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Moving to assessment at its best

How can assessments be reframed to benefit education?

assessment-BoLAs a culture, we like to measure things.

Mobile computing has ushered in the age of the Quantified Self. How many of us got a Fitbit for Christmas this year or use Track My Run to compare our workouts with Facebook Friends? Measuring things helps us see how we stack up. It can quell (or inflame) insecurities. It allows us to view the world as a place that has an underlying order governed by consistent rules.

In the education world, standardized testing is the most powerful example of our fixation on metrics. We determine rankings for students, schools, and individual teachers that falsely imply precision in measurement and linearity in learning.

This is assessment at its worst.

(Next page: Assessment at its best)

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