Aligning Standards and Assessments

Data-literate educators are skilled at designing and evaluating assessments that allow for less-biased inferences about what students know and are able to do.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educators internalize learning standards and ensure measures of student performance are aligned to those standards. Furthermore, they understand that multiple items or tasks may be necessary to fully reflect the depth and rigor of a specific learning standard.

Method Components

Successful data-literate educators can select any learning standard they are teaching and write or find assessment items or tasks that align to that standard with respect to both academic content and rigor. This includes:

  1. The educator aligns measures of student performance (e.g., assessment items, academic tasks, etc.) to learning standards with respect to the academic content of the standard. The items or tasks effectively assess the entirety of the specified academic content. For example, if the standard states, “Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size”:

- To be fully aligned with the academic content, the items or tasks must include both equivalence of fractions and comparisons of fractions.

- In contrast, an assessment item that asks students to compare fractional and decimal representations of a number would be related to the content of this standard, but it would NOT be aligned to this particular standard.

  1. The educator aligns measures of student performance to learning standards with respect to the rigor of the learning standard. The items or tasks match the depth and rigor articulated in the standard. For example, if the standard states, “Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size”:

- To be aligned in terms of rigor, the items or tasks would require students to explain equivalencies, potentially using something like a visual fractional model in their explanation.

- In contrast, a task that simply asked students to generate a set of five simple equivalent fractions (e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3, etc.) would be aligned with respect to content, but not in terms of the rigor of the standard. This item might be part of a scaffolded set of aligned items, but taken alone, it could not provide sufficient evidence of aligned assessment.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Webb, Norman. (1997). Criteria for Alignment of Expectations and Assessments in Mathematics and Science Education. Research Monograph No. 6. Council of Chief State School Officers. Washington, DC, http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED414305.pdf


Resources

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn the micro-credential for Aligning Standards and Assessments, submit the following:

  1. The standard to be assessed
  2. The measures of student performance (e.g., assessment items, academic tasks, etc.) used to assess that standard
  3. A written reflection or set of annotations on the measures of student performance that highlights the alignment between the selected learning standard and the assessment items or tasks

When stating the learning standard (and relevant sub-standards, if applicable), cut and paste the standard in its entirety and, if possible, provide a link or citation where the standard can be found in the public domain.

Your submission will be assessed on the following rubric. You must earn a (3) Proficient or (4) Exemplary to earn the micro-credential.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Requirements

Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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