Educational Assessment:

Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom


Instructor Name:††††††††† Dr. A.N. (Bob) Pillay

Phone:††††††††††††††††††††††† 509-891-7219

Office Hours:††† ††††††††††† 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday

Email:††††††††††††††††††††††† bobp@virtualeduc.com

Address:†††††††††† ††††††††††† Virtual Education Software

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††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Spokane, WA 99216

Technical Support:††††††† support@virtualeduc.com

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This course is designed to further develop the attitudes, knowledge, and conceptual and technical skills required by teachers to help them identify the educational goals of students and to select or design and implement relevant, meaningful, and beneficial instructional strategies for effective learning by students with special needs. The focus of this course will therefore be on assessment for instructional programming. The course will outline procedures for designing or selecting, administering, scoring, and interpreting a variety of informal assessment measures for use in schools. A range of informal assessment measures in the academic, social and behavioural skills areas will form the core of the content to be covered.The presentation of assessment information in an acceptable format that is responsive to the needs of parents and teachers will also be addressed.


The course is organized into four major sections. Each section has a number of chapters that highlight new, sometimes controversial, but always relevant views or practices regarding this most dynamic of educational fields. Each section will include a list of objectives that will help you to focus your readings and discussions, as well as clarify tasks that will help you combine theory and practice.


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer.Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.

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Course Materials (Online)
Title:††† ††††††††††† Educational Assessment: Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom

Instructor:††††††† Dr. A.N. (Bob) Pillay

Publisher: ††††††† Virtual Education Software, inc. 2005, Revised 2010, Revised 2013

Instructor:††††††† Dr. A.N. (Bob) Pillay

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Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the studentís own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are oneís own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.

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Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:


        Discuss the need for authentic educational assessment in the light of current expectations of schools.

        Develop a comprehensive assessment plan to determine a studentís educational needs. The plan will take into account classroom variables, multiple sources of information, beneficial educational outcomes, and research-based interventions.

        Administer, score, and interpret a teacher-designed measure of academic achievement in reading, language, and math.

        Describe any past or current governmental initiatives that either impact educational assessment or define it, and explain the rationale for the initiatives.

        Describe the major steps in the assessment process.

        Outline the procedure for processing referrals for assessment.

        Select and discuss appropriate informal assessment measures to address literacy, numeracy, or social and behavioral aspects of the school curriculum.

        Demonstrate by discussion or writing the major components for completing a report to a parent/school.

        Discuss how to make educational or behavioral recommendations based on assessment data and effectively communicate the results to teachers and parents.

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Course Description

This course will cover many areas and topics on educational assessment. The following is an outline of the topics that will be discussed in each chapter of the course.

Chapter 1: Overview and the Nature of Assessment

Course Overview

Assessment Rationale

Introduction to the Nature of Assessment

Assessment for a New Age

The Changing Landscape

The Need for a New Vision

Emerging Trends in Assessment

The Challenge for all Teachers

Writing Exercise: The Leadersí Forum

Introduction to the Nature of Assessment

Definition of Assessment

Purposes of Assessment

Educational Assessment Principles

Some Measurement Concepts

The Classroom Teacher: An Observation Specialist

Teacher Assessment Competencies

Steps in Assessment


Chapter 2: Types of Assessment


Assessment Models

Formal Assessment

Informal Assessment

Discrepancy Analysis

Performance Assessment

Portfolio Assessment


Clinical Judgment


Chapter 3: Methods of Assessment and Linking to Instruction



Task/Error Analysis


Linking Assessment to Instruction

Individualized Education Programs


Chapter 4: Putting it all Together and Writing an Assessment Report


Informal Assessment


Writing an Assessment Report



Some of the sections in a chapter may pose a question for response. As a student, you should address these questions and make notes to yourself about your responses. Some of these questions may be the basis for examination questions or Critical Thinking Questions.While you are encouraged to write brief notes or responses to these course questions, you are not required to submit your written responses for assessment. These questions are designed to help you gather your thoughts concerning the topic and to enable you to present a cogent, cohesive discussion of the topic. What you write will become your notes for a study guide. It is suggested that you visit the questions again at the end of the program to see whether further reading and skill development have reaffirmed, changed, or challenged your original thoughts.

