Presentation on theme: "Standards-based assessment"— Presentation transcript:
1 Standards-based assessment Tim McNamaraThe University of Melbourne
2 Standards-based assessment and criterion referencing Standards-based assessment is a form of criterion-referenced assessment (cf norm-referenced assessment).
3 Information derived from a Criterion-Referenced Test The degree to which the student has attained criterion performance, for example whether he can satisfactorily prepare an experimental report.Glaser 1994 , p.6
4 Information derived from a Norm-Referenced Test The relative ordering of individuals with respect to their test performance, for example, whether Student A can solve his problems more quickly than Student B.Glaser 1994 , p.6
5 Definition of a criterion-referenced test A criterion-referenced test is one that is deliberately constructed to yield measurements that are directly interpretable in terms of specified performance standards. Performance standards are generally specified by defining a class or domain of tasks that should be performed by the individual.Glaser and Nitko, 1971, p. 653
6 Definition of a criterion-referenced test (2) A student’s score on a criterion-referenced measure provides explicit information as to what the student can and can’t do. Criterion-referenced measures indicate the content of the behavioural repertory, and the correspondence between what an individual does and the underlying continuum of achievement. Measures which assess student achievement in terms of a certain criterion standard thus provide information as to the degree of competence attained by a particular student which is independent of reference to the performance of others.Glaser, 1963, p. 519
7 Norm-referenced testAny test that is primarily designed to disperse the performances of students in a normal distribution based on their general abilities, or proficiencies, for purposes of categorizing the students into levels or comparing students’ performances to the performances of others who formed the normative group.Brown and Hudson (2002, p. 2)
8 Is CRT behaviourist?Criterion-referenced testing has its origins in behaviourism, but need not be atomistic, purely dichotomous, or reductive.
9 Criterion-referencing and levels on a continuum Underlying the concept of achievement measurement is the notion of a continuum of knowledge acquisition ranging from no proficiency at all to perfect performance. An individual’s achievement level falls at some point on this continuum as indicated by the behaviors he displays during testing. The degree to which his achievement resembles desired performance at any level is assessed by criterion-referenced measures of achievement or proficiency.
10 Scales and CRTThe standard against which a student’s performance is compared when measured in this manner is the behavior which defines each point along the achievement continuum. The term ‘criterion’, when used in this way, does not necessarily refer to final end-of-course behavior. Criterion levels can be established at any point in instruction where it is necessary to obtain information as to the adequacy of an individual’s performance.Glaser, 1963, pp
11 Interface with policy - scales and frameworks Dominant movement in language education internationallyDriven by need for accountability and emphasis on demonstrable outcomesHas adopted functionalist view of language education (i.e. not cultural, intellectual, values dimension)Response to demands of globalization, efficiencyCurriculum and assessment addressed in single frameworkEmphasis on reporting
12 Format of standardsStandards are typically formulated as an ordered series of statements about levels of achievement or stages of development.(There may be multiple sets of ordered statements for different aspects of language development)
13 CEFR Levels A2 , B1 (speaking) A2: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.B1: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
14 Mislevy: claims and evidence An assessment is a machine for reasoningASSESSMENT ARGUMENTabout what students know, can do or have accomplishedCLAIMSbased on a handful of things they say, do, or make in particular settingsOBSERVATIONS/EVIDENCE
15 What is the CEFR?It represents a construct definition; it is an exercise in domain modellingIt provides a set of claimsIt provides a general characterization of evidence and tasksIt is not a test - it allows different kinds of tests to be realizations of this construct
16 Possible functions of standards Planning: to act as a series of objectives of goals for teaching and learning; involve clear and specific statements of teaching aimsProfessional understanding: to inform teachers about the typical progress of learning; more complex statements and include contextual and interpretative information in order to help the teacher understand more fully the nature of the emergent ability in the learnerAccountability: to act as statements of learning outcomes for administrative purposes - tends to be dominant function
17 Formative vs summative assessment Can standards-based assessment help with formative assessment?
18 Gathering evidence to form basis of reporting Gathering of evidence a mixture of teacher-led assessment and external examinationExternal evidence may be seen as intrusive, insensitive to learningPlaces burden on teacher for record keepingRequires intensive professional development of teachersBest schemes provide good advice to teachers about integrating assessment in instruction - ‘Assessment for learning’ movement
19 The assessment pyramid LEVELS(NUMBERED)LEVELSUMMARIESSTRAND DESCRIPTIONSWITHIN EACH MODE, EXAMPLES PROVIDED[ADVICE TO TEACHERS] DETAILED EXAMPLESTEACHER CHOOSES ACTIVITY & CRITERIA
20 Competing demands in standards-based assessment Validity demandsManagerialist demandsTeacher/learner demandsIntellectual defensibility of constructEvidence of ReliabilityOther validity evidenceConcern for consequencesReportingAccountabilityMeaningfulness in instructional processFacilitation of learningEnhanced quality of teachingMinimization of administrative burden on teachers
21 Dylan Wiliam: Beyond norm- and criterion-referenced tests Norm-referenced - hard to interpret in terms of what a student can do; limited to placing student in cohort groupCriterion-referenced -leads to narrowing of teachingAlso implies a cohort group
22 Wiliam on the role of teachers An assessment is valid to the extent that you are happy for teachers to teach towards the testTherefore:Involve teachers in summative assessmentIncreases reliability and validityExternalize standardsLocates teacher as coach, not judgeRequires teachers to form a ‘community of practice’
23 Wiliam on construct-referenced assessment ‘Criteria’ do not define but exemplify grades‘Standards’ are shared by the community of practice‘Standards’ are implicit and evolve
24 Example: Standards and the PhD Implies a yes/no decision about individualsImpossible to specify criteriaBut examination process proceeds successfullyGranting PhD is a performative utterance, an illocutionary act (not a description) - the person is launched on their career
25 Wiliam on summative and formative assessment Effective summative assessmentrequires teachers to share a construct of qualityEffective formative assessmentRequires students to share the same construct of qualityRequires teachers to posses an anatomy of quality
26 Wiliam on quality rather than criteria “Maxims cannot be understood, still less applied by anyone not already possessing a good practical knowledge of the art. They derive their interest from our appreciation of the art and cannot themselves either replace or establish that appreciation”. (Polanyi, 1958 p50).“Quality doesn’t have to be defined. You understand it without definition. Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions”. (Pirsig, 1991 p64).
27 Our questions1 assessment vs testing vs evaluation vs validation vs measurement2 affective factors in assessment3 influence of L1 on assessment4 raters/judges5 effect of tasks - (esp CELU)6 criteria in writing and oral interaction7 history of assessment8 why assessment? Can we do without it?9 performance assessment
28 Our questions 10 qualitative vs quantitative aspects 11 correction in an oral exam12 assessment as a process - and the final exam?13 scales/descriptors for oral language14 should listening be part of the oral exam?15 Are we assessing what we want to assess?16 Defining standards - intermed/advanced etc17 Inter-rater reliability?
29 Our questions 18 Inferring actual performance from exam performance? 19 Exam strategies20 Criteria in assessing a performance - e.g. grammar?21 Cultural aspects - interference in performance, rating, etc?