My Junior High Technology class focuses on the following computer programs and technology: Office Word, Office Excel, Office Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop, Videography and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. Leading up to our unit in Photoshop, I had specifically focused a great deal of instruction on the elements of design. It was important that students knew that good graphic design demands good use of shape, texture, color, balance and theme. I felt that I gave a good effort in teaching the students about how to start thinking like a designer. After I had assessed the students’ growing understanding of the elements of design used in Photoshop, we moved forward to learning the tools in Photoshop. We started by learning how to cut a piece of an image out of a picture, and then how to blend it into another picture. After I felt that students had practiced using these tools correctly, I then gave them the assignment “A Play On Words” to assess their learning. This assignment not only assessed student understanding of the required tools, but it also forced them to think critically about language. This project required for students to choose a word or phrase that could be divided into two separate images that could be creatively blended together. Students had to wrap their minds around how to visually display language without using the actual written words.
Through this assessment, students were able to practice and then show competence in utilizing the following tools in Photoshop: The Magnetic Lasso, the Quick Selection Tool, the Move Tool, The Blur Tool, and The Eraser Tool. Through this assessment, I learned what went well and what should be changed next time around. In the future, I will provide extra credit projects for students who finish early so that the learning process can continue rather than being put on pause. I will give clearer lessons over the basics of how these tools work alongside a formative assessment to confirm student understanding before moving onto this project. Finally, I will provide clearer expectations for students to follow, as well as examples for them to better understand what low, medium, and high performance would look like. This Junior High Technology class is filled with different learning styles and levels of technical proficiency. My goal is to meet each student where they are and have them ask themselves, “What does my 100% effort look like?”
Ch6 p. 161 #1: If you were asked to take part in a mini-debate about the respective virtues of selected-response items versus constructed response items, what do you think would be your major points if you were supporting the use of selected response test items?
To start off, I would say that selected response items leaves more time for students to engage with the test material. With that said, if more students are able to complete more of a test in the time given, then the results would be even more reliable. Selected response test items create an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge through the use of comparing and contrasting the information. This situation not only furthers the students’ learning to better understand the subject matter, but also provides the teacher with a clear assessment of where students might be confused. For example, if students continue to mark the same wrong answer on a multiple choice test, the teacher would then be able to see where students’ misconceptions might have occurred. Finally, the use of selected response test items gives room for a great deal of information to be covered in an assessment. The more material that is given to students to test their understanding, the more results a teacher then has to learn from.
#3: Why do you think that multiple-choice tests have been so widely used in nationally standardized norm references achievement tests during the past half-century?
I think that multiple-choice tests have been used as the nationally standardized norm references achievement tests because it is a highly efficient way of collecting a mass amount of student data. As the reading explained, this method is also more reliable than other selected-response items. I realize that there are multiple opportunities for holes in multiple-choice tests, but they are still the most dependable option that currently exists for mass distribution. Another reason that I believe why multiple-choice tests have been widely used in nationally standardized norm references achievement tests is because it creates a consistent grading system. As long as a multiple-choice test has been effectively created with no accidental hints, it will be a reliable base for grading.
Ch7 p. 184 #1: What do you think has been the instructional impact, if any, of the widespread incorporation of student writing samples in the high stakes educational achievement tests used in numerous states?
I would guess that the incorporation of student writing samples in the high stakes educational achievement tests has been effective for some students, but for other students it might have a negative impact. The reason that I bring this up is that some schools may not focus on the students’ use of writing samples. If students have not been given adequate practice and instruction of what a good essay looks like on the platform of a test, then I feel that would have a different effect on the test results. With that said, the implementation of student writing samples in the high stakes educational achievement tests would cause teachers to see a need that would have to be addressed. Teachers would probably then focus a great deal of attention of classroom instruction on how to produce a good writing sample on a test. Writing sample assessments would be incorporated into lesson plans and daily instruction so that students are prepared for the achievement tests.
