Measuring What Matters

Technology and the Design of Assessments that Support Learning

Authored by: James Pellegrino

Handbook of Design in Educational Technology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415807340
eBook ISBN: 9780203075227
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118969


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For more than a decade, assessment has constituted one of the most controversial issues in education with respect to matters of theory, design, implementation, and educational policy (see e.g., Pellegrino, Chudowsky, & Glaser, 2001). Many of the arguments surround what we assess, how we assess, and the ways in which information derived from assessments is used to shape educational practice. As argued in various sources (e.g., Pellegrino & Quellmalz, 2010), new technologies provide opportunities to shift our assessment systems from a primary focus on summative and accountability practices to one focused instead on formative uses in which assessment information becomes an integral part of the teaching and learning process. But it is not simply a matter of using technology to shift how we assess students, nor the uses to which we put the information. Most importantly, it is a matter of careful considerations of what can and should become the targets for assessment—the types of knowledge and skill that arise in a 21st-century digital world and that are essential for academic and personal success. It is the confluence of method, use, and content that offers the greatest chance for a dramatic shift in the productive integration of assessment into the processes of teaching and learning.

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