Providing Educators a Comprehensive Picture of Student Achievement: A Holistic Assessment Strategy Gives the Portfolio View of Student Performance

By Eatchel, Nikki | District Administration, May 2018 | Go to article overview

Providing Educators a Comprehensive Picture of Student Achievement: A Holistic Assessment Strategy Gives the Portfolio View of Student Performance


Eatchel, Nikki, District Administration


Talk about solutions that help educators understand the whole student.

When it comes to solutions that are focused on the whole student, they have to provide variability and flexibility. To provide assistance, and to get a full picture of a student, educators must be able to evaluate a variety of content: core subjects, non-core subjects, and career and technical education, etc. To getthe most accurate measure, they also need the flexibility to evaluate students in different ways, such as traditional multiple-choice questions, constructed response questions and innovative item types. Educators can also use performance-based tasks, practical exams and surveys that provide students different ways to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities.

Using multiple points of data that come from a variety of assessments--as well as grades, attendance, discipline and extracurricular activities--contributes to an overall perspective that is more accurately representative of students. In addition, dynamic reporting and analytics provide educators a more holistic picture of student performance.

How can a balanced assessment solution support a holistic assessment strategy?

Underthe No Child Left Behind Act, educators and administrators were focused on a snapshot of student performance. But as we all know, one picture does not provide an accurate portrayal of a student, teacher or school. A balanced assessment solution shows a variety of snapshots. Those different data points offer educators valuable information about a student's educational journey and where they might need help along the way. A holistic assessment strategy has to be about more than one snapshot. It should provide a portfolio view with many pictures of student performance.

How does a deep connection between test results and skills/standards help teachers adjust instruction?

I am an assessment person, but I will be the first to say that assessment simply for assessment's sake is not helpful to anyone. …

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