10 Evidence-Based Policies and Practices for Assessment

The Meadows Center at the University of Texas at Austin has released a piece outlining 10 evidence-based policies and practices for high-quality assessment in schools, along with the research supporting them.

These policies/practices include the following:

  1. School leadership ensures that teachers have a shared understanding of the curriculum and standards across the grades.
  2. Schools use assessment to enhance student learning, beyond just measuring it.
  3. Teachers give periodic tests or quizzes to improve both students’ long-term recall and later test performance and to help students to apply what they have learned to problem-solving.
  4. Teachers distribute tests over time, with gradually increasing intervals between tests.
  5. Teachers provide immediate corrective feedback on assessment performance to enhance longterm learning.
  6. Teachers provide feedback to students on test performance because it motivates them to study and promotes realistic self-perceptions about their learning.
  7. In periodic tests, teachers include at least some higher-order questions that require deep thinking and focus on causation, relations, and logic.
  8. Schools complement state assessment with formative assessments that provide ongoing progress monitoring regarding learning goals.
  9. Schools minimize the teaching of test-taking strategies and focus instead on deep content learning.
  10. Schools minimize the teaching of decontextualized facts that might be tested and focus instead on deep, integrated instruction of content standards.

For more information about each of these practices and the research behind them, see https://www.meadowscenter.org/files/resources/10Key_Assessment_Web.pdf