Assessment Audits

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Assessment Audits

The purpose of an assessment audit is to gauge the condition of educational assessment systems and practices. An audit provides a big picture view of how well the elements of the system are working individually and collectively as well as a close-up view of assessment in action.

The outcome of the audit identifies strengths and areas for improvement. It focuses on the disparities between what is and what is desired. This in turn informs an action plan that identifies necessary adjustments and changes to structures, methods, and resources.

During the audit questions are bound to arise about assessment priorities, practices that are in place, strategies for aligning the purposes of assessments (formative, interim, summative), as well as the district’s commitment to balancing student learning and engagement with large-scale mandates. All of this is done with a focus on best practice in assessment.

The process is built on a clear purpose for the audit and a willingness to make improvements. This in turn guides professional conversations and collaborative planning.

Fundamentally, an assessment audit it is a formative assessment that describes where we want to be, explains where we are now, and informs ways to close the gap.

1 Comment

Cassandra Cammarata

June 25, 2015at 11:42 am

Hi Laura!
I wondered about how and how often assessment are gauged for their validity and effectiveness. I feel like often times those gauges are put into place BEFORE the assessment is given, but that puts the reliability of those results in a vacuum. And students are in no way vacuums; on the contrary they are often the variables we cannot control. I think a constant assessment OF the assessments given is extremely critical. It should be assessed by the actual data from the student’s scores, but also feedback from those who took the test themselves. I think often times students are overlooked as being able to be effective contributors to the assessment process, but I think they are in fact the MOST important contributor to the success of such. I often think those results and comments should be taken to department meetings to decide what works, what doesn’t, and where to go from there.

This is all well and good for the classroom teacher and their assessments, but standardized assessments truly worry me in the lack of ability to give such input from students and teachers to the tests themselves. And these tests, which often are holding teacher’s or student’s future in the balance, do not seem to care what those people think of the fairness or even the objectives of the test.

I think you are right, the audit must have a purpose, and that purpose should always be rooted in assessing the assessment’s purpose and making sure it is reflective of what student’s are being asked to learn, not just what they are being told they SHOULD already know.

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