A great assessment set to measure student growth and learning must be designed to be comparable.
The comparable points must have consistent quality elements which allows us to make interpretations about student learning over time. The assessments should measure the same content or skill and it should be measured in comparable formats. For example, the assessments should both be constructed response or both performance, but not two different formats. The complexity should be comparable in terms of the difficulty of prompt, difficulty of reading passage, or difficulty of questions.
Comparable assessment tools that allow educators to collect good growth data are called mirrored assessments. Data points must be similar in order to be comparable. Of course you can’t easily see how much weight you have lost if you are using a scale with pounds one week, and another scale with kilograms the next. Similarly, you can’t easily see student growth if your tests are not using the same elements.
Download: Our Growth Assessment Handout
Anne is an assessment and curriculum specialist best known for her work in assessment design, data analysis and instructional effectiveness. Anne is a sought after speaker in the area of assessment design, curriculum and instruction.