Learning Progressions: Developing an Embedded Formative and Summative Assessment System to Assess and Improve Learning Outcomes for Elementary and Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities in Mathematics
Students with learning disabilities are among those most likely to have difficulties in mathematics. Knowledge of how such students learn and meaningful assessments of their math performance are lacking. In collaboration with the Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research (BEAR) Center at the University of California, the Center for Applied Special Technology, and school districts in the Metropolitan Washington, DC, and Boston areas, SRI is studying how young children with and without learning disabilities think about and learn important concepts in mathematics. We will use the findings to develop and validate a formative and summative classroom math assessment system for evaluating and promoting conceptual understanding of pre-algebra constructs for elementary and early middle school students with mathematics learning disabilities.
Drawing on key principles of the BEAR Assessment System, we will develop a progression of how students with math learning disabilities learn constructs important to number sense and operations for whole numbers and elementary fractions. This will guide the development of tasks and items to assess their knowledge and understanding relative to the learning progression. Finally, we will measure qualitatively and quantitatively the reliability and validity of the assessment to ensure high-quality evidence.
The assessment system will be a powerful tool for teachers to monitor student knowledge and progress, meaningfully interpret evidence about student learning (including what students know and do not know about the target constructs), and use formative data to adjust subsequent instruction. Although developed specifically for students with learning disabilities in math, the system will be useful to all those who seek ways to assess and enhance studentsí conceptual understanding of early foundational math.(U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research, 2010-2014)
Project Director: Kavita L. Seeratan