This book is based on the belief that decision making is perhaps the most critical of all teaching skills and that good assessments lie at the core of good decision making. To become better teachers then, teachers must learn to make informed decisions about both individual students (learning decisions) and about groups of students (teaching decisions). This book gives equal status to both types of decisions and shows how assessment is integral to both. The organization of the book is sequential, mirroring the way in which information should be used to make decisions. It begins with a conceptual framework linking information to decision making, then moves to the design of assessment instruments and the collection of assessment information, then to the interpretation of assessment information and, finally, to reporting the results of both the assessment and the decision-making process. There is an emphasis throughout on linking why teachers assess with what and how they assess. Other key features include: Practical Framework -- The book's framework corresponds to the framework that teachers use to grade their students: conduct (classroom behavior), effort (student motivation), and achievement (student learning). Unique Chapters -- There are separate chapters on interpreting assessment information prior to decision making and on reporting assessment information to parents, teachers, and administrators. Flexibility -- Because of its modest length and price, and its practical focus on the links between assessment and everyday teacher decision making, this text can be used either in full-length assessment courses for teachers or to teach the assessment units in educational psychology or integrated methods courses.
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