1 instruction, but measure student progress. Thus, teachers

1       
Review of the related literature

This 
chapter  takes a brief view
over   the  following 
issues : 1. Assessment literacy 2. Classroom based
assessment literacy 3. Research on assessment literacy 4. Teachers’
assessment practice 5. Teachers’ perceptions of classroom based assessment.

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Assessment
literacy

Given the
increasing importance of both large-scale (norm referenced) and classroom
assessment, developing assessment literacy in teacher candidates needs to be an
explicit component of teacher education programs (DeLuca & Klinger,2010).
DeLuca and Klinger specified that teachers are expected to use a variety of
assessment instruments to measure students’ learning and integrate various
forms of assessment to not only support instruction, but measure student
progress. Thus, teachers must develop and maintain a sound understanding of
assessment practices and theories if assessments are to support meaningful
measures of student learning while providing useful feedback for teaching.

Assessment
plays an important role in teaching and learning. It affects decisions related
to instruction, determines the extent to which instructional objectives are
met, and provides information for administrative decisions. It has been
estimated that teachers spend as much as 50 percent of their time in
assessment-related activities (Stiggins 1991), and that when assessment is
implemented effectively, student achievement is improved (Campbell and Collins
2007). Yet many teachers feel assessment and testing are not relevant to their
classroom practice and report that they feel unprepared to undertake
assessment-related activities. Popham (2004) reports that most public school
educators in the United States tend to think of assessment as “a complex,
quantitative arena well beyond the comprehension of mere mortals” (82). Some of
these feelings may come from the anxiety that teachers felt when they were
students taking tests, especially if they didn’t understand how the tests were graded
or if the objectives of the tests weren’t clear. Teacher-education programs are
also at fault for not making sure teachers are adequately trained before
entering the classroom (Mertler 2004). As Taylor (2009) points out, language
education programs at graduate level typically devote little time or attention
to assessment theory and practice, perhaps just a short (often optional)
module; and although there is no shortage of books on language testing and
assessment available today, many of these are perceived to  be (and often are) highly technical or too
specialized for language educators seeking to understand basic principles and
practice in assessment.  An essential element of assessment literacy is the ability to
connect student assessment to the learning and teaching process. Teachers can
make this link by first matching test items 
to instructional objectives, then using the test results to provide
feedback on both student performance and how well the instructional objectives
were met. An assessment-literate teacher is able to interpret data generated
from a test to make useful modifications to teaching and to use assessments as
a tool to improve student learning. Assessment-literate teachers are also able
to discuss assessments with others in terms of key concepts in testing.  Seven key concepts—usefulness, reliability,
validity, practicality, washback, authenticity, and transparency—are
cornerstones in testing that help to ensure that a test is solid (i.e., that it
will consistently measure what you want it to measure in an efficient manner,
and that both teacher and student will see it as a valuable source of
information regarding learning.

Assessment
literacy (AL), traditionally defined as a basic understanding of educational
assessment and related skills to apply such knowledge to various measures of
student achievement (Stiggins, 1991a), is increasingly being recognized as an
integral part of teacher professionalism (Abell & Siegel, 2011; Brookhart,
2002; Engelsen & Smith, 2014; Schafer, 1993; Stiggins, 1995). Such growing
interest in AL is due partly to the central role of assessment in student
learning (Black & Wiliam, 1998), and to strong evidence that teachers are
key agents in educational assessment (Leung, 2014). To help students attain higher
levels of academic achievement, teachers need to develop appropriate types and
levels of AL (Stiggins, 1995). Despite the compelling arguments  for AL (Brookhart, 2011), many teachers are
often involved in assessment-related decision-making without sufficient
background or training in assessment (DeLuca, 2012; Lam, 2015; Popham, 2009;
Schafer & Lizzitz, 1987). As a result, “assessment illiteracy abounds”
(Stiggins, 2010, p. 233). To address this problem, evidence has been gathered
concerning the knowledge and skills that teachers need to be considered
assessment literate, their training requirements, efficacy in assessment, as
well as contextualized understanding of AL (e.g., DeLuca & Klinger, 2010;
Gottheiner & Siegel, 2012; Plake, Impara, & Fager, 1993). In addition,
models of teacher AL have been proposed with different foci, such as different
stakeholders’ perspectives of assessment education (DeLuca, 2012), theoretical
knowledge of classroom-based assessment (Abell & Siegel, 2011), and
sociocultural perspectives of ‘assessment literacies’ within multiple
discourses (Willis, Adie, & Klenowski, 2013). As these prior models do not
integrate with the principles of pre- and in-service teacher education, a new
framework of assessment literacy education is needed to create an overall
trajectory of professional development in AL and to encompass all phases of
teacher education and development