The Prepared Practitioner: An Assessment Primer by: Alan Colburn

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Although the title of this month’s column may make your skin crawl—read on. Everyone should understand a few basics about the “A” word. Being able to distinguish formative from summative assessment and criterion-based from norm-referenced testing helps not only teachers, but also parents, the larger community, and students. In a school system awash in assessment data, helping others understand where the data comes from and how it is meant to be used becomes critical. Together, we can turn the “A” word from “awful” to “awesome” (or at least “all right”)!

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  • on Wed May 02, 2012 10:37 PM

This one-page summary provides one with a quick read of all the basic elements concerning assessments. Knowing the difference between a criterion-based and norm-referenced test and a formative versus summative assessment are important in education. This article covers those basic terms.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:51 PM

Simple definition of formative v summative; criterion-based v norm-referenced. Quick little article, but I learned more about norm-referenced assessment than I knew before.


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