New Assessments, Better Instruction?
In 2010, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation initiated a new strategic initiative that focuses on students’ mastery of core academic content and their development of deeper learning skills (i.e., critical-thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and learn-how-tolearn skills). In its efforts to encourage schools to promote deeper learning, the Foundation is looking for leverage points to influence change in schools. Assessment can be a lever for change, and the Foundation asked the RAND Corporation to explore various aspects of assessment related to deeper learning. In an earlier project, RAND Education tracked the extent to which U.S. students are currently assessed in a way that emphasizes deeper learning skills. This project explores the extent to which changing assessment is likely to lead to changes in educational practice by reviewing the research literature on the impact of assessment on instruction and the factors that may mediate that relationship.