dictated at specific intervals (5, 7, 10 secs) for 2 minutes. The # of correct letter sequences and words spelled correctly are counted

    11. Informal Assessment Techniques 11 Shinn, Nolet, and Knutson (1990) con’t: Written Expression – Students write a story for 3 minutes after given a story starter (e.g. “pretend you are playing ….”) The number of words written, spelled correctly and/or correct word sequences are counted. Mathematics – Students write answers to computation problems via 2 minute probes. The number of correctly written digits is counted.

    12. Informal Assessment Techniques 12 CBM Cautions May not allow for measurement of some constructs such as assessment of creativity, areas of interest, and original ideas CBM more sensitive in measuring progress in basal readers rather than literature samples CBM should be used as part of the comprehensive assessment with other measures due to reliability and validity concerns

    13. Informal Assessment Techniques 13 Task Analysis & Error Analysis Task Analysis Breaking down a task into the smallest steps necessary to complete the task. The steps reflect subskills or subtasks. These represent a hierarchy of skills that should be build throughout the school year. Error Analysis Method of discovering patterns of errors Error Analysis often precedes task analysis because a pattern of errors may be needed to determine which task needs additional analysis Both methods are used all the time by teachers – can be incorporated into formal and informal measures

    14. Informal Assessment Techniques 14 Other Informal Methods Teacher Made Tests See pages 308 & 309 for common test construction errors Checklists Lists of academic/behavioral skills that must be mastered by the student Questionnaires Questions about a student’s behavior or academic concerns that may be answered by the student or by the parent or teacher Work Samples Samples of a student’s work, a type of permanent product Permanent Products Products made by the student that may be analyzed for academic or behavioral interventions

    15. Informal Assessment Techniques 15 Other Assessment Types Performance Assessment Testing methods that require students to create an answer product that demonstrates their knowledge or skills Stresses the student’s active construction in demonstrating knowledge Page 325 – Criteria for Evaluating Performance Tasks Authentic Assessment Assessment that requires the student to generalize knowledge to the real world context Portfolio Assessment A collection of student work that provides a holistic view of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Contains various work samples, permanent products, and test results from a variety of instruments and methods.

    16. Informal Assessment Techniques 16 Informal Reading Assessment Qualitative Reading Inventories Informal Reading Inventories

    17. Informal Assessment Techniques 17 What IRIs can Tell Teachers Quantitative: Grade Level for Independent, Instructional, and Frustration Levels Listening or Capacity Level Qualitative: Types of Word Recognition Problems Types of Comprehension Problems

    18. Informal Assessment Techniques 18 Independent Level Level at which student can read alone without help and has 99% word recognition and 90% comprehension Should be for homework and recreational reading Instructions for independent work

    19. Informal Assessment Techniques 19 Instructional Level Level at which student can read with teacher assistance 85% word recognition (no more than 15 errors out of 100) as 1-2 grader, and 95% for higher grades Has 75% comprehension ( no more than two errors out of 8) Material should be for reading “instruction”

    20. Informal Assessment Techniques 20 Frustration Level Level at which student is unable to function because reading material is too difficult Less than 90% word recognition Less than 505 comprehension

    21. Informal Assessment Techniques 21 Listening or Capacity Level Level at which student can understand 75% of material read to him Level at which student probably would read if there were no reading problems Comparing Capacity to Instructional Level can provide potential for improvement

    22. Informal Assessment Techniques 22 Miscues Errors made when reading word lists or reading passages Tells which skills are deficient Sight word Decoding skills Syntax errors Semantic errors Visual similarity Auditory similarity

    23. Informal Assessment Techniques 23 Comprehension Skill Analysis Types of Questions Main Idea Details: directly stated in text Sequence: events in order Cause-Effect: gives one and asks the other Inference: Implied, not in text Vocabulary: meaning of words

    24. Informal Assessment Techniques 24 Informal Spelling & Handing Assessment Morphology- smallest unit of language = root words or root words and prefixes and suffixes Free and Bound Morphs Phonology- The sounds of language…not a one-to-one correspondence in English Context- using clues to make correct choice for homonyms, syntax clues

    25. Informal Assessment Techniques 25 Factors That Affect Spelling Read the word Structural analysis Visual appearance of word Memory Visual Motor integration to write it Phonological awareness- segmenting, analyzing, synthesizing speech sounds

    26. Informal Assessment Techniques 26 Components of Handwriting Visual Motor Skills Integration of the two Discriminate, same- different Copy

    27. Informal Assessment Techniques 27 Effective Writing at Automatic Level Legibility- clarity Fluency- speed Dysgraphia- disturbance in visual motor integration

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