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NRC Assessment of Learning Workshop Proceedings:
February & May Combined Agendas

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
NATIONAL SCIENCE RESOURCES CENTER

MATH/SCIENCE PARTNERSHIPS WORKSHOP
ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING

PLENARY AND BREAK-OUT SESSIONS
February 1-3, 2004
May 16-18, 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS

COMBINED WORKSHOP AGENDAS BY TOPIC

February Opening Remarks
Jay Labov, National Research Council (NRC)
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation

Sally Goetz Shuler, National Science Resources Center
Biosketch | Transcript

Martin Orland, NRC Center for Education
Biosketch | Transcript

Elizabeth VanderPutten, National Science Foundation Representative
Biosketch | Transcript of Presentation

May Opening Remarks
Jay Labov, National Research Council (NRC)
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation

Sally Goetz Shuler, National Science Resources Center
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation

Janice Earle, National Science Foundation
Biosketch | Transcript of Presentation

February Plenary
Assessment as a Primary Means for Promoting Student Learning
Lorrie Shepard, Dean of the School of Education and Chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology Program, University of Colorado, Boulder
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

May Plenary
Exploring the Process of Classroom Assessment,
George Bright, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Classroom assessment is the process of gathering information about students' thinking, inferring what students know, and adjusting instruction to match students' needs. This process reflects the way assessment is characterized in the Knowing What Students Know report. As part of an NSF-funded project (grant #9819914), professional development materials have been developed that help middle grades and high school mathematics teachers learn to apply classroom assessment practices in the planning and delivery of instruction. In this session, an overview of those materials will be given. Participants will engage in several of the activities to see how those activities exemplify major principles of effective classroom assessment.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

February Plenary
What Assessment Issues are MSPs currently confronting?
Panel: Two MSP teams discuss assessment decisions
Panel Members:
Deborah Poland, County Science Coach
Wendy Williams, County Math Coach
Transcript of Presentation
MSP: Allegheny Intermediate Unit:
Nancy R. Bunt
, PI
J. Kevin Kelly, MSP Coordinator
Transcript of Presentation

MSP: Stark County, OH:
Michael Kestner
, Program Specialist, U.S. Dept. of Education,
Transcript of Presentation

February & May Plenary
Implications for MSPs of Large-Scale Assessments
Marge Petit, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
Under the requirements of NCLB each state must develop a set of mathematics grade level expectations for grades 3 - 8 and one grade at the high school level. These grade level expectations are to form the foundation for state level assessments in grades 3 - 8 and one high school grade aligned with the grade level expectation to be administered beginning in the school year 2005 -2006. In this session participants will explore the implications of these requirement on MSPs and how "bridging the gap" between large-scale and classroom assessment may have different implications for different Mathematics and Science Partnerships.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation from February Workshop | Transcript of Presentation from February Workshop | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion February Workshop** | Handout 1 | Handout 2 | Powerpoint Presentation from May Workshop | Transcript of Presentation from May Workshop

February Plenary
An Assessment Exercise
Andrew Porter, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy and, Director of the Learning Sciences Institute, Vanderbilt University
Tests send messages to teachers and students as to the content that is most important to be learned. Tests can be more or less aligned to state and professional content standards and instruction can be more or less aligned to tests and/or standards. But, tests consist of collections of items (tasks). Tools have been developed to provide analytic powerful descriptions of the content messages of tests and standards. Tools also have been developed for describing the alignment among instruction, assessment and standards. These tools will be discussed. Participants will use the tools to content analyze a test.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion* Handouts from Presentation

February Plenary
Debriefing of Assessment Exercise and Participant Discussion
Andy Porter, Lorrie Shepard, MSP team panel
Transcript of Presentation and Discussion

February Plenary
Connecting Cognition and Assessment James Pellegrino, Co-Director, Center for the Study of Learning, Instruction, & Teacher Development, University of Illinois, Chicago This presentation will focus on critical connections between cognition and assessment based on the research findings summarized in several NRC reports. Special focus will be given to the conception of assessment offered in the Knowing What Students Know report and its connection to major ideas about the nature of cognition and learning described in the How People Learn report. Issues regarding the design and use of assessment at the classroom, school, district and state level will be highlighted. A special attempt will be made to provide examples of quality assessment design and practice in math and science and discuss how they exemplify the concepts and principles about assessment laid out in Knowing What Students Know. Topics covered in this presentation should complement and help set the stage for the plenary and breakout sessions that follow.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

May Plenary
What Researchers and Expert Panels Say about Assessment for Instruction and Learning:
Marge Petit, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

February Plenary
Equity in Assessment William Trent
, Professor of Education Policy Studies and Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign This session will focus primarily on the NRC report, "High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation." Discussion will include fairness in testing, equity issues, and accommodations in the testing process. Dr. Trent will stress the need for access to high quality, advanced courses for all students and how "tracking" fits into the assessment picture.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

May Plenary
Equity and Access: The Implications of Accountability
Diana C. Pullin, Professor of Education Law and Public Policy, Boston College
This session addresses equity and fairness issues in the implementation of assessment programs in the current high-stakes accountability context. The session will address access, opportunity to learn, subgroup data in testing systems, and formative evaluation student needs. Strategies to promote equity and fairness will be considered through a review of legal requirements and professional and technical standards concerning educational assessment.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

February Plenary
Classroom Assessment of Learning: What Does It Mean for MSPs?
Lorrie Shepard, Dean of the School of Education and Chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology Program, University of Colorado, Boulder
Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

