Reimagining Classroom Assessment and Student Learning in the New Normal

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Curriculum and Instruction".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 27958

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Interests: classroom assessment and student learning; authentic assessment task design; teacher learning and professional development

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Interests: teacher knowledge; teacher professional development; problem-solving
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Classroom assessment plays an important role not only in eliciting and providing evidence of student learning, but also in enhancing the student learning experience through high-cognitive-demand authentic tasks and formative feedback. Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, educators and students from PreK-12 schools to higher education around the globe are coping with and adjusting to the new normal in terms of teaching, learning, and assessment. Although schools and higher education institutions have leveraged the advances in digital technologies (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, video) to provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for students during the COVID lockdowns, a plethora of issues have arisen now that students and their teachers/instructors have had to make a sudden shift to an online environment. During this difficult time, educators are constantly needing to create alternative plans for instruction and classroom assessment. Many are grappling with how best to support students, especially those who have become disengaged in learning and in completing their classroom assignments. Additionally, limited face-to-face classes and reduced interactions with peers and teachers/instructors pose challenges for the implementation of authentic performance assessments, which require students to perform and collaborate with their peers in real-world contexts. Authentic performance assessments are designed to truly capture students’ demonstrations of competencies in areas such as critical thinking, complex problem-solving, effective communication, collaboration, and self-directed learning. These competencies are incorporated into the curricula of core academic subjects. Mastery of these competencies will prepare students for success in their studies, careers, and life.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there existed a wide range of emerging technologies (e.g., intelligent tutoring, automatic scoring, learning analytics, data mining, handheld devices, clickers) that enabled the design of and experimentation with innovative e-Assessments (e.g., computer-based authentic performance tasks, games, simulations, formative e-Assessments). Advocates for information and communication technologies (ICT) contend that e-Assessments can be integrated seamlessly into virtual learning environments, which creates opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills in contexts that mimic real life. More importantly, they enable the provision of formative feedback in real-time, in addition to the integration of self-assessment, peer assessment, and summative assessment. Educators and students are facing enormous challenges and uncertainties amid this coronavirus crisis. It is time for all of us to reimagine classroom assessment and student learning, and to find innovative ways to support both educators and students to navigate the uncharted territory of virtual teaching, learning, and assessment.

This Special Issue calls for both conceptual and empirical research papers that address any one of the following:

  • Educators’ design and modification of classroom assessments in response to learners’ needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Educators’ leveraging of e-Assessments to engage learners in virtual learning environments;
  • Online assessment tools and resources for facilitating authentic and formative assessments;
  • Challenges and opportunities of embedding e-Assessments into face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments;
  • The role of initial teacher preparation and/or in-service teacher professional development programs in building teachers’ capacity in the design, selection, modification, and implementation of e-Assessments;
  • Faculty development for helping and supporting university instructors in the design, modification, selection, and use of e-Assessments.

Prof. Dr. Kim Koh
Prof. Dr. Olive Chapman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Classroom assessment
  • Student learning and engagement
  • Digital technologies and e-Assessments
  • Design, selection, modification, and use of e-Assessments
  • Authentic performance assessment
  • Formative feedback, self-assessment, peer assessment Summative assessment
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Educators in PreK-12 and higher education
  • Initial teacher preparation and in-service teacher professional development

