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Research & Resources

“How can I know if they know? Differentiated Authentic Assessment”

Terry Weaver, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education

December 18, 2006 - Designing instructional assessment to check on the understanding and learning of a diverse classroom of children is a major undertaking. The use of differentiated instruction and understanding by design principles in assessment seems to provide an assessment process that allows the special educator and classroom teachers to collaborate in order to check on understanding and learning of children on a variety of levels and meeting the learning styles of a diverse classroom group. Principles governing differentiated authentic assessment were presented along with two differentiated authentic assessments including standards, objectives and big ideas being assessed, scenarios to introduce the real-world problem, and the rubrics for scoring the products. Active participation was included with a chance to complete one differentiated authentic assessment: Create a Creature (insect model).

Dr. Weaver presentetd at the 10th Annual BEYOND ACCESS conference - Energizing Education: Going “Outside the Lines” on November 15, 2006 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, Memphis, TN sponsored by Learning Disabilities of America, UT Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, R.I.S.E. Project and Down Syndrome Association.


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