#2: How would you contrast short-answer items and essay items with respect to their elicited levels of cognitive behavior? Are there differences in the kinds of cognitive demands called for by the two item types? If so, what are they?
After the reading described the different variations of challenges that short-answer items and essay items create, I feel that there is more room available for error with essay items. This is not to say that essay items are not an excellent tool, but it is instead to say that the implementation of essay items must be carefully put forth. I feel that the cognitive demands of essay items is a wider range because it not only asks students to use their knowledge of the subject matter, but also to use their writing skills (or lack there of). Should good writing and correct English be expected from seniors? Yes, but should it be expected from freshmen? No, because freshmen have not gone through the 3 years of English that they are required to take in high school. Are some students inherently gifted in writing and would thus perform better in an essay test? Possibly. A short-answer item does not require the student to display good use of sentence structure, but instead has the main focus on the information that is being assessed. This is not to say that I do not expect students to learn and implement English writing skills in school, but instead to show that there are differences in the kinds of cognitive demands called for by short-answer items and essay items.
Ch5 p. 135-136 #1: If you were asked to support a high school graduation test you know would result in more minority than majority youngsters being denied a diploma, could you do it? If so, under what circumstances?
To adequately answer this question, I would first look at the test to see why it would result in more minorities being denied a diploma. Is this outcome being expected because the test contains bias against minorities? Does it contain language and questions that one group of people would better relate to than another? If the answers to these questions continue to be “yes”, then I would not support that high school graduation test. The next step would probably be to talk to my administration and present my opinion. Hopefully they would have ears to listen and then the necessary changes could then be implemented. I think that a challenge would occur if this test were a statewide requirement because the powers that be would be much harder to get a hold of. On the other hand, after careful study of the test, what if no biases were found? If the students have been correctly taught the information but choose not to utilize it, then that is on the student’s shoulders. Under these circumstances, I think that it would be completely fine for students to take this test. However, it seems like this is a fine line that is being walked on between the existence of bias and the absence of bias. I think that the answer is for testing specialists to devote time and effort into taking these tests apart piece by piece, and teachers also need to be aware of these circumstances.
#5: What is your view about how much effort a classroom teacher should devote to bias detection and bias elimination?
I think that teachers should put a great deal of effort into bias detections and bias elimination. America is a diverse nation, and our schools hold so many different groups of people. All students should have an equal opportunity to do well on a test. If a student does badly on an assessment, if should not be because of any bias in the classroom. I think that this starts with teachers being aware of their classroom and unassuming of their students. It takes time and effort to go over assessment devices with a fine-tooth comb, but it is well worth it. If teachers truly want their students to succeed, then they need to give them every possible opportunity to do so. Bias detection and bias elimination is going to help students reach the high expectations that teachers are laying before them; why wouldn’t teachers want to put effort towards that?
#6: What kind of overall educational assessment strategy can you think of that might make the testing of students with disabilities more fair? How about LEP students?
When discussing the educational assessment strategies that teachers should take concerning students with disabilities, I think that it is important to make sure that the assessments are still aligned with the curricular goals for the rest of the class. The text made an important point about the testing of students with disabilities by explaining that teachers need to understand that “…the education of all but a very small group of those children must be aimed at precisely the same curricular targets as the curricular targets teachers have for all other students” (Popham, 2011, p. 124). I believe that educators easily fall short in this area and lower the classroom expectations for students with disabilities or LEPs because they do not want those students to fail. I would challenge teachers to develop assessments that allow for flexibility in it’s implementation, but the different forms would still align with the overall curricular goals. I think that formative assessment lends a helping hand to educators with this challenge. Formative assessment would allow teachers to have the same end goal to an assessment, but have different forms it comes in that would work for students with disabilities and LEPs. I think that the word “fair” is a really hard thing to reach in education. Honestly, it is not all “fair”. If all students are given the same test across the board, then it is not fair for students with learning disabilities and LEPs. If some students are given one test and then other students are given a different tests with accommodations that is also technically not fair. I think that we should move away from the focus being on fairness and move it towards answering the question, “How are all of my students learning and growing?”
