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Guest Discussion on Assessment in Mathematics
Posted:
Jun 13, 2006 5:35 PM


To subscribe to this discussion, go to: http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/Assessment
Dear Colleagues,
I hope this email finds you well.
I'm pleased to announce the following Guest Discussion, which will begin on Monday of next week:
June 19  23, 2006
Topic: Assessment in Mathematics
Guest: Myrna Manly  please see Myrna's bio below.
Myrna will respond to your email posts once per day  feel free to send your post to the Assessment Discussion List, or to me so that I can post it for you (marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com).
Bio
Myrna Manly, a mathematics teacher with experience at many academic levels, retired in 2001 from a position as professor of mathematics at El Camino College. In addition to instruction, she has been involved with the assessment of the mathematics proficiency of adults in various roles: as the Mathematics Specialist for the 1988 version of the GED test; as a member of the numeracy team for the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL); and as the numeracy consultant for a similar international survey to be used in developing countries, the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP). She is the Past President of the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN), is the author of The GED Math Problem Solver, and also works with states and programs facilitating staffdevelopment workshops aimed at improving mathematics instruction to adults.
Myrna is presently writing a paper with Mary Jane Schmidt and Lynda Ginsburg on the components of numeracy for NCSALL (National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy). The paper reviews the literature, describes the fundamental elements of adult numeracy, and makes recommendations for further research, particularly with respect to curriculum and assessment. Look for this resource soon from NCSALL.
Recommended preparations for this discussion
Myrna has provided several questions below to get you thinking about math assessment:
It is known that students and teachers come to value what is assessed. What is your opinion of the influence that the standardized mathematics assessments (GED, TABE, CASAS) have in your classrooms? Are they assessing the mathematics that is important for the 21st century? Do you think that they all assess the same mathematics? What do you think is missing from each?
Computation skills are easy to assess. How can we assess other important aspects of mathematics like strategic problem solving, conceptual understanding, and reasoning?
Describe instances where you have seen a student's "math anxiety" interfere with an accurate assessment of his/her abilities. Do you assess math anxiety in any way? What strategies have you used to reduce it? Any luck with them?
Which classroom techniques do you recommend for informal, ongoing assessment of a student's progress in learning mathematics?
In addition to the above questions to stimulate discussion, Myrna has provided these sites for math assessment. Please take a look at these sites and post your questions and comments to the Discussion:
http://www.literacy.org/products/ncal/pdf/TR9805.pdf Assessing Mathematical Knowledge of Adult Learners: Are We Looking at What Counts? This technical report from NCAL was written by Joy Cumming, Iddo Gal, and Lynda Ginsburg in 1998. It discusses assessment principles and evaluates their implementation in common numeracy assessment tools.
http://www.ncsall.net/?id=573 The Inclusion of Numeracy in Adult Basic Education, Dave Tout and Mary Jane Schmitt, 2002. This chapter from NCSALL's annual review contains a section on assessment that includes a description of assessments in adult education from Australia and The Netherlands.
http://www.nctm.org/news/assessment/2005_12nb.htm Will This Be on the Test? This article discusses the importance of including significant mathematics on tests. It includes a good example of a test item that goes beyond procedural skills.
http://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter2/assess.htm This document in an overview of NCTM's assessment principle for K12 mathematics.
Largescale surveys of adult skills:
Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL)
Numeracy Framework (begins on p.137):
http://www.statcan.ca/cgibin/downpub/listpub.cgi?catno=89552MIE2005013
First results: http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/89603XIE/2005001/pdf.htm
Data Tool: http://litdata.ets.org/ialdata/search.asp
National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)
First results: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006470
Hard Copy Resource:
Adult Numeracy Development: Theory, Policy and Practice, Iddo Gal, ed., 2000. Hampton Press, Inc. This book has a section on numeracy assessment with one article discussing assessment issues and principles using examples from the US and Australia and another article describing the use of "Supermarket Strategy" materials for diagnosing the skills of individual learners in The Netherlands.
Thanks everyone, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all next week to chat about math assessment!
Marie Cora Moderator NIFL Assessment Discussion List marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com
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