May Plenary
Research Strategies for Assessment of Learning
Diane Ebert-May, Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University Language for discussing assessment with scientists is critical in all educational projects, especially those that include the K through graduate continuum. Together will focus on current strategies we use in undergraduate education to design and implement active, inquiry-based instruction in science courses and the methods for assessing and analyzing student data to determine the effectiveness of these approaches. Our research designs and strategies are derived from the methods of discipline-based research in the sciences. We use this approach for diagnosing student misconceptions, developing problems to assess student understanding about key concepts in biology, and collecting, analyzing and reporting data that will influence future instruction. We argue that this approach is applicable across disciplines and is scalable for class size and academic level. We will explore, design and analyze assessment strategies and how the data can inform instruction in any course or curriculum.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation**

February Plenary
Concept-mapping: A Research Tool
Diane Ebert-May, Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University Concept mapping can be a formative assessment tool and a research tool. This session will focus on the implications of concept-mapping as a research tool. Dr. Ebert-May will discuss some of the work currently in progress and possible applications.
Powerpoint Presentation | Handout | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

February and May Plenary
Planning for Change in Assessment Mark Kaufman,
Co-Director of the Center for Education Partnerships, TERC
In this session MSP teams will use the knowledge gained from the workshop to plan for the challenge of making changes in local assessment policies and practices. Teams will examine a specific set of conditions in their partnerships that can support or hinder the process of making needed changes.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation for February Workshop | Transcript of February Presentation
Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion from February Plenary* | Handouts from February Presentation | Powerpoint Presentation for May Workshop | Handout from May Presentation | Transcript of May Presentation** | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion from May Plenary

Break-out Session: FEBRUARY ONLY
Information Technology: Implications for Assessment of Learning
Ellen Mandinach, Associate Director for Research, EDC Center for Children & Technology
This session will deal with some of the pressing issues facing researchers and practitioners concerning the assessment and evaluation of the impact of educational technology on teaching activities and student learning. NCLB, the What Works Clearinghouse, and the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences' focus on scientifically-based research all have major impact on how researchers and school personnel can effectively assess the impact of the emerging technologies on student learning. The session will touch upon the intersection of technology, instruction, and assessment. It will also draw upon a recent paper commissioned for the National Education Technology Plan that traces twenty years of educational technology policy documents and recommendations. Particular attention will be paid to how researchers and practitioners can work together to meet the challenges of NCLB, without compromising school infrastructure and ethics. The session will be informal, consisting of interactive exchanges of ideas among the attendees.
Biosketch | Powerpoint handouts | [TRANSCRIPT NOT AVAILABLE]

Break-out Sessions: FEBRUARY AND MAY
C-TOOLS: Concept-map Tools for Online Learning in Science
Diane Ebert-May, Professor, Plant Biology, Michigan State University C-TOOLS is a web-based concept mapping tool (Java applet) with an automatic scoring function (Robo-grader). C-TOOLS enables students in large (or small) introductory science classes to visualize their thinking online as well as to receive immediate formative feedback. The value of concept maps is that they provide visual evidence of how students understand the direct relation and organization among many principles, data not easily assessed by multiple choice questions or even extended responses. In this workshop we will use C-TOOLS as an assessment tool and discuss methods of its application in the classroom to motivate students to reflect, revise and share their thinking with peers as an extension of the learning process. Participants are encouraged to explore the website. C-TOOLS web URL: http://ctools.msu.edu
[TRANSCRIPT NOT AVAILABLE]

Ongoing Classroom Assessment for Mathematics: Assessing for Understanding
Marge Petit
, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
In this session participants will examine a model of ongoing classroom assessment in development by the Vermont Mathematics Partnership. The model draws on findings and recommendations in Adding it Up: How Children Learn Mathematics (2001), Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment (2000), Assessment in Support of Instruction and Learning: Bridging the Gap Between Large-scale and Classroom Assessment (2003), How People Learn: Brian, Mind, Experience, and School, Expanded Addition (2001), Jim Minstrell's work on Facet of Learning, and cognitive research in the development of specific mathematical concepts. The model is an evolving example of "bridging the gap" between large-scale and classroom assessment in support of student learning. Participants will explore the model, examine student work from early one-on-one interviews with students, and have an opportunity to provide feedback on the developing model.
Handout 1 | Handout 2 | Handout 3 | Handout 4 | Handout 5 | [Transcript Not Available]

Formative Assessment in Science: Small Strategies that Work in a Big Way
Mary Colvard
, Consultant, New York State Education Department, and Steering Committee Member
Formative assessment is a tool too often overlooked by educators. Quick and easy formative assessment strategies appropriate for use in both the classroom and professional development settings will be modeled during this session. A discussion of when and how to use several of the techniques will follow activities during which participants work through a variety of formative assessment activities designed to provide feedback on student learning. Participants will receive materials and strategies to take home and implement in a classroom setting.
Biosketch | Handout 1 | Handout 2 | Handout 3 | Handout 4 | Handout 5 | [Transcripts Not Available]

Break-out Sessions: MAY ONLY
Ongoing Classroom Assessment for Higher Education
Herbert Brunkhorst, Professor, Science Education and Biology, California State University, San Bernardino, and Steering Committee Member
In this session participants will explore daily assessment strategies for students in higher education classrooms. Strategies that have been used successfully in a university "Introduction to Biology" course will be discussed and explained including, "quick-writes" and "think-pair-share", among others. Another part of this discussion will examine ways that assessment of student learning can be used to develop reflection on teaching and learning by teachers.
Biosketch | Transcripts not available

February and May
Committee Reflections and Participant Discussion

Transcript of February Workshop | Transcript of May Workshop

May Plenary
Wrap-up: Mark Kaufman

Transcript of Discussion


*Questions and responses by the speaker throughout their presentations were common. Those questions are embedded with the verbatim transcript of the presentation.
** There were questions and discussion throughout the May plenary session - no final question and discussion session was held for this session. All questions and discussion are embedded in the transcript for the session/

TABLE OF CONTENTS