By Rickie Yudin / November 20, 2017
Big, Small, Collect it All (And Use It Well!)
I often receive questions from partner schools regarding the value of different assessments and whether or not we have recommendations about which ones they should select, buy, or use.
As a platform, we are product agnostic and don’t have any specific preferences for the purposes of aggregating, analyzing, and activating data. However, we do have some specific considerations we suggest when making decisions around what assessments to use in a classroom or school. This blog explores two of those – Frequency and Instructional Information – this logic can be applied to any two variables you are thinking about in regards to school data.
Where on this chart do you want to live? There are benefits and trade-offs to each
Sample Scenario: You give your students an individualized curriculum-based measure 4 times per year. Each of the assessments takes 4-5 minutes per student and the other students are working on projects while the assessments are being given. When all’s said and done, the assessments take 3 full days and yield highly detailed information about student strengths and areas for growth at the cost of instructional time.
Sample Scenario: In this quadrant, you are thinking about giving interim assessments periodically to monitor whole group performance over time. You might benchmark that performance against standards taught and you could consider adding in diagnostic questions to prepare for upcoming units. The assessments themselves might not occupy substantial amounts of instructional time relative to quadrant 1, but you are likely to get less in-depth student-level data.
Sample Scenario: Your students are preparing to take a nationally-normed test in March. This is a once yearly standardized test that, while comprehensive, only takes up 3 schools days. The test results return in late April for your review with information about how students performed relative to their performance on the same test one year ago.
Were you able to get information out of this assessment that you were hoping for?
Sample Scenario: You want to monitor student progress over time, so you find an ongoing reading assessment that happens three to four times per year. Although it requires some 1-to-1 assessment, the disruption to instruction time is minimal, and the data you end up with provides insights into patterns that have emerged over time. If you have data from previous years, you can see whether or not those trends are consistent with past performance and can potentially use this information to plan for future units or use it to reflect and plan for future groups of students.
Trying to make a decision?
- Plot your variables along a graph like this
- Decide which quadrant you want to be in and;
- Identify the option that best gets you there
Need some help? Reach out to us via the chat icon at the bottom of your screen and start a conversation with us – we’re always happy to share some ideas.