Resources for Student Assessment

By M. G. Kelly; Jon Haber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
[Physics Everywhere]: Grade 8
Benchmark Assessment

According to the National Middle Schools Association (NMSA), middle school students are at a crossroads in their educational journey. Students in this age group [must be engaged in learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory] (National Middle Schools Association, n.d.).

During the important middle school years, from sixth through eighth grade, students move from familiarity to mastery of important technologies they'll be using throughout the rest of their education and into their adult lives. They also develop critical-thinking and analytical skills that can help them understand technology in a broader context.

For embedded assessment in the middle school setting, learning tasks must reflect the [relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory] nature of the learning environment. Following the philosophy of the NMSA statement, middle school teachers often work together to create interdisciplinary learning experiences for students. These learning experiences help students understand the interconnectedness of the academic discipline areas, often in an experiential mode.

While we know that embedded assessment can provide a clear picture of a student's performance, for data to be reliable when using performance tasks issues such as scalability, deployment, scoring, and calibrating become important (see part 3). Using multiple measures to assess students—such as an online, electronically scored assessment—can balance the picture of achievement by including individual achievement of basic skills and

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