Barriers to Accurate Assessment
Differences in content recognition, strategic expression, and student level of engagement are all barriers to accurate assessment. “To be truly useful, assessments must evaluate the knowledge and skills relevant to students' goals and they must do so accurately”(Rose & Meyer, 2002).Universal Design for Learning Curriculum Self-Check is a tool that can be used to pin-point and remove barriers to accurate assessment from your curriculum.
How to increase assessment accuracy
Rose and Meyers use their knowledge of the three brain networks to explain how UDL can provide the flexibility necessary to improve the accuracy of assessments. The first way to improve assessment accuracy addresses the recognition network—the “what” of learning. Teachers should present consent using a variety of media. “Offering multiple representations enables teachers to disaggregate specific problems linked to students’ recognition networks from the learning and achievement factors under evaluation”(Rose & Meyer, 2002). Technologies such as text-to-speech and multimedia can be used to provide varied assessment content.
The second method to improve assessment address the strategic network—the “how” of learning. Teachers should offer students different methods or pathways to demonstrate understanding. “Assessments featuring multiple, varied strategic pathways result in far more accurate and insightful evaluation” (Rose & Meyer, 2002).
The third method to improving assessment is very important when teaching digital natives. Students put forth less effort when the content is less appealing to their affective networks. The affective networks of the brain deal with the “why factor”. The teacher has to vary the content within a particular assessment tool and make the content relevant. Using web 2.0 tools for ongoing assessment is a great way to motivate students and accommodate students’ affect.
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Chapter 7. Available online at the Center for Applied Special Technology Web site. Retrieved December 7, 2009, from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/