- Transitioning assessment systems
- Balancing new assessment systems within a state
As states transition to new standards and a new era of assessment delivery, many have collaborated through consortia, while others have chosen to work independently. This session will address both approaches and provide perspective on technical challenges. First, the session will review South Dakota’s effort to transition to the CCSS. Next, Alaska will explain their rationale for developing their own standards and their strategy moving forward. Finally, since both approaches require the administration of new or revised assessment systems, the session will provide insight into the feasibility of administering new item types to students in a secure environment across various devices.
The South Dakota Department of Education (SDDOE) has adopted the CCSS and has been working to gain practical experience at the state, district, and school levels in three critical areas: delivering benchmark assessments, delivering assessments online, and assessing students’ mastery of the CCSS. The SDDOE has been able to reach out to stakeholders by providing access to a realistic experience through a pilot administration of an online benchmark assessment program aligned to the CCSS. In addition, the state has employed teachers to realign items to the CCSS and develop test forms. These items and forms are available to all districts and schools for use as formative assessments within the classroom, utilizing the same online testing system that is used to administer the benchmark assessments to students. Reports are generated as soon as testing is complete allowing for constant monitoring of student performance and progress.
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED) has chosen a different route. The EED has, instead, developed its own Common Core Equivalent Standards (CCES). Since the development of these standards, EED has petitioned the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to change its bylaws to allow states with CCES to join the consortium as a member state. In addition to the new standards, the EED is preparing to transition its assessments to contain more rigorous items, including new “innovative” item types through field tests in spring of 2013.
The SDDOE and EED will provide insight into how each of their states is making the transition to the new set of standards and the new era of assessment delivery. Each state will discuss the preparations taken to familiarize educators with the new standards and the plans to generate stakeholder buy-in and support. The states will also address how they are preparing their students and staff for the new assessment content and assessment delivery systems.
In addition, the SDDOE and EED will be able to provide insight into the technical issues related to their assessment systems; and how states, districts, and schools can better prepare themselves for the online administration of high stakes, next generation assessments. The states will also provide feedback from students and staff in response to students’ initial exposure to technology enhanced item types and what challenges the education community should be prepared for.
Finally, eMetric will discuss how the latest web standards and technology can be leveraged to make secure testing on different devices possible, followed by a brief look at how standard item types and technology enhanced item types can be created once, and then displayed on various devices and operating systems.