NewsGetting Back to School


Experts say schools are rethinking their approach to testing

Posted at 9:21 AM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 11:27:52-05

PHOENIX — As students across the Valley wrap up their final exams before winter break, experts suggest school districts should rethink the way they’re testing students.

Tracy Weeks with Instructure, the company that created online learning platform Canvas, told ABC15 the pandemic presented an opportunity for state leaders and school districts to pause and evaluate how student learning is assessed.

“At the end of it all, we're trying to make sure that every student is learning and growing throughout the year, and that we have ways to really make sure that they're being measured in the same way and that's really at the heart of it,” said Weeks.

Weeks said some educators feel a better way to do that is with small but frequent check-in tests at the beginning of class. They can gather the same information they need about their students’ learning progress as those massive end-of-term finals.

“If we just kind of shift into making it part of the natural cycle of teaching and learning, then it just becomes that day-to-day thing that we do at school,” she said. “We really want to make sure that if we're going to put students through an assessment process, that we do it in a way that's going to enable them to grow and learn throughout the year, rather than at the end of the year, when it's too late, they're moving on to the next grade.”

Weeks said the method of frequent but small tests can also help build a profile of the students’ growth, especially as online learning and technology in schools advance.