This lesson covers one of a series of steps appropriate for districts or schools wanting to establish a system of common assessments. See the "Step 1. Where to Start on Your Road to Common Assessments" lesson if you wish to start at the beginning. Otherwise, keep reading. This lesson addresses the following:
Goal: Create action plan
Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]
- Take inventory of components already in place and evaluated
- Determine what needs to be created and/or revised (e.g., pacing guides, tests, etc.) (complete Action Plan Form)
- Establish details (test writers, timeline, meeting objectives, professional development, technology training, etc.) for completion.
- Determine how participation in assessment component creation sessions will be determined and communicated
Take Inventory of Components Already in Place and Evaluated
Determine What Needs to Be Created and/or Revised
Complete the Action Plan Form available at https://www.illuminateed.com/AssessmentDesign-ActionPlanForm.pdf. Previously completed forms such as the Assessment Recommendation Details Form will assist you.
Once these forms are completed for each grade+subject or course (e.g., 5th Grade Science) requiring assessments, compile them and review them in larger groups.
Establish Details for Completion
Determine How Participation Will Be Determined and Communicated
Participation on Assessment Component Teams who will revise and/or create assessment components (e.g., pacing guide, assessments, etc.) will likely include teachers and administrators not already on the Assessment Team (though at least 1 Assessment Team member should lead each session). Remember that any step in this manual (such as this one) may be accompanied by professional development (e.g., what constitutes a quality assessment question?). This manual also provides helpful materials (e.g., lessons as handouts).
Determine how participation in assessment component creation sessions will be determined and communicated. Here are some key questions to answer:
1. Who will be on each Assessment Component Team?
Create an Assessment Component Team specific to each grade+subject or course (e.g., 5th Grade Science) requiring assessments (as indicated on the Action Plan Forms to you completed in a prior step). Include teachers and administrators with experience and expertise in that particular curricular area, and also plan for at least 1 Assessment Team member to lead each session). While it helps to involve varied stakeholders, large committee sizes (e.g., 20+) can become unmanageable (e.g., if this is a district-wide endeavor), so choose participants wisely.
2. What will each team's objectives and timeline be?
Use the Action Plan Forms you completed in a prior step to determine what each Assessment Component Team will be responsible for completing. Also determine dates by which these tasks must be accomplished.
3. What are the meeting details?
Determine meeting times (e.g., after school? 7 times during the year?), locations (will a computer lab be necessary?), and guidelines (e.g., will participants be compensated?). Also consider the dates and times for any needed professional development (e.g., using Illuminate).
Before you communicate meeting details, be sure you have considered:
- Key people not on the team (School Board, administrators, Superintendent, etc.) should know what is occurring.
- All meeting locations are properly reserved.
- There are no scheduling conflicts on the district/site calendar.
Before Your Next Meeting(s)
1. Be sure all Assessment Component Team members will have access to materials to help them craft their components. Electronic copies may be provided, but note that some components are helpful as hard copies on which participants may write as they work. Whenever possible, materials should cater to the grade/level and subject for which assessment components are being crafted. Here are examples of the types of materials you should supply to Assessment Component Team members at meetings:
- Completed Action Plan Forms
- Recorded answers from the "Determine Some Specifics for Assessment Structure" step of the "Step 6. Determine Specifics" lesson.
- Completed Assessment Recommendation Overview Form
- Completed Current Pacing Guide Details Form and Current Assessment Details Form (based on items the team will be revising)
- State Content Standards and/or National Common Core Standards
- Crosswalk Documents (available from different sources) show how State Content Standards and/or National Common Core Standards (available for core subjects like English and Math)
- Released Test Questions
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- Sample components (e.g., pacing guides, assessments, testing calendars, etc.) acquired and reviewed in a previous lesson.
- Glossary and goal reviewed in a previous lesson.
- Articles reviewed in a previous lesson.
- Assessments and/or assessment questions available for use
- Texts and curriculum
- Task-specific Help lessons from this manual
- The online Item Writing for Tests and Examinations by UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning offers a very extensive approach to item writing that elaborates on concepts covered in the "Write/Select Quality Questions" lesson
2. Review the next lesson to see if there's anything else you'll want to prepare ahead of time.
Next you are ready to create and/or revise assessment components. Refer to the next document/lesson in this manual for support.