Chapter 6. Assessment Planning“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Do you hear what I hear . . . . • “I haven't got time to plan.” If You Haven't Got the Time to Do It Right, When Will You Find the Time to Do It Over? (Jeffrey J. Mayer) • “I've never planned before so why start now? I work best at the spur of the moment.” • “I know what I need to do, so I don’t need to plan.” • “I’ve never seen other teachers in my school develop plans with this detail so why should I?” • “All the plans I did at YSU got put in a drawer and will never get used again. Planning is just busy work they demand you to do when you are in teacher training.”
Planning Assessment Topics • Goals vs. Objectives • Taxonomies • Cognitive Domain • Affective Domain • Psychomotor Domain • Sources of objectives • Checklists for preparing your own • Objectives • Assessment Connections to Instruction • Pretesting, Formative, Summative • Overall assessment plan • Specific assessment plan
Goals vs. Objectives • Goals – • General areas (e.g. reading; math; economics) • Goals are set by society (boards, legislatures) • Objectives – • More specific, fit within the general areas (e.g. to use phonics to sound out words; to use geometry to determine tree height; to understand conditions which are common in financial recessions) • Objectives are set by educators
Taxonomies • Systems of mental processes which cut across the specific content . . . We generally think of, and create goals and objectives in, three domains: • Cognitive Domain – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, etc. Original focus was college bound high school students. Thinking regarding the cognitive domain has been very influential in education. • Affective Domain – feelings, interests, attitudes, values, etc. This reminds us of the important “other side” in education but the domain has not been that influential with educators • Psychomotor Domain – reflex and expressive movement, physical skills and abilities, etc. Children served as the reference point. Has to do with actual performance, not test item performance. Influential with AAHPERD members.
Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)chart maker of the cognitive domain . . . Bloom's contributions to education began during his years in the Office of the Board of Examiners at the University of Chicago (1940-1959). There he headed a group of cognitive psychologists who published the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain (Bloom, B., Englehart, M. Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). In 1959 Bloom spent a year at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. This year marked a shift in his research. He spent the next 40 years researching problems in learning, rather than problems in testing, measurement, and evaluation. Funny. His latter work never reached the “stature” that educators were to give the taxonomic work . . . work in which he himself had lost interest.
Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomythe classic cognitive domain taxonomy . . . • The Bloom group’s six level classification for intellectual behaviors important in learning puts forward the idea that not all learning objectives and outcomes have equal merit. In the absence of a classification-system (a taxonomy), teachers may choose, for example, to emphasize memorization of facts rather than emphasizing other (and likely more important) learned capabilities. • State level curriculum design did not reflect the intent of such a taxonomy until the late 1990s. • In actual practice, the 6 levels are often reduced to 3 levels. • During the 1990's a new group of cognitive psychologists, lead by Lorin Anderson (a student of Bloom's), updated the taxonomy reflecting relevance to 21st century work (see next slide). • By the way, the Bloom group also worked on the Affective Domain Taxonomy.
Old Bloom’s vs. New Bloom’sNote the move from nouns to verbs and the exchange the top two levels
Affective Domain (Krathwohl, 1964)A taxonomy of 5 levels – students gradually evolve into higher levels. • Receiving - The lowest level; the student passively pays attention. Without this level no learning can occur. • Responding - The student actively participates in the learning process, not only attends to a stimulus, the student also reacts in some way. • Valuing - The student attaches a value to (or has a preference for) an object, phenomenon, or piece of information. • Organizing - The student can conceptualize a value and value differences by comparing, relating and elaborating on what has been learned. • Characterizing or Value Complex - The student has held a particular value or belief that now exerts influence on his/her behavior so that it becomes a characteristic and is part of her/his lifestyle.
Affective Domain Exercise: The Runaway TrolleySome thinkers cringe at the idea of a stand-alone affective domain. They would argue that feelings are really filtered thoughts and thus cognitive in nature. A runaway trolley car is hurtling down a track. In its path are five people who will definitely be killed unless Sam, a bystander, flips a switch which will divert it on to another track, where it will kill one person. Should Sam flip the switch? A runaway trolley car is hurtling down a track where it will kill five people. You are standing on a bridge above the track and, aware of the imminent disaster, you must instantly decide if you will jump on the track to block the trolley car. Although you will die, the five people will be saved. Just before your leap, you realize that you are too light to stop the trolley. Next to you, a fat man is standing on the very edge of the bridge. He would certainly block the trolley, although he would also die from the impact. A small nudge and he would fall right onto the track below. No one would ever know. Should you push him?
