Monday, July 9, 2012

Assessment Component in Galileo K-12 Online

Assessment is a central component of the Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement System (IIS). The purpose of the Galileo IIS is to provide management tools that can assist educators to promote student learning. The comprehensive assessment component includes both benchmark and formative assessments along with many other forms of assessment, including placement, computerized adaptive testing, and instructional effectiveness assessments.

Galileo’s assessment component is intended to inform instruction aimed at promoting the mastery of standards reflecting valued educational goals. Currently the standards selected to guide instruction are generally state, local, or in some cases Common Core State Standards. If benchmark and formative assessments are to be effective in informing instruction, it is essential that the relevant standards be reflected in item construction and assessment design. Assessing students using items that do not reflect the standards in use by the district brings to question the validity and accountability of the assessment system and the student achievement data it provides.

As Haladyna notes,

The use of a test that is poorly aligned with the state’s curriculum and content standards, coupled with test-based accountability, results in test scores that may not be validly interpreted or used. (Haladyna, 2004 pp.9-10).
The Galileo assessment component is effective in informing instruction and developing assessments because it:
  • adheres to industry standards for item construction and assessment design;
  • provides information on student mastery of standards;
  • provides recommendations on what to teach next;
  • is capable of forecasting standards mastery as reflected in statewide assessment performance;
  • is capable of assessing the varying levels of knowledge reflected in the standards guiding instruction;
  • is sensitive to diverse background characteristics of students that may affect student performance;
  • provides local control of assessment specifications providing efficient measurement of standards targeted for instruction;
  • reflects standards that maximize the visual quality of items and ensure that items are appropriate for both online and offline administration; and
  • estimates and evaluates item parameters through a continuing research program.
Haladyna, T.M. (2004). Developing and validating multiple-choice test items. Mahwah, NJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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