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Systematic Classroom Assessment: An Approach for Learning and Self-Regulation

Below is a post written by Peggy P. Chen, Ph.D and Sarah M. Bonner, Ph.D. Dr. Chen is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at Hunter College and serves on the graduate faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center in the Learning, Development and Instruction subprogram of the Educational Psychology Doctoral Program. Dr. Bonner is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at Hunter College.

Dr. Peggy P. Chen

Systematic classroom assessment: An approach for learning and self-regulation is a textbook published in April 2019. It offers a fresh vision of assessment for student learning and achievement. Assessment is presented as an iterative, purposeful cycle of inquiry for teachers, as well as a coherent system of assessment activities through which students engage in their own learning. This framework for classroom assessment is unique in incorporating self-regulated learning, motivation, and non-cognitive processes into assessment of academic achievement. Key components, such as assessment for learning, feedback, emerging technologies, and specific content areas are treated in depth. Fundamental principles like reliability, validity, and fairness are approached from the classroom perspective. Written by Sarah Bonner, at Hunter College, and Peggy Chen at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, this book stems from collaboration with and instruction of teacher candidates in courses on classroom assessment.  Both researchers are educational psychologists. Bonner specializes in classroom assessment (CA), tests and measurement, and STEM-C; Chen specializes in self-regulated learning (SRL), as well as assessment. They have seen the synergy between these fields, where SLR processes and practices, as well as classroom assessment (CA) for formative purposes, are iterative, dynamic, interactive, and share an emphasis on providing and using feedback by educators and students. Both CA and SRL share a common goal: moving student learning forward.

Dr. Sarah M. Bonner

Bonner and Chen present a framework that is called Classroom Assessment with Self-regulated Learning (CA:SRL), which is composed of 4 stages, demonstrating their vision of what CA should look like and how SRL can be developed and supported in the classroom. The theoretical framework of CA:SRL that they describe in the book has also been published in a special issue of  Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice1 in greater detail. In the first of the book’s three sections, the researchers map the assessment processes typically observed in K-12 classrooms onto Barry Zimmerman’s SRL model. They specify each stage of the CA:SRL framework by identifying the processes that CA and SRL share. In the chapters of this section, they describe specific assessment tools and practices that can be used strategically at each CA:SRL stage to gather evidence of student learning and support SRL. When appropriate, Bonner and Chen include theories and research evidence to support the framework and provide a rationale for incorporating various CA practices that would elicit learning and SRL.

In section 2, Bonner and Chen present the technical qualities of assessments: reliability, validity, and fairness. They present concepts about the technical quality of CA in ways pertinent to classroom contexts, with less emphasis on standardized testing conventions than is found in more conventional textbooks. CA has a degree of fluidity that educators and teachers need to be aware of in order to justify their assessment tasks and approaches. Section 2 includes a chapter on classroom assessment using technology, which is relevant to the advancement in technology use among students and their teachers in the classroom.

The last section of the book includes case studies on teachers’ implementation of CA to support SRL and learning in mathematics, music, and English language arts education. The purpose of this section is to show the integration of theories and practices in SRL and CA in different content areas and grade levels. Specific assessment practices and tools are presented, as are the ways that teachers and students use assessment results to further students’ and teachers’ next cycle of learning and teaching. The specific cases illustrate concrete applications of the CA:SRL framework to authentic classroom contexts.

1Chen, P. P., & Bonner, S. M. (2019). A framework of classroom assessment for learning and self-regulation. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice.

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