K-12 Assessment Trends

Top 3 K-12 Assessment Trends

Technavio recently released a market analysis on K-12 Assessment Trends.  They concluded that there are three big trends currently impacting the testing world:

  • Emphasis on cognitive testing and assessment
  • Increase in number of standardized test-optional institutions
  • Rising penetration of cloud computing

The second of the 3 K-12 Assessment Trends is not on assessment itself (or psychometrics, the science of assessment) but on how tests are used.  Not the same domain.  In fact, I just attended the Conference on Test Security, where a keynote address by Prof. Greg Cizek noted that such consequential aspects are really outside the purview of assessment and as such shouldn’t be part of our validity framework; instead, he suggested that we include security protocols in our validity framework.

So that leaves the other two… and ASC is at the leading edge of both.  I love that those two are getting recognition from external sources.  We’ve been doing computerized assessment since the Days of DOS – starting with the revolutionary MICROCAT platform – and are now focusing on massively scalable cloud-based delivery platforms.  Moreover, we are driving the forefront of cloud computing on the back end; the new world of a geographically distributed workforce needs a test development platform (FastTest) and certification management system (Certifior) that support best practices while allowing for geographic dispersion.

Similarly, our company is founded on the principles of evidence-based research and psychometric science, with the goal that assessment is not just a pretty face and instead drives at measuring the construct.  One of the issues facing the testing industry is that many assessments re driven by pedagogy and politics rather than scientific evidence.  We want to see that change.

Want to stay ahead on K-12 Assessment Trends?  Interested in how these cutting-edge concepts can help your organization?  This list is only the tip of the iceberg – it doesn’t even delve into topics like computerized adaptive testing, item response theory, or tech-enhanced items. Get in touch!

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Nathan Thompson, PhD

Chief Product Officer at ASC
I am a psychometrician, software developer, author, and researcher, currently serving as Chief Product Officer for Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC). My mission is to elevate the profession of psychometrics by using software to automate the menial stuff like job analysis and Angoff studies, so we can focus on more innovative work. My core goal is to improve assessment throughout the world. I was originally trained as a psychometrician, doing an undergrad at Luther College in Math/Psych/Latin and then a PhD in Psychometrics at the University of Minnesota. I then worked multiple roles in the testing industry, including item writer, test development manager, essay test marker, consulting psychometrician, software developer, project manager, and business leader. Research and innovation are incredibly important to me. In addition to my own research, I am cofounder and Membership Director at the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing, You can often find me at other important conferences like ATP, ICE, CLEAR, and NCME. I've published many papers and presentations, and my favorite remains http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=16&n=1.
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