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Test Better, Teach Better

The Instructional Role of Assessment

Test Better, Teach Better by W. James Popham
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The right kinds of tests, correctly applied, can help every teacher become a better teacher. But unless you know the nuts and bolts of effective test design and application, you may be collecting the wrong data; misinterpreting data; and drawing off-base conclusions about what students know and can do, what to teach next, and how effective your instruction has been.

In Test Better, Teach Better, assessment expert W. James Popham explores the links between assessment and instruction and provides a jargon-free look at classroom and large-scale test construction, interpretation, and application. Featuring sample items, testing tips, and recommended resources, this “crash course” in instructionally focused assessment includes
* The four types of instructional decisions that testing will illuminate.
* What you really need to know about measurement concepts like validity, reliability, and bias.
* The advantages and disadvantages of various test formats and experience-based rules for creating great items in each.
* The benefits of assessing student affect and guidelines for doing it in your own classroom.

In addition, Popham offers practical advice for dealing with today’s myriad testing targets and explains how standards-based achievement tests currently don’t (but could) provide both accountability evidence and useful instructional information.

ASCD; August 2003
185 pages; ISBN 9781416601210
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Title: Test Better, Teach Better
Author: W. James Popham