Assessment Overview - Definitions

Assessment Glossary

Assessment
The process of judging the educational value of student work.

Authentic Assessment
Authentic assessment is a process of assessing students in a way that measures student performance in "real-life" tasks and situations such as speaking in front of others, presenting evidence of opinion to a board of reviewers, exhibition of portfolios, etc.

Building Capacity
Helping humans, students and teachers, to learn how to assess better. When policy wonks get together, this is the most likely policy for effecting long-term change (Elmore, 1989).

Content Validity
The degree to which the content covered by a measurement device matches the instruction that preceded it.

Evaluation
The process of interpreting or making judgments about assessment data to determine the extent to which students are achieving instructional goals (Hart, D. (1994). 

Extended Response
Assessments such as short answers or essays that require students to provide more than one-word answers.           

Extended Tasks
Assignments that require continuous attention on a specific task and are completed over several days of work or longer. 

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Formative Evaluation
An assessment that occcurs before and during the learning process. This information is then used to guide the content and speed of lessons for students. 

Open-ended Response
Questions that compel students to construct a response rather than choose from a multiple-choice set of answers. 

Performance Assessment
Performance assessments are forms of testing designed to get students to demonstrate their learning through extended tasks, projects, or experiments, rather than choosing one answer from ready-made, multiple-choice tests. 

Portfolios
A collection of student work that exhibits evidence of student progress.

Quality Arts in Education
Transportable model for district-wide school improvement through the arts.

Reliable
An assessment is reliable if it yields results that are accurate and stable.  In order for a performance assessment to be reliable, it should be administered and scored in a consistent way for all the students who take the assessment.

Research
Research is an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions. Click here for more. 

Rubrics
Criteria for judging student achievement.

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School Improvement
The act of making use of or being interested in new ideas, findings, or oppportunities to change, improve or reform schools.           

School Reform
The act of making use of or being interested in new ideas, findings, or oppportunities to change, improve, or reform schools.

Summative Evaluation
An evaluation at the end of a unit of study, term, or year, to judge student achievement and/or teacher effectiveness. 

Testing
The process of judging student achievement on educational questions.

Transportable Model
A school reform idea that can be replicated in many classrooms.

Valid
An assessment is valid for a particular purpose if it in fact measures what it was intended to measure.  An assessment of a learning outcome is valid to the extent that scores truly measure that outcome and are not affected by anything irrelevant to the outcome.

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