Tests and assessments are the major tool teachers have for determining how well students are meeting their learning goals. Statewide tests are also common, albeit controversial, tools for educational reform today. We will examine the aims, advantages, and limitations of different ways of assessing student learning. You will learn how to (a) define your goals for student learning, (b) create tests that measure those intended outcomes, (c) evaluate the quality of the tests you create, (d) interpret the standardized tests that school psychologists or school districts might administer to your students, and (e) provide feedback to students and parents. Additional goals for the Honors section of this course are that students discuss issues in more depth, conduct independent research, and gain practice in public speaking.
As a member of the Honors section, you will meet one hour a week with the instructor in addition to meeting with the regular section on Tuesday evenings. Rather than taking the final exam, you will complete projects of your own choice, individually or collectively, which you will present to the regular section later in the semester. Presentations in past semesters have involved, for instance, class debates, guest speakers, interviews with teachers, surveys of high school students' reactions to standardized tests, and analyses of new legislation on educational testing. We will set up a time for our weekly meetings after the first meeting of the regular class.
Please see the syllabus for the regular section for weekly assignments and tests.