Tuesday, February 9, 2010

UTIPS - a GREAT Resource for Creating Formative & Common Assessments

Hi all!

On February 6, 2010, scores of teachers from core disciplines  gathered at the Homestead Resort and Spa to work on revising and adding test items to the Utah Test Item Pool Services (UTIPS). (Sounds like a blast, doesn't it? By the way, USOE - NOT JSD - found money from somewhere to sponsor the event.) This test WRITING experience was actually very beneficial to us who attended as we learned a lot about analyzing standards, but it will be especially helpful to those who use this excellent resource.
I do, however, think we need further education about HOW and WHEN to use UTIPS. As I recruited teachers to help me with this request, I quickly learned how many educators are unfamiliar with its existence. Many who knew about the resource did not use it. To learn a bit more, Utah State Office of Education (USOE) created a PowerPoint presentation that presents an overview of the service, and you can click HERE to review it.

Dr. Hugh Baird of BYU organized the item writing project, and he charged the us language arts educators to create more questions for the inquiry strand of the State LA core standards. There are very few inquiry questions in the bank right now, and most of those reflect inquiry "implied" in the reading and writing standards.

The process of writing questions for UTIPS required participants to "unpack the standards," a great exercise for understanding and analyzing objectives, indicators, and intended learning outcomes. "Unpacking" demands that teachers identify key concepts and verbs found in the standards.

For example, the Inquiry objective for 10th grade reads, "Use the process of inquiry to problem solve and deepen understanding," HOW? Through application of the indicators - students must ...
  • Formulate essential questions that expose problems and explore issues.
  • Analyze information to determine relevance to essential question.
  • Evaluate the accuracy and relevance of information that reflects multiple points of view.
The UTIPS questions need to reflect key concepts -  ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS, PROBLEMS, ISSUES, RELEVANCE, AND POINTS OF VIEW. Furthermore, the questions must also refer to actions - FORMULATING, ANALYZING, and EVALUATING.

Hopefully, the new questions will be good ones and can be used to create formative and common assessments, thus easing teachers' work just a little bit!

And now for your viewing pleasure ....


Lis Thomas of Elk Ridge Middle School having SO MUCH FUN!

 Rumor has it that Diet Coke turns Heidi Barker into a MEAN LADY, 
but Leslie Thompson says that may NOT be a BAD thing when writing test questions!

Rosanne Markham, our friend from Granite School District,
is a GREAT editor, AND she keeps us FOCUSED!

After hours of work, we joined Kermit, the Homestead's golf pro for a round!

No comments: