I was reading an article in this month's edition of Phi Delta Kappan: The Journal for Education and came across an interesting article entitled "Interim Assessments: A User's Guide." I am currently in the process of writing several interim tests as part of the ESL curriculum for the reading software program I am working on, so I took particular interest in this subject.
The author of the article, Kim Marshall, mentions ten guidelines to consider when using interim tests, and I thought they were worthy of mentioning. Again, this information is attributed to Kim Marshall, not myself.
10 Guidelines to help schools exploit the full potential of interim assessments (according to Kim Marshall):
1) Build understanding and trust.
2) Clarify learning outcomes.
3) Set a multi-year target and annual SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, Time-bound).
4) Get good interim assessments.
5) Schedule assessments and time for immediate follow-up.
6) Involve teachers in making sense of the assessments.
7) Display data effectively.
8) Hold candid data meetings and planning for action.
9) Involve students in the process.
10) Follow up relentlessly.
For more information, see the full-length article entitled "Interim Assessments: A User's Guide" in the September, 2008 issue of Phi Delta Kappan: The Journal for Education, pp. 64-68.