UCLA’s Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Testing (CRESST), working with its partner organization, the Center for Advanced Technology in Schools (CATS), has developed an innovative approach to identifying the conceptual content for inclusion in instruction and assessment.
With funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, CATS is developing learning games focused on acquiring pre-algebra schema and skills. For this effort, CRESST designed approaches to build in valid outcome development and then strategies to compare means that lead to the most effective learning.
To develop the goals for the games and to make them congruent with Common Core State Standards, the R&D team used the design of ontology to translate the verbal standards statements into network representations that define the universe of content and cognition included in the standards. READ MORE
Educational accountability systems have focused the attention of schools and districts on students’ performance on end-of-year state achievement tests. Whether or not a student scores on these tests at a level that meets or exceeds the proficiency requirement has consequences for superintendents, principals, and teachers. A whole industry has grown up around the provision of assessments that can be administered during the school year to identify those students at risk of failing to score proficient on the end-of-year exam.
Critics point to the amount of time this interim assessment activity is taking away from instruction while advocates point to the usefulness of assessing during the school year when there is still time to give extra support to those students who need it. READ MORE
DreamBox Learning offers an intelligent, adaptive mathematics learning program for students in grades K-3. In 2011, they developed additional curriculum and a new intermediate learning environment for older elementary students (slated for release in early 2012).
The design process for the new curriculum began with determining the desired outcomes, in terms of both content and pedagogy. The choice of content and pedagogical approach was informed by research in a way that Dr. Tim Hudson, Director of Curriculum Design at DreamBox Learning, describes as “both rigorous and intuitive.” The DreamBox team wanted students to master math concepts defined in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focal Points and in the new Common Core State Standards. READ MORE