Monday, March 3, 2014

Tools For Educational Measurement

Standardized tests are effective educational measurement tools.

Just because a student goes to school and participates in class all day long doesn't mean he is receiving a quality education. This is why many schools institute academic measurement activities to gauge the curriculum's effectiveness as well as to identify areas for improvement. Specific tools are designed to capture particular information that needs to be measured for quality, progress or to benchmark against national standards.

Standardized Tests

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 mandates all states implement standardized tests to measure students' academic standing. Standardized tests serve as tools to collect information about how effective certain curricula are and whether there is consistency across the board with particular age groups or grade levels. The tests allow schools to make changes to meet the needs of the majority of the students. Certain standardized tests, such as the Iowa standardized test, can be adopted by schools in other states, or states can develop their own type of standardized test to meet their needs.

Live Observations

Another way to measure particular aspects of education is through live observations. An academic administrator develops and completes a checklist to ensure that a teacher is providing a quality educational experience to students. Checklists can contain indicators for evaluating how engaged a teacher is with her students, how thorough her lectures are, how challenging the in-class work is and whether it appears she does an effective job communicating the academic lesson to students. Although his presence is noted, the observer must not interfere with the typical course structure, as his goal is to preserve as much authenticity as possible to collect accurate data. That information is used to measure the quality of the students' educational experience.

Parental Surveys

Schools can administer surveys to solicit feedback and opinions from parents regarding their children's educational experience. Surveys contain questions that the participant answers through a measurable scoring system, such as a 1 through 10 number scale. It is important for the school to design a survey tool that will capture the information needed to get a total perspective of how well the school is performing. Questions might include whether parents believe their children are being challenged academically, whether they feel their children are learning age-appropriate lessons and if they are satisfied with the instructor's teaching style.

Student Surveys

Students also can be surveyed as an educational measurement protocol. Survey questions designed for students shall be relative to the student's learning experience and based on a number scoring system. Soliciting information directly from students gives school administrators an idea of how students feel about their own learning experience. Students can have the opportunity to measure things such as how well their teachers answer their questions or whether they feel like the coursework moves too quickly or slowly.

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