[Rasch] online Assessment for Teachers course
evsmith at uic.edu
Sat Sep 12 02:42:20 EST 2009
The University of Illinois at Chicago is offering a 4 credit graduate level
course covering assessment issues relevant to teachers. This course will be
offered during Spring of 2010. This course is one offering from the online
curriculum offered by the College of Education at UIC
Below is a detailed description of the contents of this course. If you are
interested in enrolling in this course please contact me
(<mailto:evsmith at uic.edu>evsmith at uic.edu) for directions on how to apply to
UIC as an Extramural Student.
We would also appreciate if you would pass along this information to U.S.
and international graduate students, teachers, co-workers, and any other
colleagues that may find this online course useful.
If you have any questions please contact Everett Smith at
<mailto:evsmith at uic.edu>evsmith at uic.edu.
EPSY 553: Assessment for Teachers
Assessment is an integral part of teaching. Teachers use informal and
formal assessments on an ongoing basis to make decisions about their
students, evaluate the success of their instruction, and monitor classroom
climate. They collect various sources of information through their
assessment activities; based on their interpretation of that information,
they determine appropriate courses of action. The typical teacher spends
about a third of his/her professional time engaged in assessment-related
activities (Herman & Dorr-Bremme, 1982; Stiggins & Conklin, 1992). Because
assessment is so critical to the instructional process, learning about
assessment is essential to learning about teaching.
As a student in this course, you will learn how to design assessments that
are carefully aligned with educational objectives. The course will provide
an opportunity to gain hands-on experience crafting different types of
classroom assessment instruments to measure a variety of learning outcomes,
from simple to complex. You will learn how to devise technically sound,
content valid paper-and-pencil tests that incorporate different types of
item formats (e.g., multiple-choice, true-false, matching, short-answer,
completion, essay, interpretive exercises).
You will also learn to craft performance (or product) assessments, as well
as tools (i.e., checklists, rating scales, and rubrics) to evaluate
students performances or products. Working back and forth between your
educational objectives and the assessment instruments you are building, you
will discover why it is vitally important to ensure that your objectives
and instructional activities are closely aligned with the assessments you
plan to use.
We will take a critical look at the selection and use of standardized
achievement tests in classrooms today, including commercial achievement
tests (e.g., Stanford 10, Stanford Reading First, Iowa Test of Basic
Skills) and statewide achievement assessments. You will learn how these
tests are constructed, and you will practice interpreting the various
statistics included in score reports.
We will discuss test preparationwhich activities are appropriate and
ethical, and which arent? As a teacher, how do you decide? We will
discuss the need for creating balanced assessment systems that provide
information useful not only to policy makers but also to other important
audiences for assessment information (e.g., students, teachers, counselors,
community groups). What does it take to build a balanced system? How did
our current systems with their overemphasis on high-stakes test results
become so out of balance? Why is it impossible for results from a single
accountability test to meet all assessment users needs for assessment
information? What is missing in our current assessment systems?
You will learn about assessment bias, why it is problematic, and some
approaches that test developers (and teachers) can use to screen
assessments for bias. We will discuss examples of biased assessments, and
how the inclusion of biased content that is offensive to one or more
subgroups of students can affect performance. We will also discuss how the
inclusion of assessment content that might cause a student to be unfairly
penalized based on that students ethnicity, race, culture, religion,
socioeconomic status, gender, urban/rural/suburban background, or other
characteristics can affect performance. Assessment bias can also show up in
assessments of students with disabilities and assessments of English
language learners, and we will discuss how to minimize assessment bias when
working with these subgroups.
We will tackle the issue of developing defensible grading procedures for
combining scores from different assessments to arrive at a grade. You will
learn about different approaches you can use for assigning grades and
principles to follow. We will discuss what should (and should not) be
included in a grade, how to handle grading for cooperative learning,
grading students with disabilities, how to convert rubric scores to grades,
and methods other than report cards that you can use to communicate
assessment results. We will also discuss computerized gradebooks and their
advantages and disadvantages.
Finally, we will examine laws and legislation affecting assessment
programs that teachers need to understand. What does the No Child Left
Behind Act (NCLB) require of schools in terms of assessment? What types of
information does NCLB require states, school districts, and schools to
provide in annual report cards? What is adequate yearly progress? What
happens to schools if they do not show adequate yearly progress? What are
achievement levels, and why are they important? How are English language
learners and students with disabilities affected by NCLB testing? What
legal issues arise when assessing students with disabilities? How do these
laws and legislation impact teachers assessment practices?
Everett Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology
Director, Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment Lab (
Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Measurement ( http://www.jampress.org)
For the Ph.D. in MESA visit
For the M.Ed. in MESA visit http://education.uic.edu/mesa-med/
For the online M.Ed. in MESA visit http://education.uic.edu/mesaonline-med/
For the certificate in Educational Research Methodology visit
University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607
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