Assessment-driven instruction

This post is sponsored by Curriculum Associates.
With the right assessment approach, teachers can assess less while still gaining critical insight into each student’s strengths and areas of need. An assessment approach that aims to drive instruction frees teachers to spend more time providing instruction to all students whether it is online, teacher-led, or a combination of both. Katie Nicholson, vice president of online assessment at Curriculum Associates, provides more information on technological advancements in assessment, how valuable assessment data supports blended learning, and the ultimate goal of a strong assessment system.
What technological advances have you seen in the area of assessment that districts should be taking advantage of to reduce testing time for students? Why?
There is growing interest in computer adaptive testing (CAT), where students answer questions online and a computerized algorithm tailors future questions based on correct or incorrect answers. The key difference between an adaptive assessment and a fixed-form one—which is often taken with paper and pencil—is the way in which the former efficiently identifies skill gaps across grade levels. This is especially relevant today in light of more rigorous education standards. For example, iReady® provides an adaptive diagnostic for grades K–12, offering a comprehensive, across-grade, across-domain understanding of a student’s skills. As a result, teachers can better understand the root causes of skill gaps spanning back multiple years as well as identify where to focus instruction next. This helps them differentiate instruction and meet the needs of all learners, including …