#7: Can bias in educational assessment devices be totally eliminated? Why or why not?
I believe that steps to eliminate bias in educational assessment devices should always be taken. Since we live in a broken world with flawed humans running things, I honestly do not know if bias will ever be totally eliminated. On the other hand, I do think that we can get pretty close. The more effort that teachers, administration, and assessment specialists put into eliminating bias, the better assessment is going to be. Since society is always changing and growing, I think that it is a bit unrealistic to say that we can eliminate bias both now and forever more. The text said that the more that teachers work to become “sensitive to the existence of assessment bias and the need to eliminate it”, the closer that we will come to the end goal (Popham, 2011, p. 119). Do I think that we will reach that goal and stay there? No, but do I think that an effort to reach that goal will be highly effective in changing student’s lives for the better? Yes.
Ch3 p. 80 #3: What kinds of educational assessment procedures do you think should definitely require the assembly of reliability evidence? Why?
I was going over this question for a while to try and decide what my opinion is on this subject. I think that I agree with the author when reliability in the classroom was brought up. I do not think that it is absolutely crucial that a teacher involves all three types of reliability evidence because all three may not fit into every classroom situation. Teachers should focus on knowing what reliability is but do not need to get carried away with every specific test. Teachers should understand the concept so that they can then take the truth of reliable assessment and apply it in their own classrooms. Teachers need to continuously measure student’s growth and they need to understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of assessment. I think that the statewide tests that are a requirement for schools should absolutely require the assembly of reliability evidence. Since so much importance is placed upon student test scores, I think that evidence should always be presented on how reliable the tests are in the first place.
#5: What is your reaction to classification consistency as an approach to the determination of reliability?
I understand the argument with classification consistency that is being placed on the table but I do not completely agree. I do agree that a test’s reliability and consistency should be based on much more then a one time test. This is especially true if the test is exempting qualified students from a topic of study because of their scores. However, I think that a test would lose a large portion of its validity when it is taken a second time by the same students who have already gone through the test once. I understand that a student’s achievement on a test is not going to only reflect their knowledge, but also their mood, emotions, physical health, and so much more. However, the evidence of a test’s consistency will be skewed if the results are coming from students who have gone through the same test twice.
Ch4 p. 109 #2: It was suggested that some measurement specialists regard all forms of validity evidence as construct-related validity evidence. Do you agree? If so, or if not, why?
After studying this subject, I think that I agree with the connection between all forms of validity evidence and construct-related validity evidence. The reason for this belief is that construct-related validity evidence is the original idea of creating a hypothesis that then leads to an experiment that then leads to results. The construct-related validity evidence answers the important question of, “Is the test accurately measuring what it was created to measure?” This specific result comes from careful study and planning that is put into a hypothesis before the testing actually begins. The end result is then studied and the test is measured for its effectiveness. All of these components are important elements of the validity evidence that I have studied so far. I agree that there are still some specific differences that make different types of validity evidence stand apart from each other. However, on a larger scale, I think that the overall idea of construct-related validity evidence can be found in the other forms of validity evidence.
#5: What kind(s) of validity evidence do you think classroom teachers need to assemble regarding their classroom assessment devices?
I believe that the necessary validity evidence will be different based on the teacher and the classroom. Since I have started my teaching program, I have noticed that teachers have so many different ways of teaching. In this realization, I have found that different teachers also have differing opinions on which assessment devices they prefer to use in the classroom. I would say that when teachers put together their classroom assessment devices, they probably look to use the content-related evidence of validity in most situations. I think that the construct–related validity evidence would also work, but that the content-related evidence would still be most applicable in classroom settings. The content-related evidence would work in tests and quizzes that assess student’s knowledge of the subject matter. This would allow teachers to see if the tests results match up with the curricular aims of the class. I like how the text said, “ The only reason teachers should assess their students is to make better educational decisions about those students.” (Popham, 2011, p. 87). The content-related validity evidence allows teachers to plan out where they want their class to end up and the steps they need to take to get there.