Diving Deeper into Ohio's Education Reform Efforts

How to Create High-Quality and Rigorous LEA Assessments for OTES

Presenters: Rachel Vannatta Reinhart, Toni Sondergeld, Center of Assessment and Evaluation Services, Bowling Green State University

Summary: For teachers who will not be evaluated by Ohio’s value-added system, LEAs will still need to have a means of assessing student growth. This presentation was aimed at helping LEAs think about developing and piloting assessments that can be used to create student learning objectives for these teachers.

Districts could use assessments created by vendors or the LEA itself. LEA assessments help with teacher ownership and better alignment of assessment with what LEA is actually teaching. But for student growth measures to be effective, they need to be based on detailed measurable objectives at specified learning levels.

Local measures must be standards-based, use standardized administrative practices, involve teacher contributions, have inter-rater reliability, be externally validated by content experts, use assessment refinement, influence practice, and have three years of trend data available.

Challenge is to create assessments that are comprehensive, measure student growth, time-efficient, objective with constructed response items, aligned with instruction and curriculum, and that are reliable and valid.

To achieve quality objectives, assessments can use multiple choice items. Speakers use 20 golden rules in assessment development. One example is to avoid “all of the above” or “none of the above” as choices. These are not good responses for diagnostic purposes. Also, development process involves following a checklist:

    • Make response options plausible and real.
    • For constructed response items, align item instructions with grading criteria using a grading rubric.
    • Finalize assessment by writing directions, developing standard administration and grading practices.
    • Teachers need to review their assessments and also have a peer review. Examine the alignment between the instructional blueprint and the assessment. Is it balanced to reflect areas of instruction in right proportions, as well as the appropriate cognitive levels?
    • Eliminate error by interviewing students.
    • Have an expert review.
    • Pretest data analysis. Administer, analyze items and generate student reports that can be used to develop student learning objectives.

Desired outcome is for valid and reliable assessments..

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