Smarter Balanced Assessments

Smarter Balanced Assessments
Smarter Balanced stats
 29 states
 15 million students
 40,000 test items
 12 week testing window for the mandatory
summative test
 Not a timed test, likely shorter than current practice
 Fast turn around time on results
Why is technology needed?
 Computer adaptive questions (more on this later)
 Some CAT are interactive in nature (ex: draw something)
 Performance tasks require
 Stimulus
Information Processing tools and tasks
Video clips
2-D and 3-D modeling
Data analysis software
Equation editor tools
Chat rooms
Products or performances
Important terms to understand
 Computer adaptive testing
 Performance assessment
 Formative/interim assessment
 Summative assessment
Computer adaptive testing (CAT)
 Based on student responses, the computer program
adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the
 For example, a student who answers a question
correctly will receive a more challenging item, while
an incorrect answer generates an easier question.
 By adapting to the student as the assessment is
taking place, these assessments present an
individually tailored set of questions to each student
and can quickly identify which skills students have
Weight-lifting analogy
 A “fixed” test is like lifting a 50 lb dumbbell
 Either you can or you can’t—doesn’t tell if you could
lift one 5 lbs more or less
 If everyone can lift a 5 lb dumbbell, doesn’t tell you
how much more you are able to lift
 CAT brings up the difficulty in small increments so
that it is clear precisely “how much weight” you can
 Program is being designed using Artificial
Intelligence tools currently used for assessments
such as GRE, GMAT, SAT
 About 10% of the constructed and extended response
(includes written response of any length from short
answer to sentences to essays) will be checked by a
human scorer
Testing versus assessment
 T: Results in a quantifiable score that demonstrates
what students know or can do at a point in time
 A: Multiple measures over time that reflect mastery,
growth, depth of knowledge, gaps in learning
 T: Right or wrong answers
 A: Multiple correct answers are acceptable; Answers
illustrate student thinking and
understandings/misunderstandings of content
Testing versus assessment
 T: Occurs at the end of the learning process,
designed to measure/rank students
 A: Ongoing and actionable during the learning
process, designed to improve teaching/learning
 T: Evaluative—marks an end
 A: Diagnostic-opportunities to improve
Performance assessment
 Performance tasks challenge students to apply their
knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world
 They can best be described as collections of questions
and activities that are coherently connected to a single
theme or scenario.
 These activities are meant to measure capacities such as
depth of understanding, writing and research skills and
complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed
with traditional assessment questions.
 No single correct answer
Interim/formative assessments
 Optional comprehensive and content-cluster assessment
to help identify specific needs of each student
Can be administered throughout the year
Provides clear examples of expected performance on
Common Core standards
Includes a variety of question types: selected response,
short constructed response, extended constructed
response, technology enhanced, and performance tasks
Aligned to and reported on the same scale as the
summative assessments
Fully accessible for instruction and professional
Summative assessments
 Assesses the full range of Common Core in English language
arts and mathematics for students in grades 3–8 and 11
(interim assessments can be used in grades 9 and 10)
 Measures current student achievement and growth
across time, showing progress toward college and career
 Can be given once or twice a year (mandatory testing window
within the last 12 weeks of the instructional year)
 Includes a variety of question types: selected response,
short constructed response, extended constructed response,
technology enhanced, and performance tasks
Item design
 All of the Common Core Standards will be clustered
into testable “claims”
Students will start with an entry level item aligned to
grade level standards
Items will get easier or harder depending on answer
Every student will walk away saying “this was a hard
Every student will persist with testing until they get
half the items wrong
Clear, precise picture of student ability
 School year 2011-12: test specifications, item
development, technology readiness tools
 March 2013: CMT/CAPT tests given for the last time
 Spring 2014: CSDE applying for waiver from
accountability testing in order to pilot versions of the
Smarter Balanced Assessments
 School year 2014-15: districts will be able to use
Smarter Balanced tools for formative and summative
Technology issues
 Testing will require access to Internet
 Decisions still pending on the variety of devices that
can be used (security, protocol issues,
 There will be minimum hardware and software
requirements needed: attempt to make accessible to
older OS and less powerful machines
 Technology readiness tool will collect this
Technology Readiness Tool
 Degree to which hardware and software (devices) at
the school level meet the minimum requirements set
by each of the consortia.
 Adequate ratio of test taking devices to test takers
within a prescribed time table.
 Sufficient bandwidth to handle the expected volume
of traffic and content.
 Adequate number of trained personnel to support
the process.
System Architecture
 Resources and sample items will be open source
 Most of testing activity will occur in a cloud
 Security will mimic protocols used by banking
 Intent to deliver testing on tablets (either iPad or
Android), minimum 9.5” screen since many districts
are purchasing these-may need keyboards
 Tablets will be necessary for 25% of the math
assessment planned for 2016-17
New purchase specifications
 Hardware
1 GHz or faster processor
1 GB RAM or greater memory
9.5 inch (10 inch class) or larger screen size
1024 x 768 or better screen resolution
 Operating System
Windows 7
Mac 10.7
Linux (Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16)
Chrome OS
Apple iOS
Android 4.0
 Networking
Wired or wireless Internet connection
 Device Type
Desktops, laptops, netbooks, thin client, and tablets that meet the hardware, operating
system, and networking specifications
Security issues
 Every student’s test is likely to be somewhat different
 Test administration will likely take less time than a
prescribed window
Grade 3 Math 45-90 minute range for performance tasks and 45-60
minute range for extended response
Grade 4-11 Math 60-120 minute range for performance tasks and 4560 minute range for extended response
Tasks may cross days
 Whole group testing is unlikely; students are more likely
to be assessed in smaller groups over the 12 week window
for summative accountability testing
 Allowable teacher and peer interactions, group work
 Required tools and resources will be embedded within
online system; not free access to Internet for searches
Increasing rigor
 This is NOT CMT/CAPT given through a computer
 Because CAT changes the difficulty of questions, no
one will “get them all right”
 Assessments will yield a precise measurement of
what content students have mastered
 Scoring will be done with Artificial Intelligence
programs currently used for GRE, GMAT, and other
standardized assessments (only 10% human check)
Typical CMT test item
Typical Smarter Balanced test item
Sample question
 Old question: Randa ate 3/8 of a pizza, and Marvin ate 1/8 of the same
pizza. What fraction of the pizza did Randa and Marvin eat?
a. 5/8
b. 3/8
c. 1/4
d. 1/2
(Answer: d)
New question: Tito and Luis are stuffed with pizza! Tito ate one-fourth of
a cheese pizza. Tito ate three-eighths of a pepperoni pizza. Tito ate one-half
of a mushroom pizza. Luis ate five-eights of a cheese pizza. Luis ate the
other half of the mushroom pizza. All the pizzas were the same size. Tito
says he ate more pizza than Luis because Luis did not eat any pepperoni
pizza. Luis says they each ate the same amount of pizza. Who is correct?
Show all your mathematical thinking.
(Answer: Luis is right —
both ate 1 1/8 of a pizza).

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