The high-stakes nature of state exams means that schools need to assess student understanding in real time rather than wait for scores at the end of year or even the end of a unit. And simply relying on more tests as formative assessments is likely to cause students psychological stress and prompt them to disengage from learning. What’s needed are ways to engage students that also enable educators to determine how and what those students are thinking.

Education researchers have discovered that back and forth communication leads to greater student engagement, deeper understanding, and increased retention (it appears to be particularly...

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About the Author:

Robert Elwell, Ed. D., is the director of Learning Solutions for itslearning.