Culver City Unified School District

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Assessments » Considerations When Constructing an Assessment

Considerations When Constructing an Assessment

English Language Learner Considerations
Overall Considerations:
  • Focus on key concepts or main ideas, avoid questions asking for discrete information
  • Grade content vs. mechanics
  • Provide students with ideas on test-taking strategies and provide practice on various testing formats ahead of time
  • Use hi lighter or marker to identify key words, phrases, or sentences
  • Tape record directions/tests/quizzes for the students
  • Tape record materials for the student to listen to as he/she reads along
  • Outline reading material for the student at his/her reading level, emphasizing main idea
  • Make all or part of the exam oral if applicable
  • Reduce the number of problems on a page
  • Use language stems for open ended questions
  • On multiple choice avoid "a, b, and c" or "none of the above"
  • Provide manipulative objects for the student to use when solving math problems
Scaffolds by Instructional Level 
ELD Level Scaffolds by Instructional Level Scaffolds for All Levels
  • Access to text, video, and/or instructions in home language, as well in English
  • Sentence frames to help ELs respond to text-dependent questions posed or use fill in the blank.
  • Word walls and work banks (with pictures)
  • Simplify the Language being used on the assessment (instructions and questions)
scaffolds for all levels
  • extra time or shorter time over a few days to prevent test exhaustion
  • shorter response
  • reduce choices (matching or multiple choice)
  • open-note/book test (if applicable)
  • Access to text, video, and/or instructions in home language, as well as in English, as appropriate.
  • Sentence Stems
  • Word walls and banks (with pictures)
  • See Scaffolding for all levels
Techniques:  Use alternative assessment strategies for English Language Learners-
1.  Non-Verbal
  • Physical demonstration (point, gesture, act out, thumbs up/down, nod yes/no)
  • Picture products (manipulate or create drawings, diagrams, dioramas, models, graphs, charts, label pictures, keep a picture journal they can reference)
  • KWL charts using pictures or native language (formative)
2.  Oral and Written Strategies
  • Interviews, oral reports, role plays using visual cues, gestures, or physical activities
  • Describing, explaining, summarizing, retelling, paraphrasing
  • Thinking and learning logs
  • Reading response logs
  • Writing assignments
  • Dialogue journals
  • Audio or visual recordings or students
  • Portfolios
Universal Design for Learning Considerations
(Tap into students' interested, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn)
  • Connect assessment items to the real world  or things that relate to them (ex in science: phenomena)
  • Provide choice in how they answer a question (essay, create a short play, create a video response)
(present ideas in multiple ways)
  • Give instructions verbally (might be taped ahead of time) and in writing 
  • Give alternatives to auditory (speech to text, visual diagrams, charts, provide written transcripts of videos, or closed captioning)
  • Provide alternatives for visual (provide descriptions text or spoken for all images, graphics, visuals, or animations, use touch equivalents (tactile graphics or objects as a reference).
  • Provide alternatives for text (translated for some students to have access to content)
  • Display information can be varied, size of text, font, use of headings, images, graphs, tables, layout, or color is used for information or emphasis
  • Share Rubric to clarify expectations (rubrics with examples of what constitutes quality work)
action and expression
(provide students with multiple ways to express their comprehension and mastery of a topic)
  • Allow students to submit assignments electronically or through paper
  • Provide alternatives for showing mastery of content (writing, speech, drawing, comics, storyboards, film, music, dance/movement, visual arts, sculpture, video) 
  • Tools for construction and composition: spellcheckers, grammar checks, text to speech, calculators, sentence starters, outlining tools/graphic organizers)
Cognitive Rigor Matrix Considerations
(Combines Blooms and Depths of Knowledge)
What is the Cognitive Rigor Matrix?
The following charts combine Bloom's taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge into a single chart called Cognitive Rigor Matrix.  The charts provide a comparison of varying levels or depths of knowledge related to practices within each discipline. 
How do I use the Cognitive Rigor Matrix?
  • Use a range of Depth of Knowledge.  If you are only assessing the highest DOK level you will miss out on opportunities to know what students do and don't know.  Go for a range.
  • Planning formative assessment strategies and tools can focus on differing DOK levels.
  • Performance assessments can be offering a variety levels of DOK embedded in larger, more complex task.
Rigor Matrix Specific to Each Content: