Learning Progressions as a Guide for Design

Recommendations Based on Observations From a Mathematics Assessment

Authored by: Edith Aurora Graf , Peter W. van Rijn

Handbook of Test Development

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415626019
eBook ISBN: 9780203102961
Adobe ISBN: 9781136242571


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A learning progression models the development over time of student understanding about particular content. Although the term was introduced recently, in the context of science education (NRC, 2006, 2007), the notion of characterizing the development of student learning has a much longer history (Wilson, 2009). Many learning progressions have their roots in Piagetian theories of cognitive development, but beyond maturation, it is assumed that they reflect the influence of instruction. In other words, learning progressions characterize how student understanding develops in situ, in the classroom context. They are appealing in theory because they may afford opportunity to report the current level of student understanding and suggest how to guide further learning.

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