Using Learning Progress Maps to Improve Instructional Decision Making
Richard Lesh, Susan J. Lamon, Brian Gong, and Thomas R. Post
This chapter considers the following questions: Which decisions are top priorities for educators to address? Which kinds of information do they need to make informed decisions? Which way should that information be reported? Which types of information and data sources should be summarized by reports? And how can such reports be computer-based, interactive, multidimensional, decision-specific, and easy to understand?
The preceding questions reflect a shift in emphasis away from testing, toward informed educational decision-making. The goals are: (i) to intrude as little as possible on instruction, either by using information from instructional activities or by increases in the instructional value of assessment-focused activities; (ii) to provide high-fidelity portraits or multidimensional descriptions of students, teachers, or programs that are as rich as possible; (iii) to reflect information from as many sources as possible in which students naturally exhibit their achievements and abilities; (iv) to facilitate well-informed decision making while avoiding value judgments that artificially and needlessly limit decision-making responsibilities of relevant professionals.
To achieve the preceding range of goals, recent policy statements from a number of relevant professional and governmental organizations have made significant progress to clarify: (i) the nature of the most important