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Student Expectations††

As a student you will be expected to:

        Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

        Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.*Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

        Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

        Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

        Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.

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At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access.Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams.This score will be printed on your final certificate.As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.

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Instructor Description

Dr. Bob Pillay is a doctoral-level instructor who has been teaching in the field of Special Education for the past 30 years. Dr. Pillay has received numerous national and international awards for his research in the field. He has headed boards and committees in more than five countries, including Australia, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, to develop and strengthen special services. Dr. Pillay has extensive knowledge of special education issues in the U.S. due to his doctoral studies at the University of Louisville. He was the Founding Director of the Learning Improvement Centre, which was a training facility for teachers, and a service provider to students with learning problems. He is currently a retired Senior Lecturer and Senior Fellow in Special Education at the University of Melbourne.

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Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing bobp@virtualeduc.com or by calling (509) 891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST.Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches or other issues that involve the operation of the course.


Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com or call (509) 891-7219.When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESiís website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.

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Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.

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Bibliography (suggested reading)

Alper, S., Ryndak, D. L., & Schloss, C. N. (2001). Alternative assessment of students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Ashlock, R. B. (2010). Error patterns in computation (10th ed.). Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.


Bracey, G. W. (2000). Thinking about tests and testing: A short primer in assessment literacy. Washington, D.C.:  American Youth Policy Forum.


Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2012). Assessment and reporting (4th ed.).French Forrest (Sydney), Australia: Pearson.


Brady, L., Kennedy, K., & Marsh, C. (2003). Curriculum and assessment. Sydney, Australia: Pearson.


Bryant, D. P., Smith, D. D., & Bryant, B. R. (2008). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Boston, MA: Merrill.


Cohen, L. G., & Spencimer, L. J. (2011). Assessment of children and youth with special needs (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.


Hoover, I. (2013). Linking assessment to instruction in multi-tiered models: A teacher's guide to selecting, reading, writing, and mathematics interventions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


LeGrange, L., & Reddy, C. (2000). Continuous assessment. Kenwyn, Australia: Juta.


Richek, M. A., Caldwell, J. S., Jennings, J. J., & Lerner, J. (2002).  Reading problems. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.


Lloyd, J. W., Landrum, T. J., Cook, B. G., & Tankersley, M. G. (2013). Research-based approaches for assessment. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

McLoughlin, J. A., & Lewis, R. B. (2008).  Assessing students with special needs (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


Nitko, A. J., & Brookhart, S. M. (2011).  Educational assessment of students (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall.


Olson, J. L., Platt, J. C., & Dieker, L. A. (2008). Teaching students and adolescents with special needs (5th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, Merrill/Prentice Hall.


Overton, T. (2012). Assessing learners with special needs: An applied approach (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Parvis, S. (2012). Effective assessment of students determining responsiveness to instruction.

††††††† Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Pierangelo, R. A., & Giulianu, G. A. (2013). Assessment in special education: A practical approach (4th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Salvia, J., Ysseldyke, J. E., & Bolt, S. (2013). Assessment in special and inclusive education (12th ed.) .Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.


Sieborger, R., & Macintosh, H. (2002). Transforming assessment. Lansdowne, Australia: Juta.


Spinelli, C. G. (2010). Linking assessment to instructional strategies: A guide for teachers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Spinelli, C. G (2012). Classroom assessment for students in special education (3rd ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Smith, T. E .C, Polloway, E. A. & Patton,J. R. (2011).Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Merrill/Pearson.


Taylor. (2009 ). Assessment of exceptional students(8th ed.)Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson.


Vaughn, S., Bos, C. S., & Schumm, J. S. (2011). Teaching students who are exceptional diverse and at-risk students in the general education classroom (5th ed) Boston, MA: Pearson Education.


Venn, J. J. (2007). Assessing students with special needs (4th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.


Educational Leadership
Exceptional Children
Exceptional Children Quarterly
Exceptional Parent
Focus on Exceptional Children
Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis
Journal of Learning Disabilities
Journal of Reading
Journal of Special Education
Learning Disabilities Quarterly
Learning Disabilities Research and Practice
Reading Research Quarterly
The Reading Teacher
Remedial and Special Education
Teaching Exceptional Children

Web Sites:

Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.


Updated 4/16/15 JN