Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Assessing Instructional Effectiveness for Tested and Non-Tested Areas

The fundamental premise behind instructional effectiveness  initiatives is that good teaching and effective educational management can produce enhanced student learning. In order to assess instructional effectiveness, it is not only necessary to show that teachers and administrators have demonstrated skill in instruction and educational management, but it is also essential to demonstrate that effective instruction and educational management have resulted in improvements in student learning.

In 2011, Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI) was asked to explore how we could support local implementation of instructional effectiveness initiatives. ATI undertook the development of an integrated Instructional Effectiveness Assessment System (IEAS). The initial IEAS pilot began in the 2011-2012 school year and involved 37 school districts. The success of the pilot provided a foundation for the creation of IEAS.

The Galileo IEAS is comprised of two integrated components addressing the key areas in assessing instructional effectiveness, student outcomes and educator proficiency. As part of our continuous efforts to provide schools with a fully integrated and standards-aligned instructional improvement system, the Galileo IEAS has been fully incorporated into the Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement System (IIS). Our plan is to continue to work in collaboration with districts and charter schools in expanding the instructional effectiveness tools. 

As part of instructional effectiveness, ATI is answering in a number of ways the urgent need for valid, reliable, and fair items in areas not tested on the statewide assessment. For example, ATI Standards Builder makes it possible to enter any set of standards into the Galileo K-12 Online. The standards for non-tested grades and subjects have been entered into the system, including such diverse subjects as music, dance, and physical education. This means that IE assessments can easily be created and aligned to these subjects within Galileo.

Another way in which ATI is addressing the need for reliable and fair items in grades/ subjects not tested on statewide tests is to provide technology to districts and to organizations working on item creation. One partner in this area is WestEd. WestEd is providing a group of districts with item development services including training in the construction and review of items in art, music, and physical education. ATI is providing technology to manage those items including importing them into Galileo, placing the items in banks, retrieving the items for use in assessments, scheduling and delivering assessments for use in schools, conducting psychometric analyses to establish item parameter estimates and to determine the validity and reliability of the assessments, and providing instructional reports of assessment results.

Still another support of IE assessment in non-tested areas is provided through the use of Galileo Automated Scoring Key (ASK) Technology. Galileo ASK Technology enables schools and districts to administer, score (automatically, if a multiple-choice format is used), and report on an assessment that was created outside of Galileo. Such an assessment may be administered either online or with scannable answer sheets.

Read further about the benefits of IE in the February 20 blog post or ATI’s Instructional Effectiveness Assessment System white paper, stressing the critical issues of measuring instructional effectiveness, the importance of reliability and validity in measurement, and an overview of the measurement procedures needed to be in place to effectively implement and help guide local decision-making. 

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and describe how the Galileo IEAS can be incorporated into your local instructional improvement plans. We can be reached at 877.442.5453.

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