Stealth assessments and competency based education.

  • For anyone who wants to see how the new generation of Competency Based Ed rolling exams will be marketed and who is behind it, please check out the following. Note Gates and Pearson, among others. This is not the competency based learning from years ago.

“Mar 27, 2013 – The report features work by Val Shute, whose work in this area is fantastic. It is she who coined the phrase “stealth assessment” to refer to the idea of using data collected from games to unobtrusively monitor students’ knowledge, skills, and attributes.”

“Invisible, integrated assessment, to me, is the future,” Kimberly O’Malley, the senior vice president of school research at Pearson Education, told me. “We can monitor students’ learning day to day in a digital scenario. Ultimately, if we’re successful, the need for, and the activity of, stopping and testing will go away in many cases.”

Summary of the propaganda below:

“To succeed in today’s interconnected and complex world, workers need to be able to think systemically, creatively, and critically. Equipping K-16 students with these twenty-first-century competencies requires new thinking not only about what should be taught in school but also about how to develop valid assessments to measure and support these competencies. In Stealth Assessment, Valerie Shute and Matthew Ventura investigate an approach that embeds performance-based assessments in digital games. They argue that using well-designed games as vehicles to assess and support learning will help combat students’ growing disengagement from school, provide dynamic and ongoing measures of learning processes and outcomes, and offer students opportunities to apply such complex competencies as creativity, problem solving, persistence, and collaboration. Embedding assessments within games provides a way to monitor players’ progress toward targeted competencies and to use that information to support learning.
Shute and Ventura discuss problems with such traditional assessment methods as multiple-choice questions, review evidence relating to digital games and learning, and illustrate the stealth-assessment approach with a set of assessments they are developing and embedding in the digital game Newton’s Playground. These stealth assessments are intended to measure levels of creativity, persistence, and conceptual understanding of Newtonian physics during game play. Finally, they consider future research directions related to stealth assessment in education.”

Their work is outlined here:

Games on devices are their platform.

“While Minecraft and MOOCs represent a whole landscape of significant advances in learning technology, what really piqued our interest in the report – considering our work at GlassLab– is that two of the five success stories focus on assessment technology, which, as the report notes, “has advanced very little if at all since the invention of the optical scan answer sheet a half-century ago.” The underlying concern is that if new models of learning keep marching forward while traditional methods of assessment endure, we’ll end up with a disconnect between learning that focuses on 21st century skills and assessment that focuses on 20th century facts, with no real way of understanding what students are actually learning.
One recent success story in assessment technology that the report offers is CAT, or computerized adaptive testing, which adapts test items to the test taker with algorithms that decide the next question based on answers to previous ones, which allows for greater precision in summative assessment and standardized testing. The other is a model of “stealth assessment,” where formative assessments occur within digital games:

Stealth assessments represent a leap forward in assessment technology. Stealth assessments embed formative assessments into games. Valerie Shute, a Professor at Florida State, and her colleagues developed the first stealth assessment and intended them not to deceive students but rather capture data unobtrusively. They collect data about student learning that teachers can then use to improve and individualize instruction.”

The Gates response to over testing, he comes in as the knight on a white horse yet again:

“The programming and development group (GlassLab, funded by Gates Foundation) was tasked to design and develop state-of-the-art, game-based formative assessments. These assessments are being developed in response to the climate of student disengagement that currently exists in many classrooms. By leveraging the popularity of digital video games and by applying Evidence Centered Design (ECD), the game-based formative assessments address the needs of both students and teachers for reliable and valid real-time actionable data within a motivating learning environment.”

You don’t have to be a technophobe to sound alarm bells. Children sitting on devices all day long – concerns all of us. For budgetary reasons, for health reasons, for social reasons, and for practical reasons, is this what parents and teachers want, and does it matter? And what becomes of the teacher who has acquired a masters degree, who is now to sit and be a tech support proctor? Where does the human interaction fall in this paradigm? Let’s not forget online vulnerability. Where does the data go? How safely is it protected from hackers?

Speaking of hackers, check what happened to this company that markets electronics FOR TODDLERS. HACKED. Baby data is apparently a hot commodity. Children’s highly personal information has been breached.

“The personal information of almost 5 million parents and more than 200,000 kids was exposed earlier this month after a hacker broke into the servers of a Chinese company that sells kids toys and gadgets, Motherboard has learned.
The hacked data includes names, email addresses, passwords, and home addresses of 4,833,678 parents who have bought products sold by VTech, which has almost $2 billion in revenue. The dump also includes the first names, genders and birthdays of more than 200,000 kids.

What’s worse, it’s possible to link the children to their parents, exposing the kids’ full identities and where they live, according to an expert who reviewed the breach for Motherboard.

This is the fourth largest consumer data breach to date, according to the website Have I Been Pwned, the most well known repository of data breaches online, which allows users to check if their emails and passwords have been compromised in any publicly known hack.”

Untying teacher evaluation from standardized testing is meaningless when the next step are stealth exams. Teachers will be evaluated anyway and children will be tested anyway. Perhaps both will be less obtrusive and more palatable. But cease to exist, they will not.

Not all is wrong with digital learning. In countries we allegedly emulate such as Japan, many children don’t even touch computers in school until high school or college.

Under CBE, given the track record the USDOE has of “all or nothing roll out”, it may be the most major component of a child’s education. This clearly seems very unbalanced and, like common core, an idea thought up by billionaires, not anyone who actually works with children.