Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Common Core Tech Update: Everything You Need to Know about Common Core Testing

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Common Core Tech Update: Everything You Need to Know about Common Core Testing

Article excerpt

"When in doubt, just pick B."--Anonymous

These words, uttered by teachers, parents, and students, have been part of standardized testing folklore for many years. I've "just picked B" many times throughout my educational career, and I've survived to tell the tale. (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone!) As many current state-level accountability measures are dominated by multiple-choice questions with only four options, guessing has seemed almost strategic.

Well, things are about to change.

The dawn of the Common Core Standards has been coupled with the creation of new assessment methods. The organizations designing these new assessments have committed to test designs that measure critical thinking and original thought. At this time, there are two Common Core assessment options for schools: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Smarter Balanced is developing a computer-adaptive test. This means that the questions delivered to students will be dependent upon their answers to previous questions on the assessment. If students are doing well, the level of difficulty will increase. If students are answering questions incorrectly, then easier questions will be provided. Most of the questions on the assessment ask students to generate an answer, not merely choose one.

On the other hand, the PARCC assessment draws from a collective bank of questions at each grade level. Unlike with the Smarter Balanced assessment, students at a particular grade level get similar questions regardless of their performance on previous questions. …

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