Recent Research on Assessment

Worth a second look: Teacher ‘gifted and talented’ identification in elementary school

Just because teachers are not infallible doesn’t mean their judgments shouldn’t carry a lot of weight in identifying gifted and talented elementary-grade students, says a new study in the Journal of Advanced Academics. The study found that 3rd-grade students nominated or identified by their 2nd-grade teachers as having “top learning potential” in math outperformed peers with similar reasoning… Tell Me More »

Assessing individual effort in group projects

If your students were leafcutter ants, it would be easy to tell which were doing a fair share of group work.  You could easily see who was marching to the communal fungus compost farm with small bits of leaves and who was carrying enormous pieces of leaves. But the distribution of labor is a lot fuzzier in… Tell Me More »

12 strategies for self-assessment in writing

Good writing can be said to be essentially about self-assessment. An author’s work is the end result of many rounds of revisions based on self-assessment of earlier drafts.    A review of the literature on self-assessment in writing recently published in the Journal of Research in Reading yields 12 strategies for the use of self-assessment with learners… Tell Me More »

What percentage of students are gifted?

Does the normal bell curve apply to human intelligence or is giftedness far more abundant than we’ve been expected to believe? Some gifted education researchers have proposed that the proportion of gifted people in the general population is larger than would be predicted by normal distribution, a view called the “overabundance hypothesis.” While this is… Tell Me More »

Vocabulary matching test is good measure of content learning in middle school

There are many tools for tracking student progress in reading and math. But, how can you tell if students are making progress in content areas such as science and social studies? One of the best formative assessments for measuring content-area learning appears to be vocabulary matching, according to recent research in Exceptional Children. Vocabulary matching… Tell Me More »

Practice testing is one of the most effective study techniques, study says

What are the most effective study techniques students can use to help increase their learning? A team of cognitive and educational psychologists recently reviewed all  the evidence on 10 popular study techniques to answer this question. According to the study in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, students and teachers often use study techniques that are not… Tell Me More »

Maze tasks measure sentence-level comprehension, not passage-level comprehension, study says

The maze task is one of the most popular methods teachers use to check on their students’ reading proficiency and comprehension in elementary school. But, a new study in School Psychology Review warns that while the maze may be popular, it is not a reliable measure of reading comprehension. Students can correctly complete maze tasks… Tell Me More »

How schools should address a diagnosis of Auditory Processing Deficiency (APD)

An increasing number of students are being diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD), a controversial condition that is difficult to distinguish from other learning disorders, says a recent article in Psychology of Schools. School psychologists and other educators who work with children suspected of having APD should be aware of serious concerns about assessment tools… Tell Me More »

Study examines whether students benefit from math instructional coaching program

Deploying an instructional coaching program in a school requires a great deal of skill and finesse. Many administrators are all too familiar with the delicate politics and maneuvering that surround efforts to motivate teachers to make changes in their classrooms. Are these efforts worth it? Beyond creating professional development opportunities for the more receptive teachers,… Tell Me More »

Teachers so focused on fairness issues they overlook best practices in grading

Teachers are so focused on fairness issues when they are grading students that they often don’t follow recommended grading practices that emphasize student achievement, says a recent study in The Educational Forum. Teachers’ professional judgment will always be important in grading because no set of policies or directions could possibly address all the situations teachers… Tell Me More »