Assessment without testing

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This “invisible” assessment is a way to reduce the number of tests while increasing the amount of information available to students, teachers, and parents.

Hear how the educational game SimCityEDU engaged more than 200 seventh and eighth graders.

Example: SimCityEDU

Rich environments allow educators to analyze skills that they might not otherwise be able to gauge. For example, games can help measure persistence — a factor that research has linked to successful academic outcomes.

This is difficult to do with a traditional multiple-choice test. But measuring learning in digital environments unlocks the ability to observe student learning in more authentic contexts.

Designed in partnership with GlassLab, Inc., and the assessment experts from Educational Testing Service and Pearson, the game SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! teaches students about the factors affecting the environment in a modern city.

It also provides formative assessment information about students’ ability to solve problems and explain the relationships in complex systems (a skill called systems thinking).

Actionable data

Teachers can track student learning and glean insights to adjust their instruction by reviewing the SimCityEDU reports.

For example, the “Shout Out! Watch Out!” report shows which students are in need of immediate intervention or reteaching and which students are excelling.

Real-world application

While still in its early stages, we believe this work will lead to a future state of assessment that looks quite different than our current reality and will help balance the time spent gathering insights about student learning.

Explore the research

View the following resources to learn more about the power of data.