What is a Balanced System of Assessment?
A balanced system of educational assessment provides all stakeholders with the data necessary to inform planning, instruction, policy, and institutions to ensure the education and well-being of all students (Pellegrino, 2014). The progressive and 21st century movements reveal a need to adapt instruction and assessment to meet the needs of the future. Students require instruction and assessment that does not focus only on acquiring information but analysing, synthesizing, and applying information to solve problems, design innovative solutions, collaborate in teams, and effectively communicate (Pellegrino, 2014). Effective and balanced assessment on multiple levels ensures that stakeholders can develop instruction to meet the needs of students.
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Three levels of assessment are necessary to form an effective and balanced system that provides relevant data to different groups of stakeholders (American College of Education, 2021).
Level one stakeholders include students, parents, and teachers and includes formative, summative, immediate, close, and proximal assessments. Students are shared level one data and given actionable feedback by teachers. Teachers use this data to develop short and long-term planning, group students, differentiate, and set objectives and goals for students. Parents and guardians are also shared level one data so that they can support their child`s academic development.
Level two assessment stakeholders include teacher teams, curriculum leads, and principals and data on this level is used to measure the effectiveness of programs, groups of students, and evaluate teacher performance (American College of Education, 2021). This data is used to inform decisions about the efficacy of programs, grade-level and school-level initiatives, and teacher effectiveness.
Level three assessment stakeholders include superintendents, policy-makers, and the wider public and this data is shared to gauge the effectiveness of programs and development of large groups of students over time (American College of Education, 2021). This data is used to make decisions about wider initiatives including public policies about education and teacher training.
The integration of these three levels of assessment create a balanced whole that meets the educational needs of students. Students and other educational professionals are assessed to ensure that targets are being met and progress is being made.
American College of Education. (2021). CI6123: Module 1 [video 1]. Canvas. https://a19 119599390.cluster19.canvas-user content.com/courses/1755327/files/119599390/course%20files/course-content/module-content/01-module/m1-04-video-02.html
Pellegrino, J.W. (2014). Assessment as a positive influence on 21st century teaching and learning: A systems approach to progress. Psicologia Educativa, 20, 65-77. https://www.elsevier.es/psed
Stiggins, R. (2014). A new vision of assessment excellence. Youtube. https://youtu.be/XHX2jnKNiyw