Psychomotor DomainAnita J. Harrow created this 1972 taxonomy. This taxonomy is organized according to the degree of coordination from involuntary responses to refined learned capabilities: • Reflex Movements - Automatic reactions. • Basic Fundamental Movement - Simple movements that can build to more complex sets of movements. • Perceptual Abilities - Environmental cues that allow one to adjust movements. • Physical Abilities - Things requiring endurance, strength, vigor, and agility. • Skilled Movements - Activities where a level of efficiency is achieved. • Non-discursive Communication – Expressive movement, body language.
Before leaving Taxonomies . . . Taxonomies are best viewed as helpful frameworks or lamp posts creating reference points in the dark complexity of cognition. The divisions created by the lamp posts are somewhat arbitrary. There are many different taxonomies (especially in the cognitive domain), just like there are many different road maps. While it is likely that the human mind does not operate in discrete categories, the categories help us find idea handles we can use to discuss the range of operations (simple to complex) going on when thinking. They help us think about thinking about thinking about thinking . . . Metacognition.
Future Sources of Objectives. . . your professional life after TaskStream. • TIMESS (International) • NAEP (National – General) • Professional organizations (National – Specific) • States (By Subject and Grade Level) • Textbooks • School districts • Building targets
Toward Expert Planning for Your Own Classroom;Checklist for Preparing . . .Objectives • Articulate your objectives with external standards. • Be sure you are writing student objectives (i.e., what they should know or be able to do) NOT instructional processes (i.e., what activities you or the students are doing). • Strike the right balance between generality and specificity in describing the task. • Use specific, action-oriented verbs to describe objective. • Don’t omit an important objective because it seems too difficult to assess. • Be realistic in number of objectives and desired levels of proficiency. • Share your objectives with your students, parents, and colleagues. • Periodically review your objectives; remove, modify, add.
Toward Expert Planning for Your Own Classroom;Making Assessment Planning. . . part of your instructional planning • One would think that the purpose of assessment is to improve learning. This is true only if/when we design it so. Toward this end, it is often useful to think of three “places” or “purposes” in our assessment plan. • Pre-assessment. Do this at the beginning. What do my students know before we start? Are there things I need to review or skills I should teach first? Are there things they know already? Should I be ready to develop alternative approaches for some students? • Formative assessment. Do this along the way. How are my students doing? How well I am doing? Should I re-teach? Should I develop alternative approaches for some students? These assessments should be informal, non-threatening, and provide immediate feedback. • Summative assessment. Do this at the end. How did they do? What grades should I give? Should I be ready to develop alternative approaches for some students for the next unit/topic?
Toward Expert Planning for Your Own Classroom;Checklist for Preparing the year’s . . .Overall Summative Assessment Plan • Indicate the purposes of the assessments you plan to use (e.g., formative, motivational, self-progress, grades for grade book). • Decide on the frequency of assessments (e.g., more frequent assessment promotes learning and helps keep students on task; too much assessment can take away from instructional time). • Consider the schedule for assessments. (e.g., don’t plan to do them with other tests, around holidays, before big school events). • Plan for the right mix of types of assessments (e.g., selected response; constructed response; performance). • Revise your assessments periodically (e.g., remove, modify, add). • Use textbook-based tests but with caution. (e.g., you can save time by using them with modifications appropriate to your teaching; they are marketing tools so don’t assume they are valid).
Toward Expert Planning for Your Own Classroom;Checklist for Preparing a topic’s or unit’s specific . . . Formative & Summative Assessment • Consider a pre-test or use pre-assessment information to guide instruction – how much do they know; where are the rough spots? • Develop some formative evaluation techniques to use along the way – how are they doing; what should I revisit a different way? • Build from a test blueprint or table of specifications - 2-way table preferred over the 1-way blueprint? • Decide on length – how many items for the time allowed; is the rule of thumb “one-item-per-minute” for objective items enough? • Allow time for preparing – is it a new test you are creating for the first time; is it a recycled test? • Plan for scoring – how much time will you need; should students score? • Feedback to students – feedback should be sooner rather than later; will students see their grade only; entire test; go over all items?
Practical Advice “pour vous” on building your own domains ofClassroom Assessment Planning • AFFECTIVE DOMAIN: Value the notion of the importance of an overall plan for assessment, to include the process of credibly interpreting performance and assigning grades. • COGNITIVE DOMAIN: Clearly identify your classroom instructional objectives and index them to an “authority.” • PSYCHOMOTOR DOMAIN: Develop skill in preparing a test blueprint or table of specifications to strive for a high degree of content validity on all assessments.
Terms Concepts to Review andStudy on Your Own (1) • affective domain • Bloom’s taxonomy • blueprint • cognitive domain • content standards • goals
Terms Concepts to Review andStudy on Your Own (2) • metacognition • objectives • psychomotor domain • table of specifications • taxonomy