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Peer Review

Assessment: Bridging the Gap Between Teaching and Learning for All Students

by Rebecka Anderson


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.83 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 16, 2004 by Teacher Education
Overview: This online assessment tutorial was designed to study the topics of assessment,
accountability and IDEA '97 legislation. It is comprised of five clear
outcomes, a pre-test, five lessons with assigned online readings followed by
self quizzes for each lesson, a post test, and supplemental resources and web
sites. The site is a special project of the California Department of Education,
Special Education Division.
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: Student teachers and teachers, especially those working with special education
students can use this site as an introduction, supplemental assignment, or as a
review of assessment. In addition, it could be used at the advanced level to
compare and contrast state implementation policies and practices.
Technical Requirements: Acrobat Reader is required to access and view the assigned readings and
resources in each of the five lessons.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The site is clear and specific in its intentions. Participants will (1) Be able
to define accountability, accommodations, and alternate assessment; (2) Become
aware of benefits, barriers and research supporting the inclusion of all
children in state accountability and assessment efforts; (3) Acquire information
on California Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) including the
state guidelines for including Special Education pupils in STAR); (4) Gain
practical suggestions for: (a) learning process assessments, (b) alternate
assessments, (c) strength-based assessments used in programs for children with
emotional and behavior disorders, and (d) curriculum adaptations; and (5)
increase access to Internet resources related to assessment issues.
Target Student Population: Pre-service and inservice teachers and educators, higher ed. teacher education
faculty, and especially those who work in special education
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: General understanding of lesson plan development and assessment is helpful, but
not required, in using this tutorial.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site offers contemporary educational research and resources related to IDEA
'97 law as well as California state regulations for implementing the mandate to
reach and teach all learners. The content covered in this tutorial includes
inclusive assessments, accountability, accommodation, and practical implications
of assessment, alternative assessments, strength-based assessments for children
with emotional and behavioral disorders, and a parents' guide. The sequencial
order of the readings with review questions and supplemental resources provide a
good grounding in assessment issues, especially for children with emotional and
behavioral disorders. The readings represent a variety of research and
viewpoints through 1998.
Concerns: All of the assigned readings are worthy but they are dated from 1991 through

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Because this thoughtfully organized tutorial is online and developed by a
reputable state department of education, it offers an immediate online
assignment for teacher education programs to investigate IDEA '97 legislation
and California state regulations. The site can be used independently
or easily incorporated into an online course. Research projects or
presentations could easily be developed from the content in any of the lessons.
The site could also serve as introduction or review assignment for preservice
or inservice teachers.
Concerns: The emphasis on California state regulations somewhat limits its effectiveness
to educators from California; however other states could design and assignment
to compare and contrast with California's implementation practices. All of the
assigned readings and references for the five lessons are worthy but they are
dated from 1991 through 1998. There are more recent articles available in
educational journals and online that are not included in this tutorial.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The systematic structure and organization of this tutorial make it easy to
follow. The clear and easily read menu bars make navigation throughout the
tutorial easy. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for the readings and a direct
link for accessing it is included. The pages are consistent in design and the
visual impact is pleasing to the eye.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: There is a second tutorial available at this site that addresses develop of
individual education plans (IEPs). It is comprised of four clear outcomes, a
pre-test, four lessons with assigned online readings followed by review quizzes
for each lesson, and a post test. When you login to the site you can choose
which tutorial you wish to use.
Go to
The tutorial is also a special project of the California Department of
Education, Special Education Division.