Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Healthier Testing Made Easy
Healthier Testing Made Easy: "Healthier Testing Made Easy Tests don't just measure absorption of facts. They teach what we value. By Grant Wiggins Download This Page Download a PDF of this article photo Credit: Thomas Reis Here's a radical idea: We need more assessment, not less. Seem crazy? Substitute feedback for assessment, and you'll better understand what I mean. The point of assessment in education is to advance learning, not to merely audit absorption of facts. That's true whether we're talking about that fourth-period pop quiz, the school play, or the state test. No one ever mastered a complicated idea or skill the first -- or fifth -- time. To reach any genuine standard, we need lots of trials, errors, and adjustments based on feedback. Think of assessment, then, as information for improving. This idea takes a while to get used to if you teach, test, and move on. The research could not be clearer, though: Increasing formative assessment is the key to improvement on tests of all kinds, including traditional"