Preparing for a Renaissance in Assessment

Peter Hill, Michael Barber, Pearson Learning, Jan 20, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This report cited in Contact North's Top 10 wish list for 2016 is worth a look. Not that I agree with what's in it, but it's useful to see where one of the largest educational publishers is heading and what it thinks about the state of learning and assessment. The authors look at new technologies such as adaptive testing, multiple versions of tests, data analytics, automated marking, testing for deep learning, and the like. They apply these to assessment challenges, such as the need to assess the full range of outcomes, to assess achievement at the high and low end of the achievement scale, and assessments that provide meaningful feedback on progress. They also say there should be an "accountability system" that clarifies "who can and should be held to account for what at each level of the system." I just don't see this approach as particularly imaginative and forward-looking. All these possibilities ahead of us and we're still looking at tweaking classroom tests.

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