ERIC Number: ED458215
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-May
Reference Count: N/A
State Standards, Assessments and Instruction. ERIC Digest.
Tienken, Christopher; Wilson, Michael
This digest describes a program used by two New Jersey educators to help teachers improve instruction through a deeper understanding of state standards and test specifications. Understanding how standards-based tests are constructed is the first step in being able to use them to guide and improve instruction. This digest recommends, as the route to understanding, a three-part process of delineation, alignment, and calibration for developing an understanding of state assessments and using that understanding to improve instruction. Delineation is the process of identifying all aspects or dimensions of a particular subject domain. It involves using state documents that describe the assessment to analyze its characteristics and components. Examples are given from the New Jersey standards and test specification manuals. During the alignment phase, administrators and teachers work to identify, analyze, generalize, and describe the links between the various elements associated with the subject area previously delineated and the sample questions selected for activities to assess student progress. After completing the delineation, and beginning the alignment processes, calibration begins. Calibration is the act of conducting communications and interactions with teaching staff based on the information from the other two phases. Score reports should be used to improve calibration, and teachers can reflect on their level of calibration accuracy by attempting to predict student results on state assessments. There is a distinct difference between traditional notions of test preparation and aligning and calibrating instruction and assessments with the state assessments, specifications, and standards. Delineation, alignment, and calibration are academic endeavors that demand unending commitment and ample time and resources to avoid falling into mere test preparation. (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Information Dissemination, Instruction, State Standards, Test Construction, Test Use
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, 1129 Shriver Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-3742. Tel: 800-464-3742 (Toll Free). Web site: http://ericae.net.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, College Park, MD.
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey