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Projects

Books on Assessment and Assessment Design

Bibliographies and Test Collections

Gomez, E. (1998). Portfolio assessment and English language learners: An annotated bibliography. Providence, RI: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University. (222 Richmond Street, Suite 300, 02903)
This annotated bibliography contains descriptions of many excellent resources on alternative assessment. The collection is most helpful for teachers of English as a second language and those involved in bilingual education programs. Many fine resources applicable to all students are listed as well.

Thompson, L. (1997). Foreign language assessment in grades K–8: An annotated bibliography of assessment instruments. McHenry, IL: Delta Systems. (1400 Miller Parkway, 60050-7030)
This unique resource describes approximately 160 foreign language assessment instruments currently in use in elementary and middle schools across the country. Includes some high school assessments as well. This book also provides a wealth of resources related to foreign language assessment including descriptions of books, articles, and internet resources useful for teachers of Grades K–12.

Zimmer-Loew, H. (1997). German language assessments: A bibliography. Cherry Hill, NJ: American Association of Teachers of German. (112 Haddontowne Court, #104, 08034)
This bibliography includes profiles of 46 tests that were reviewed by a taskforce of assessment experts in the spring of 1997. A unique feature of each assessment instrument profile is a focus on the national foreign language learning standards. This survey revealed that most professionally designed tests used at the state and national levels tend to emphasize validity and efficiency over reliability.

Books on Assessment and Assessment Design

Barnhardt, S., Delett, J., & Kevorkian, J. (1999). The portfolio assessment manual for foreign language teachers. Washington, DC: National Capital Language Resource Center. (2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 105, 20037-1905)
This comprehensive manual for designing and implementing portfolio assessment in the foreign language classroom is the product of 3 years of collaboration between researchers and a team of pilot test foreign language teachers. The 100-page manual includes a model for designing a reliable and valid portfolio assessment; guidelines for implementing portfolio assessment, including information on developing and scoring rating scales and rubrics; and more than 40 reproducible worksheets for teachers and students.

Brandt, R. (Ed.). (1992). Readings from Educational Leadership: Performance assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (1250 North Pitt Street, 22314-1453)
This collection of articles from Educational Leadership traces the development of alternative assessments from the initial perspectives on more thoughtful assessment to applications of portfolios and performance assessments. Includes specific examples of performance assessments in writing, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and more.

Burke, K. (1994). The mindful school: How to assess authentic learning. Palatine, NY: IRI/Skylight.
In this book, authentic assessment encompasses meaningful tasks, positive interaction between teachers and students, methods that emphasize higher-order thinking skills, and strategies that allow students to plan, monitor, and evaluate their own learning. The book covers a variety of assessment methods, such as standardized tests, portfolios, learning logs, journals, metacognition, observation checklists, interviews, and conferences. It also provides strategies to help students apply and transfer specific skills to real-life learning situations.

Burke, K., Fogarty, R., & Belgrad, S. (1994) The mindful school: the portfolio connection. Palatine, NY: IRI/Skylight.
This comprehensive resource takes a closer look at portfolios and provides teachers with creative suggestions for their use. A multitude of options for purposes and types of portfolios are discussed, as well as 10 strategies that are part of the portfolio system. Each chapter provides in-depth explanations of options and examples.

Danielson, C., & Abrutyn, L. (1997). An introduction to using portfolios in the classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This practical guide provides a useful resource for educators who would like to begin using portfolios in the classroom. In a concise format, the authors examine the many uses of portfolios and offer guidance on strategies to increase the effectiveness of this process in assessment and instruction.

Fogarty, R. (Ed.). (1996). Student portfolios: A collection of articles. Palatine, NY: IRI/Skylight.
This collection answers commonly asked questions about portfolios. Articles by experienced practitioners offer support and practical advice for developing, implementing, and assessing a portfolio system. Articles cover all grade levels and subject areas and include topics such as electronic portfolios, student self-assessment, and explaining portfolio assessment to parents.

Glatthorn, A., Bragaw, D., Dawkins, K., & Parker, J. (1998). Performance assessment and standards-based curricula: The achievement cycle. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education. (6 Depot Way West, 10538)
This practical volume demonstrates the essential connections between standards-based curricula, performance assessment, assessment-driven instruction, and authentic learning. Although the focus is on enabling teachers to use performance assessment more effectively in social studies, science, mathematics, and language arts, there is much in this book that is useful for the foreign language educator.

Guskey, T. (Ed.). (1996). Communicating student learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (1250 North Pitt Street, 22314-1453)
This ASCD Yearbook is a comprehensive guide to communicating what elementary, middle, and secondary school students have learned and what they have accomplished. Experts in assessment and instruction describe new report cards and show how technology helps teachers report to students, parents, other teachers, and the community about students' achievement. Seventeen contributors show how to combine reports of standardized tests, performance-based assessments, and class grades, as well as how to accommodate gifted and special education students in fair, accurate reporting systems. The authors have collected and presented the latest and best reporting systems across the United States and Canada. Evaluation forms, checklists, assessment reports, teacher comments, and lists of achievement rubrics to help school personnel construct their own systems for communicating student learning are included.

Illinois State Board of Education Assessment Division. (1998). The language proficiency handbook: A practitioner's guide to instructional assessment. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Department of Education. (100 North First Street, 62777-0001)
This remarkable handbook is ideal for second language educators regardless of what language they teach. It is organized around a series of rubrics that are designed as documentation forms for a variety of types of assessment. Through examples and thoughtful discussion, this handbook serves as a guide for capturing students' language proficiency in reliable and valid ways by using instructional assessment activities.

Jackson, C.W. (Ed.). (1999). A challenge to change: The Language Learning Continuum. New York: The College Board. (Publications Customer Service, 45 Columbus Avenue, 10023-6992)
As an outcome of the earlier (1996) foreign language learning study, Articulation and Achievement, project participants developed the "Language Learning Curriculum," a descriptive model that offers a flexible and practical approach to student achievement. This model sets high standards, is performance based, and identifies the performance characteristics of each stage of language learning. The volume includes essays on standards and assessments and the Language Learning Continuum, plus appendices of sample writings, activities, and assessments.

Johnson, B. (1996). The performance assessment handbook: Volume 1—Portfolios and Socratic seminars and Volume 2—Performances and exhibitions. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education. (6 Depot Way West, 10538)
This two-volume paperback series is filled with examples and detailed commentaries from real classrooms. It displays student handouts, evaluation sheets, and other forms used by successful teachers from across the country and shows how performance assessment has improved teaching and learning.

Perrone, V. (1991). Expanding student assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (1250 North Pitt Street, 22314-1453)
The contributors to this book challenge test makers, teachers, curriculum developers, principals, and even students, to question themselves about their educational goals and to then develop assessment methods that support these goals. The contributors describe their own efforts, as educators, to find better ways to assess student learning and improve instruction.

Stansfield, C. (1996). Test development handbook: Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI). Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. (4646 40th Street NW, 20016-1859)
In recognition of the importance of Simulated Oral Proficiency Interviews (SOPIs) in meeting the needs of foreign language educators, this book was funded by a grant from the Office of International Research and Studies of the U.S. Department of Education. After briefly outlining the historical context of the SOPI and describing its components, the handbook gives step-by-step guidelines and examples of how to develop, trial, and operationalize a SOPI.

State Board of Education. (1998). World languages: A guide to K–12 program development. Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Board of Education. (PO Box 2219, 06145-2219)
This exemplary program development guide outlines a vision for K–12 world language instruction in which performance assessment plays an integral part. The guide includes K–12 content standards, performance standards, prototype assessments, illustrative learning activities, and examples of student work.

Tedick, D. (Ed.). (1998). Proficiency-oriented language instruction and assessment: A curriculum handbook for teachers. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). (University of Minnesota, 333 Appleby Hall, 128 Pleasant Street SE, 55455)
This handbook provides teachers with reasons, ideas, and resources for rethinking curriculum and instruction with an eye toward enhancing students' language proficiency levels. It provides a framework for considering different ways of planning curriculum and instruction to correspond to a standards-based model. This is accomplished by describing the directions in which the field is headed, explaining some of the theory about language learning and teaching, describing ways to assess language proficiency through performance-based measures, providing illustrations of the connection between theory and practice, and providing an extensive list of resources to enhance curriculum and instruction.

Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
A rationale for learning-centered assessment in our schools and an overview of the tools, techniques, and issues that educators should consider as they design and use assessments focused on learner needs are presented in this book. Wiggins argues for a different kind of student assessment than the one most schools currently use. This type of assessment is deliberately designed to improve and educate student performance. Such assessments are anchored in authentic tasks and provide students and teachers with feedback and opportunities they can readily use to revise their performance on these or similar tasks. Numerous sample assessment instruments that illustrate this approach are found throughout this book.

Selected Papers, Articles, and Chapters on Assessment

Adair-Hauck, B., & Pierce, M. (1996). Authentic assessment in second language learning. Pennsylvania Language Forum, 68(1), 10-30.
This article describes an authentic assessment project developed at the Center for Western European Studies in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh. For this project, Adair-Hauck was asked to identify four to five second language teachers who might be interested in forming a focus group to pilot-test some alternative assessment strategies. Five high school teachers from three school districts met regularly with Adair-Hauck to discuss problems, concerns, and solutions for integrating authentic assessment into classroom instruction. Results of these discussions and a number of assessment tools are presented.

Adair-Hauck, B., & Pierce, M. (1998). Investigating the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) as an assessment tool for second language oral proficiency. Pennsylvania Language Forum, 68(1), 6-25.
This article shares the results of an action research project that focused on investigating the SOPI to assess oral proficiency for high school second language learners. Included in the appendix are other instruments used to gather information for the project: "Language Background Questionnaire," "Student Self-Assessment Questionnaire," "Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale," and "Student Open-Ended Affective Questionnaire on the SOPI."

Gomez, E. (1999). Assessment portfolios and English language learners: Frequently asked questions and a case study of the Brooklyn International High School. Providence, RI: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University. (222 Richmond Street, Suite 300, 02903)
This document answers frequently asked questions about portfolios and describes the lessons that portfolio users have learned. In addition, a case study of the use of assessment portfolios at a high school and two appendices of assessment materials are included. Appendix A provides materials used with students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program in the Prince William County, Virginia, public school system, including a writing rubric and associated writing prompt and reading/writing portfolio cover sheets for elementary, middle, and high school students. Appendix B contains a variety of useful materials that made up the assessment portfolio used with students at the Brooklyn International High School in Brooklyn, New York.

Gottlieb, M. (1998). Promising practices for language minority students: State and local perspectives. In M. del Rosario Basterra (Ed.) Excellence and equity for language minority students: Critical issues and promising practices (pp. 71-83). Chevy Chase, MD: The Mid-Atlantic Equity Center. (5454 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 655, 20815)
This chapter is valuable for educators of language minority students as well as foreign language educators. It outlines state and local initiatives in Illinois to develop a system of equitable assessments for all students. Sample assessments and descriptions of assessment practices provide useful insights and a model for good assessment practices.

McTighe, J. (1996). What happens between assessments? Educational Leadership, 54(4 ).
In his article, McTighe points out that a performance-orientation is needed not only in assessment, but also in curriculum and instructional strategies. He offers and illustrates seven principles for performance-based instruction.

Meisels, S. (1996). Using work sampling in authentic assessments. Educational Leadership, 54(4). Available Internet: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec96/vol54/num04/Using-Work-Sampling-in-Authentic-Assessments.aspx
This article describes an authentic performance assessment, "the work sampling system," which is based on teachers' observations of children at work in the classroom, learning, solving problems, interacting, and creating products. Initial research has shown empirical support for the reliability and criterion validity of the system with young children.

 

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