For each issue, TPS partners submit summaries of and links to online resources—articles, research reports, Web sites, and white papers—that provide research and current thinking relating to the theme. This issue's Research & Current Thinking focuses on helping teachers use primary sources to build assessments that both gauge and support learning.
Classroom assessment: minute by minute, day by day
This article from ASCD addresses the use of assessments to support learning rather than simply to gauge what has been learned. Five assessment-for-learning techniques are also introduced.
Crazy for history
This article from The Journal of American History discusses the effectiveness of standardized testing to evaluate students’ knowledge of historical events. The author addresses reasons that standardized testing may not give a true picture of whether an appropriate level of knowledge has been achieved with focus on history and the social studies.
Formative assessment: Caveat emptor
This chapter from The Future of Assessment: Shaping Teaching and Learning explains the nature, purpose, and goals of formative assessments. The author also distinguishes between formative assessment and both formative program evaluation and remedial placement testing.
How to Assess Student Performance in History: Going Beyond Multiple Choice Tests
This is a self-study resource from The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro designed to help teachers understand the role of assessment in improving student learning, develop methods of scoring and grading students’ work that will provide information and accountability, and integrate assessment programs with statewide testing programs currently in place.
Making the Grade: The Role of Assessment in Authentic Learning
This article from EDUCAUSE discusses the importance of assessment in education and how it can be used as a tool to measure authentic learning. Examples and links are provided to illustrate the ideas presented in the article.
Model-Based Performance Assessment
This approach, as described in a report from CRESST/ University of California, Los Angeles, focuses on deciding on what type of learning is to be accomplished and then embeds the learning in the subject matter content (or content standard) that the assessment is meant to address. The report presents an example of assessing content understanding in history.
Phony formative assessment: Buyer beware!
This commentary from Educational Leadership offers insight and explanations regarding the history and development of formative assessments as well as how marketing strategies have led to the mislabeling of large-scale tests as formative assessments.