Assessment Methods for k-12 System
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Formative and Informative Assessment using K-12
Many teachers and students have found the use of the K-12 mode of assessment very effective and result oriented in determining the progress of a student. This is a qualitative assessment procedure that detects any form of improvement and does not basically focus on the scores only by dwelling on details of the content at hand. When we compare k-12 with summative assessment, we find that the latter focuses on outcomes of education for accountability unlike k-12 which focus on the qualitative aspect of education which depicts development (Hart & Laurie, 1989, Pg. 242).
Hence we can say that K-12 is an assessment that ensures that learning is improved by focusing on the methods employed in passing of learning and how effective they are. This is a method that is both beneficial to the teachers and the students since it provides feedback in terms of performance, progress in assignments, reconstruction of understanding skills by students as well as cementing powerful ideologies and ideas on students (Boston & Carol, 2002, Pg. 8).
K-12 Improvements for Special Population in Web and Computer technology
The EDU STAR which stands for, standardized test for the assessment reading, is an assessment strategy is a software used to assess the educational progress of a student and to effectively boost the incorporation of technology in learning as a way of improving K-12 system of assessment, I recommend the utility of the EDU STAR technology which will expose the use of instructional technology as a way of helping the students in their learning. The purpose of EDU is to create a bridge that will link the successful entrepreneurs and innovators to the k-12 students (Black & Wiliam, 2009, Pg. 5-7).
This is an effective method that is cost effective and it will ensure that the students get all the technological information that they need in their studies. It is an effective technology that will set a proper base for the assessment of the disabled students. This sets a platform for innovation and student creativity in the science sector as well as availing all technological knowledge to both the teacher and the student. The technology is rigorous in its evaluation methods, it is affordable since it has low cost platform and it is a reliable method and can be widely trusted in its results (Black & Wiliam, 2009, Pg. 13).
The first technological improvement is the incorporation of low technology solutions in learning such utilizing the organization structure such as task analysis and simple charts using graphic organizers. This sets the understanding of the studies at hand at ease and the students can easily comprehend what is required of them even before it happens. Secondly, when it comes to taking of notes technology can be used to enhance an effective way to help students cope with the teacher’s speed. There is software for optical character recognition that transforms typewritten material into a readable state using a computer through use of a scanner. Hence visually impaired student will thus have an easy time in taking notes (Boston & Carol, 2002, Pg. 9).
One may wonder how this technology will help students with reading-difficulties but the truth is that the incorporation of a voice-synthesizer will help students who are slow in understanding or reading able to effectively review their notes. It is evident that some students do get concepts later when they go through their notes and hence the voice synthesizer will help in audio classes or tutorials (Evertson & Judith, 1986, Pg. 19).
Another effective technology is the use of videotaping during a class session to help those students who are not fast enough to catch up later as well as help the students who are good in picking up body language and images. In case this does not get effective, it would be wise to provide notebook computers or laptops for further note taking assistance (Evertson & Judith, 1986, Pg. 20).
Sometimes we have students with mild special cases such as difficulties in writing as a result of poor spelling, punctuation, editing and revising. It would thus be wise to employ the assistance of the word processing software found in computers as well as word predictions for such students. This ensures that students improve cognitively in their writing skills as well as creative writing (Hart & Laurie, 1989, Pg. 244).
Sometimes students will need cognitive assistance in reading whereby the use of multimedia CD-ROM application would be necessary for those with the capability to. Other disabled who are not in a position to utilize this will have to seek other means. These are special books that have interesting stories which motivate students to read. This is to say the interest created here is in terms of syllable pronunciation, definition of words and highlighting of words as they are being read by the software. Technology in this sector has gone to the extent of programming a bilingual CD-ROM that help students read a story in their native language while it is interpreted in another (Black & Wiliam, 2009, Pg. 17).
People with mild disabilities should also be availed with authoring tools for presentation that develop and modify instructional materials that are computer-based such as animation, videos and texts and converts them to instructions that are hyper -based. All this is to ensure that k-12 students get the best technological advancement and modes of assessment that will bring out the qualitative aspect of learning advancement in them. When the above advancements in technology are used on students who have difficulties with traditional modes of instructions, a very great and tremendous improvement is noted (Boston & Carol, 2002, Pg. 9).
Assessment Strategies for K-12 Student
Computer Aided Assessment
This is a very effective method that is convenient for both the student and the teacher as it has technologically taken the level of education to a whole new level. The computerized system can guide and grade a student after every test creating a definitive quick way of learning and self-assessment and evaluation. The software that technologically makes this assessment effective is the LCMs, LMS and moodle. When well integrated they make learning easy and effective (Boston & Carol, 2002, Pg. 8). This is well suited for students who do not have the ability to be at each and every place they are physically required.
Use of Rubrics
This is an assessment mode that is valid and reliable in assessing students as it is a tool that outlines performance by determining what is important to assess and the suitability of the criteria used. The system has a simpler version that incorporates the use of checklists in assessment. The system has an advantage in that it clarifies the teacher’s expectations from the student and as a result helping the student improve in performance (Evertson & Judith, 1986, Pg. 27).
The student also has an upper hand in knowing the criteria to be used in assessing him or her hence acting as a guide to self-evaluation for the student either personally or assessment from classmates and peers before it gets to the teacher. On the other hand, the use of rubrics ensure that fairness is achieved in grading and scoring as well as getting to the overall performance meaning that objectives were met in a fair way. The strengths and weakness of the student are easy to establish through use of rubrics in assessment since the performance level is well detailed. In addition, the time used by the teacher on students and they are also easy to understand for the teacher and the student (Hart & Laurie, 1989, Pg. 248).
These are tests issued in a standard manner whereby a number of students are doing a similar test or a test with similar contents while the evaluation and grading is also similar. The system allows for more reliable outcomes in the progress of the students either as individuals or collective per school. It helps the teachers to share on the reasons for success in respective areas of teaching and strategies used. The assessment also helps the teacher to determine if the curriculum is effective for the students basing on the level of performance (Black & Wiliam, 2009, Pg. 25-29).
Advantages of Incorporating Technology on K-12 Assessment
The use of technology will ensure that the level of performance gives clarity in determining good performance since the expected standards will be realized as well as the best criteria to be incorporated. Since students are left to handle studies on their own, a sense of responsibility, development and self-assessment is cultivated in students (Evertson & Judith, 1986, Pg. 22).
As learning is made easier and effective, the quality of information passed on to students is improves and made effective as the system focuses in improving the learning process. This makes the students develop a sense of acquiring knowledge rather than reading just for the exams. In other words self-esteem is boosted (Hart & Laurie, 1989, Pg. 256).
Peer dialogue between teachers and students is cultivated in learning hence creating a bond that foster passing of information from the teacher to the student which in turn develops a high level of improved learning. In this case, the gap between the current performance and the desired performance is narrowed or rather closed in. teachers are also able to shape their mode of teaching so as to foster effective learning and performance for the students (Black & Wiliam, 2009, Pg. 30-36).
K-12 has been very effective in ensuring that the level of qualitative analysis and assessment of student performance has been effected especially for disabled students . It has useful in providing an effective feedback for teachers in ensuring that they modify learning activities for the better. It is a system that has made it possible for students to realize their true potential based on true assessment on their performance ability rather than on mare scores (Evertson & Judith, 1986, Pg. 30).
Hart, Laurie E. (1989). Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Pg. 242–260.
Evertson, Carolun, Green & Judith. (1986).Handbook of Research on Teaching.
Boston, Carol. (2002). The concept of formative assessment. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, Pg. 8-9.
Black J., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, Pg. 5-31