Applying in Inclusive Settings: Curriculum-Based Assessment

By King-Sears, Margaret E.; Burgess, Mila et al. | Teaching Exceptional Children, September/October 1999 | Go to article overview

Applying in Inclusive Settings: Curriculum-Based Assessment


King-Sears, Margaret E., Burgess, Mila, Lawson, Tracey Lynn, Teaching Exceptional Children


So what's a teacher to do when the 30 students in her class have 30 greatly differing achievement, performance, and interest levels-not to mention learning styles and family backgrounds and language preferences? One strategy is to find ways to discover-early, often, and at the end of a unit or semester-what the students know and can do. And these tests must be efficient and fast. Here's where curriculum-based assessment (CBA) can help.

This article shows how to use CBAs, step by step, until, with practice, it may become second nature to you and your students-and provide the boost in motivation and success your students need.

Given individual student characteristics (e.g., learning level and targeted outcomes), the first step in a process describing how to develop and use CBAs, using the mnemonic APPLY (see Figure 1), is to analyze the curriculum to select critical skills from an instructional unit.

APPLY: Thee Steps to Effective CBAs

Analyze the Curriculum

Educators select critical skills based on students' individualized education program (IEP) goals and objectives or general education curriculum competencies. Sources for curriculum analysis include national standards (i.e., science, math), state standards, and local school district standards. First, consider that a given curriculum is divided into instructional units, which are taught across grading periods, semesters, or the school year. Then, from each curriculum unit, the primary task during curriculum analysis is to narrow the scope of all possible skills targeted for learning in a unit and select the following:

Foundational skills (e.g., students need to identify vocabulary words in order to comprehend reading passages).

Pivotal competencies (e.g., students need to describe the steps in problemsolving so that they can then use the steps to solve problems).

Important principLes (e.g., students apply academic rules to a range of problem types) and concepts.

Ultimate outcomes (e.g., students can proficiently write persuasive paragraphs) .

Although many curriculum objectives may be taught, narrowing the scope to develop a brief CBA requires educators to focus on specific types of endpoints, or benchmarks, within a curricular unit. Curriculum analysis may initially be time consuming; but thoughtful planning at this stage about the curriculum and student outcomes enables educators to more strategically target the CBA content.

Prepare items to Meet the Curriculum Objectives

Critical skills that educators target during curriculum analysis drive the items used on a CBA probe. The probe itself can take on many formats, such as these:

A worksheet or computer software with math computations can be used to determine a student's acquisition and fluency with regrouping two-digit multiplication facts.

A student's writing can be measured by the number of required elements noted on the corresponding scoring rubric.

Comprehension of science terms can be measured by how many definitions a student accurately matches to terms, writes correct definitions from memory.

Completing a checklist noting how many steps a student correctly performs using the scientific process can indicate skill proficiency.

CBA probes contain items for students to respond to that can be observed and counted in some manner (e.g., writing the correct answer, orally describing problem-solving steps in order, identifying the rules and applying them to problem sets). Quantifying students' output is essential to the CBA process; correspondingly, CBA probe items enable students to more clearly identify targeted content and criteria for successful performance (see Table 1 for more examples of CBA content in various subjects).

Moreover, when teachers develop brief, timed CBA probes (e.g., the number of problems solved within one minute, defining a random selection of terms from a unit within 1 minute, writing responses to questions within 2 minutes), the time necessary to administer CBA is less likely to detract from instructional time and more likely to effectively guide instructional content.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Applying in Inclusive Settings: Curriculum-Based Assessment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.