In this blog post, I will provide a comprehensive review of 5 assessments that I got the opportunity to examine in my SPED 312 class.
Turning point anywhere software
The first assessment I reviewed was the Turning Point Anywhere Software. This software is an interface for polling in PowerPoint, polling in any application and self-paced polling. I got the chance to actually create a poll using it, and found it very easy to learn how to do as well as administer the poll. Another benefit of this software is that it’s totally up to you what kind of questions you want to include in the poll. For more information on how to use Turning Point, here’s a YouTube video to help you out:
Discovery Education Assessment
The Discovery Education Assessment was intended to provide a detailed review of scores via charts and other tools. This assessment was created to test how well students learn from Discovery Education. Discovery Education prides themselves on providing “award- winning digital content, interactive lessons, real time assessment, virtual experiences with some of Discovery’s greatest talent, classroom contest & challenges, professional development and more.” They have a variety of content areas that are filled with tools and multimedia items. I found this assessment to be very innovative and modern.
Individual student report
The individual student report was a great tool because you could see the breakdowns of each section. It gave a detailed report of which categories and subcategories the student excelled or struggled in. The only disadvantage to this is that you can’t extract any of the thought processes that were involved in achieving the score. The student could have made a blind guess and gotten the question correct, or conversely could have had all the thought process to get the question right, but made one simple mistake.
The excel/data analysis assessment was valuable because it gave a visual representation of the collected data. The administrator types scores into a blank document and then there’s an option to “graph” these points. From there, you can clearly see whether there is a strong linear correlation by selecting “fit” in order to get a line of best fit.
The last assessment I reviewed was Dibels. The purpose of the Dibels assessment is to test a student’s literacy abilities. With this information, teachers can tailor their literacy instruction to the needs of the student. By reviewing the assessment, I had to listen to a recording of a student reading, and then pay attention to how many words they got correct. From this information, I could make judgments on how easy or difficult the text was, and teachers could use that to modify and adjust lesson plans.
Why is assessment is an essential tool to the special education teacher?
I believe that assessment in the classroom is critical because teachers need to have an awareness of the variety of levels present among students. Without this information, they wouldn’t know whether the lesson plans or instructional methods they’re utilizing are effective. Because there is such a wide variety of needs in a special education classroom, knowing the specific levels and needs of the students is crucial in order to provide the best kind of education for them.