Archived Information

Tried and True: September 1997--The information in this publication was current as of September 1997, and has not been updated since. Some services described in the publication may no longer be available.
[Instructional Content and Practice]

Classroom Assessment Video Training Workshops

A Set of Video-Based Workshops to Improve the Assessment
Skills and Understanding of Teachers

Developed and tested by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)

What is the idea behind Classroom Assessment Video Training Workshops?

This 16-video series was created to assist teachers in developing classroom assessment skills. The videos are based on the idea that quality assessment serves clearly articulated purposes, arises from and reflects clearly stated student achievement targets, relies on an appropriate assessment method for the purposes and targets being assessed, samples student achievement adequately, and avoids sources of errors.

The series weaves these threads through specific videos on good quality assessment in general; designing paper and pencil tests; assessing thinking, writing, science, mathematics, and reading; understanding standardized tests; performance assessment and portfolios; and developing sound grading practices. Each video-based workshop package includes a training video, the training guide, background reference material, overhead transparencies, and participants∆ handouts. Workshops last from 1 to 8 hours.

The latest in the series are on the following subjects:

What does research say about how this idea can help teaching and learning?

The Classroom Assessment Video Training Workshops are based on the decade-long research efforts of Dr. Richard Stiggins (formerly of Northwest Regional Laboratory) and his colleagues.

Assessment literacy needs were identified by observing teachers' specific classroom instructional practices and documenting how they use assessment information to make instructional decisions, what their training experiences were, and how confident they were in assessing students. This research indicates that typical assessment training in teacher education programs (when required at all) did not address the day-to-day assessment needs of classroom teachers.

How was program tested?

Video content is based on extensive use and refinement of materials over several years with hundreds of teachers. Specific information about the quality and content of each workshop was gathered from participants. Once the format and content of the workshop was finalized, the video segments were made.

In 1991, a study was conducted that addressed both the impact of the original research on the field of assessment, and the impact of the video training package on teachers. (At that time, 10 videos had been developed.) Results of interviews with members of the research community and follow-up with trainers using the materials indicated extensive use and impact on practice.

What communities and states are using this program?

The Classroom Assessment Video Training Workshops have been or are currently being used in 21 states including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The workshops have also been used in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and Yap.

It is impossible to determine the number of teachers trained using these videos since several hundred packages are distributed each year. At the time of our follow-up study in 1991, over 4,000 facilitators had trained more than 10,000 teachers in the United States and Canada.

What's involved in using this program in my school and community?

Each video-based workshop requires the training package, which includes the training guide, coordinator reference resources, overhead transparencies, and the participants' handouts. In addition, training is necessary for those who will be presenting the workshops. NWREL staff or school staff who have been trained by NWREL can serve as the workshop coordinator(s). Training can be planned to best fit the schedule of the school.

Beyond these costs, implementation of Classroom Assessment Video Training Workshops requires the support and commitment of teachers and school administrators to develop and improve their level of assessment literacy. Without shared interest and support, the effects of the assessment training will be limited to isolated classrooms and will not result in a systemic change in the schools. Once the commitment to improve classroom assessment methods is made, the workshop training can be planned.

Costs associated with implementing this program vary, depending on the components of the program being used.


Judy Arter, Senior Associate
101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204-3297
Phone: (503) 275-9562
Fax: (503) 275-0450

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