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Return-Path: <email@example.com> Received: from literacy (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by literacy.nifl.gov (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j2OFtYG23427; Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:55:34 -0500 (EST) Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:55:34 -0500 (EST) Message-Id: <00bb01c5308a$f8f47e80$0202a8c0@frodo> Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk From: "Marie Cora" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com> Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1016] Re: Use of test scores X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2627 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; Status: O Content-Length: 9545 Lines: 212 Hi Katrina, Larry, and everyone, Katrina, you noted: "I think the placement and test scores are guidelines but not something that can replace one on one interviewing and assessment done between the teacher and student. I also don't think they are used the same by all teachers." I would agree with you on both those points. I don't believe that teachers use testing instruments the same for very basic reasons: they don't fully understand what it means to be standardized (i.e.: you MUST administer your test the same way to everyone, or your results are simply invalid: useless!), and they don't ask the right types of questions of themselves in order to make an informed choice about a tool. Teachers and administrators should be asking some fundamental questions BEFORE selecting an assessment, and these questions have to do with the purpose of the test, the purpose that the teacher has for giving a test, and then matching the answers to those questions as best as possible. I was recently presenting at a conference in which a participant lamented that her program spent months trying to "match" or "connect" the scores of the TABE, with scores from the ABLE test (they used the ABLE, but the funder wanted to see TABE results). Well, you cannot do that: there are no tests that align with one another unless those tests were developed the same way together. I do know that some performance assessments do their best to align themselves with the NRS levels - the REEP Writing Assessment is one (we had a guest discussion on the REEP several weeks back) - and by the way, the REEP is an excellent performance-based assessment that truly informs classroom writing. Another participant in my session noted that the teachers in her program all administered the TABE however they saw fit (i.e.: ditching the timed piece; giving the placement in place of the full form; ESOL learners were given the TABE for some reason). I told the group that they should not bother giving the test at all and make up scores because it amounts to exactly the same thing. Would you ever just make up scores and send them in to whoever? Probably not. But if you don't follow tenets of standardization, then just go ahead and make up your scores, cuz that's exactly what you're doing anyway. I would also agree that we need a more holistic look at a person's performance - and I think that NRS is trying to do that as well, by focusing some attention on performance assessments and by making some of the shifts in levels as well. For a great list of questions that you can ask yourself and your program about the tests you will select or are using, go to the ALEWiki Assessment section and click on Selecting Assessment Tools. There is also a section on Commercially Available Assessment Tools that describes the most commonly used ones in detail, and includes some discussion excerpts on these tests. The ALEWiki is at: http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Main_Page You can also go to the Assessment Collection area called Selecting Assessments for a Variety of Purposes - there you will find web resources that speak directly to the topics discussed here. http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/tt_types.html Thanks! marie cora Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and Coordinator/Developer LINCS Assessment Special Collection at http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/ firstname.lastname@example.org -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Condelli, Larry Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:41 AM To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1014] Re: Use of test scores Katrina, I think your experiences reflect what most teachers feel about NRS assessments. We don't have very many assessment instruments in adult education that meet the rigorous psychometric requirements of the NRS, and the ones we do use (TABE, CASAS, BEST, etc.) have to be used sometimes for broad purposes. They do meet accountability requirements and offer some information about student performance, but they are often inadequate for informing instruction. We do recommend the use of other assessments for instructional and other purposes, although we run the risk of too much assessment on students if we go too far. Limited time is also a factor. Marie has suggested the use of performance assessments for this purpose. Such assessments can also be standardized and used in the NRS (the BEST Plus is an example) but it is very difficult to do all of the research and development work. However, many programs use performance assessments or curriculum-based assessments to supplement the information from NRS tests. -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Katrina Hinson Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 8:27 AM To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1013] Re: Use of test scores In response to Larry's questions forwarded by Marie: Do teachers/program staff have access to test scores? We do have access to them. They are given to us when a new student arrives. Additionally, instructors are responsible for monitoring when post tests are needed and ensuring that the students are post tested . Do they use them? How? If not, why not? How are they useful -- do they help instruction? I can't speak for everyone in my program. I will say I use them - but only as a guideline. I learned a long time ago that the placement test scores did little to really tell me what a student knew or didn't know. I explain to my students that the placement test scores are just that, a means by which to place a student in the appropriate classes to ensure their success. They are not at all useful in terms of instruction and I think they give students a false sense of security. I have students that come in and assume b/c they tested at a 9.something level that they should be able to just take the GED and I have to explain to them why that's not neccessarily true. Then I give a student my own pre tests to see where they are in terms of being able to pass the GED often, they come back and admit they're not as ready as they thought. I then have to answer the question "How come I did so well on the placement tests but not on the pre tests you gave?" What are the shortcomings? What could be done at the state/federal levels to help programs use test scores? For example what kinds of analysis/assistance might be helpful? The shortcomings are that the placement tests are not as broad reaching as say the GED tests. It is by no means a fair leap to assume that simply b/c you place at the GED High level according to the TABE that you're automatically ready to take the GED. That simply isn't so but students get so caught up in the "placement" level that it sometimes creates the "I already know that" barrier. For example, of the list of assessments that can be used for the NRS (and I don't have that in front of me so I don't know them all off hand), what do you get out of the TABE, BEST Plus, CASAS, for example?The NRS certainly uses that data - but can you or do you? How and what for? Does it inform your teaching and your classroom? I use it as a guideline, sort of a baseline to see where a student MIGHT be...but that's it. I have students who come in at the GED Intermediate or High level and yet when I give them the a pre test to determine where their level is in relation to the GED, they are no where near ready - often missing more than 50% of a 50 question test. Additionally, when asked during a personal interview with the student, when they left traditional school and find out they left in 7th grade I find myself asking how they scored at a 9th grade level or even higher in some cases, especially if they have not been previously enrolled in a basic skills class. I think the placement and test scores are guidelines but not something that can replace one on one interviewing and assessment done between the teacher and student. I also don't think they are used the same by all teachers. Katrina >>> email@example.com 03/22/05 10:24 AM >>> Hi everyone, Larry posed some really good questions I think. I often wonder if people/programs use data for program improvement (and how), so the variation below on that theme is particularly interesting for me: Do teachers/program staff have access to test scores? Do they use them? How? If not, why not? How are they useful -- do they help instruction? What are the shortcomings? What could be done at the state/federal levels to help programs use test scores? For example what kinds of analysis/assistance might be helpful? For example, of the list of assessments that can be used for the NRS (and I don't have that in front of me so I don't know them all off hand), what do you get out of the TABE, BEST Plus, CASAS, for example? The NRS certainly uses that data - but can you or do you? How and what for? Does it inform your teaching and your classroom? Has anyone developed performance assessments that are being used now for the NRS? Intuitively I feel like that type of assessment would be readily used by teachers, but that it is less accessible for the NRS. Larry, can you or anyone comment on this? Thanks, marie marie cora Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and Coordinator/Developer LINCS Assessment Special Collection at http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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