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
The Assessment Evaluation Rubric: Promoting Learning and Learner-Centered Teaching through Assessment in Face-to-Face or Distanced Higher Education
by Rochelle E. Tractenberg
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080441 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3930
Abstract
It is common to create courses for the higher education context that accomplish content-driven teaching goals and then develop assessments (quizzes and exams) based on the target content. However, content-driven assessment can tend to support teaching- or teacher-centered instruction. Adult learning and educational [...] Read more.
It is common to create courses for the higher education context that accomplish content-driven teaching goals and then develop assessments (quizzes and exams) based on the target content. However, content-driven assessment can tend to support teaching- or teacher-centered instruction. Adult learning and educational psychology theories suggest that instead, assessment should be aligned with learning, not teaching, objectives. To support the alignment of assessments with instruction in higher education, the Assessment Evaluation Rubric (AER) was developed. The AER can be utilized to guide the development and evaluation/revision of assessments that are already used. The AER describes, or permits the evaluation of, four features of an assessment: its general alignment with learning goal(s), whether the assessment is intended to/effective as formative or summative, whether some systematic approach to cognitive complexity is reflected, and whether the assessment (instructions as well as results) itself is clearly interpretable. Each dimension (alignment, utility, complexity, and clarity) has four questions that can be rated as present/absent. Other rating methods can also be conceptualized for the AER’s 16 questions, depending on the user’s intent. Any instructor can use the AER to evaluate their own assessments and ensure that they—or new assessments in development—will promote learning and learner-centered teaching. As instructors shift from face-to-face toward virtual or hybrid teaching models, or as they shift online instruction (back) to face-to-face teaching, it creates an ideal opportunity to ensure that assessment is optimizing learning and is valid for instructional decision-making. Full article
16 pages, 948 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of Education Reforms and Assessment in the Core Subjects Using an Adapted Maslow’s Hierarchy: Pre and Post COVID-19
by Jennifer Ansorger
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080376 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 15553
Abstract
Through the lens of an adapted Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have analyzed (1) the impact of the three main educational reforms of the 20th and 21st centuries on culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD)and low-socioeconomic (SES)students in the core subjects up to the [...] Read more.
Through the lens of an adapted Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have analyzed (1) the impact of the three main educational reforms of the 20th and 21st centuries on culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD)and low-socioeconomic (SES)students in the core subjects up to the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) the efficacy of current classroom assessment practices, and (3) a brief reimagining of how changing equity standards in teaching and assessment post-COVID-19 could aid in CLD and low-SES students achieving a higher self-esteem level. I contend that student success, or self-esteem, can only be achieved by first satisfying the needs at the lower hierarchy levels. By analyzing CLD and SES students’ school experiences, educators and policy-makers can extrapolate the requirements for inclusive, rigorous, and responsive assessments that recognize students’ needs and utilize their cultural and linguistic diversity. As states begin the shift from remote learning back to face-to-face in the fall, more significant considerations of CLD and low-SES students must be ensured. Full article
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12 pages, 923 KiB  
Article
Embedding Formative Assessment in Blended Learning Environment: The Case of Secondary Chinese Language Teaching in Singapore
by Kwong Tung Chan
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070360 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4658
Abstract
The fast global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the mass disruption of teaching, learning, as well as assessment, in mainstream schools in Singapore. Teachers were caught unprepared and this jeopardised the quality of classroom delivery and assessment. The Ministry of Education has [...] Read more.
The fast global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the mass disruption of teaching, learning, as well as assessment, in mainstream schools in Singapore. Teachers were caught unprepared and this jeopardised the quality of classroom delivery and assessment. The Ministry of Education has since shifted to an online asynchronous mode of teaching whilst attempting to keep the face-to-face method of lesson delivery, to which it is called ‘blended learning’ (BL) in the local context. Besides being propelled to learn and use new technology tools for online lessons, teachers also need to quickly explore to embed formative assessment (FA) in the new BL environment to substitute traditional classroom assessment. In this context, I argue that teachers’ language assessment literacy (LAL), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and e-pedagogy are vital to the success of embedding FA in BL. Following, I also describe some tentative predictions for future challenges and opportunities of embedding FA in the BL environment of secondary Chinese Language (CL) teaching in Singapore. On this basis, I discuss the ways in which current conceptualisations of language assessment literacy will need to shift in response to these challenges. Finally, I make some recommendations for practice based on this argument. Full article
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12 pages, 263 KiB  
Essay
Changes in Mathematics Core Curriculum and Matriculation Exam in the Light of the COVID-19-Shock
by Csaba Csapodi and Miklós Hoffmann
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100610 - 2 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2135
Abstract
The new National Core Curriculum came into force in September 2020 in Hungarian schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on the final stages of its development. In this paper we have selected two areas for analysis: the fundamental principles of [...] Read more.
The new National Core Curriculum came into force in September 2020 in Hungarian schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on the final stages of its development. In this paper we have selected two areas for analysis: the fundamental principles of mathematics curriculum and the matriculation exam in mathematics. We propose improvements in both fields, further emphasizing the importance of skills in displaying, understanding and processing information, including visual information obtained as a source or outcome of a problem. We argue that representation, interpretation, and critical evaluation of data and information must be essential parts of the mathematics curriculum. In this context, we also propose a new type of task for the matriculation exam: a complex essay task. The ultimate goal is the development of cross-cutting competencies to support students to become citizens who can make responsible decisions based on the data and knowledge available. Full article
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