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Courses

Innovative Testing Tools

In the age of accountability, assessment is the key element in any restructuring of the educational system and is the primary focus for both individual school achievement and improvement (Chapman and King, 2005). This course will deal directly with the issue of integrating instruction with assessment or what has been popularly referred to as teaching to the test. The paradigm featuring assessment of learning will be flipped over to reveal assessment for learning.

The focus will be on creating the skills necessary to make classroom exercises and activities so compelling and powerful that the two separate fields of instruction and assessment will merge into a single domain (Bond, 2006). Teachers will begin instructional planning, with the end (assessment) in mind, by identifying the desired results and competency targets as related to their specific subject and grade level. Teachers will address how evidence is gathered through a variety of formal and informal assessments to effectively gauge student performance (Wiggins, McTighe, 1998). Related issues such as classroom management, motivation and test anxiety will be addressed. Alternative methods of assessment will be introduced and incorporated into practical and classroom-friendly activities.


Graduate Participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional Development participants receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes, and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 9/12/17 - 12/12/17
  • 11/14/17 - 2/13/18
  • 1/9/18 - 4/10/18
  • 3/13/18 - 6/12/18
  • 5/8/18 - 8/14/18
  • 7/10/18 - 10/9/18
  • 9/11/18 - 12/11/18

Session/Module 1: A Reintroduction to Assessment

Contents:

  • Member introductions
  • Individual and group expectations
  • Course sessions, resources and requirements
  • Defining assessment
  • Assessment terminology
  • The purpose of assessment, targets and benchmarks
  • Assignments

Session/Module 2: Standards and Benchmarks

Contents:

  • Weighing the pros, cons and perceptions of standards
  • Relating standards to curriculum development: Why students need learning targets
  • Which came first, the curriculum or the test?
  • Benchmarking performance of the class and students through the academic year
  • Getting creative in meeting standards within the curriculum
  • Assignments

Session/Module 3: Standardized Tests

Contents:

  • Accountability and school/state testing
  • Using standardized tests as a teaching tool
  • Assisting students to become good test takers
  • Specific strategies to teach test-taking skills (SIMS Model)
  • Parental involvement and test-taking
  • Diminishing the negative perceptions of standardized tests.
  • Assignments

Session/Module 4: Identifying and Understanding Test Anxiety

Contents:

  • Students in survival mode
  • The difference between stress and distress
  • Stress and the visual, auditory, motor and memory systems
  • Stressors impacting student performance
  • Assignments

Session/Module 5: Steps Toward Eliminating Test Anxiety

Contents:

  • Affirmations as a stress reduction toolVisualization techniques
  • Restructuring brain (neural) patterns
  • Getting rid of A.N.T.s (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
  • Movement-related activities to reduce test anxiety
  • Assignments

Session/Module 6: Comparing Alternative project-based/qualitative) with Traditional Assessment

Contents:

  1. Evaluating traditional assessment
  2. Discovering the elements of alternative assessment
  3. Evaluating authentic assessment throughout the school day
  4. Creating the outline and criteria for an authentic assessment
  5. Creating an authentic assessment task
  6. Assignments

Session/Module 7: The Role of Rubrics

Contents:

  • Comparing analytical and holistic rubrics
  • Evaluating task specific and unit rubrics
  • Developing criteria for an assessment worksheet
  • Rubrics as holistic and analytical assessment tools
  • Using standards to create rubrics
  • Assignments

Session/Module 8: Utilizing Portfolios

Contents:

  • The benefits of portfolios
  • Development of portable life skills: Critical thinking, Organization and Self-Direction
  • Creating timelines and checkpoints for portfolio development/growth
  • Effective self assessment for students and teachers
  • Quantifying/grading portfolios
  • Assignments

Session/Module 9: Organizing Instruction Based on Assessment

Contents:

  • Linking pretest results to the course of study
  • Identify ways of pre-testing: Oral, Written, Socratic questioning
  • Building efficiency into instructional time
  • Developing grading guidelines
  • Learning styles and testing options
  • Learning accommodations for individuals and groups
  • Assignments

Session/Module 10: Incorporating Technology/Final Exam

Contents:

  1. Using web-based resources
  2. The NTeQ approach
  3. Electronic portfolios
  4. Final exam and project
Objectives
  • Assess the course content
  • Evaluate traditional assessment
  • Describe the elements of alternative assessment
  • Evaluate authentic assessment throughout the school day
  • Create the outline and criteria for an authentic assessment
  • Create an authentic assessment task
  • Compare and contrast teaching to the curriculum and . teaching to standardized metrics
  • Create an authentic assessment approach, pre-test strategy or post-test strategy
  • Compare developmental and summative rubrics
  • Compare analytical and holistic rubrics
  • Create task-specific and unit rubrics
  • Evaluate relavancy of assessment strategies
  • Assess the benefits of portfolios
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of an instructional unit
  • Assess a classroom for stressors
  • Evaluate the impact of assessment
  • Compare methods of movement and how they can be used in a classroom
  • Design activities to incorporate positive self talk
  • Design lessons based on standards and benchmarks
  • Design a lesson that integrates technology
  • Create a comprehensive definition of assessment
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online Courses are 13 weeks in length.

Face-to-Face Course courses are held Friday evening from 6pm-9pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8am-6pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:30am- 5:30pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district or school to ensure that all requirements are being met.

Check the Partner University area of our website for specific course tuition.

Students are to purchase their own textbook. Click “Textbook List” for information.

Professional Development participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes.