‘Invisible' stealth assessments offer learning support

Stealth assessments woven 'invisibly' into digital gaming environments have the power to offer continual learning support to students, while reducing test anxiety and cramming.

Dr Val Shute, Professor of Education at Florida State University, will give a keynote presentation at ACER's Research Conference 2015 in August on how games designed with stealth assessment capabilities can measure and assess 21st Century competencies.

Speaking ahead of the event to Research Developments, the academic says technology has made it possible to 'weave assessment seamlessly into the fabric of the learning experience so that it is virtually invisible, blurring the distinction between learning and assessment'.

'Stealth assessment is intended to be invisible and ongoing, to support learning, and remove or seriously reduce test anxiety while not sacrificing validity and consistency. [It] also reduces the time spent administering tests, reduces "cramming" so students retain more of what they learn through continuous and ubiquitous assessment, and focuses on actual achievement in terms of competencies.'

Shute argues the approach means schools no longer have to interrupt their teaching and learning to carry out testing - rather the stealth solution is a way of continuing to support 'real-time, just-in-time instruction' to students.

The theme of this year's Research Conference is Learning assessments: Designing the future. The event, from 16-18 August, also features a keynote from Dr Rukmini Banerji - Director of the ASER Centre in India. She'll be sharing how ASER (the Annual Status of Education Report) assesses children's basic skills in reading and maths, and how this new approach can provide large-scale solutions for the rest of the developing world.

Professor Geoff Masters AO, Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, will open the conference with his keynote Learning Assessments: Designing the future. It will also feature recorded contributions from Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam.

Read the full article: Assessment by stealth in a digital learning environment, published in ACER's Research Developments.

To find out more about the ACER Research Conference 2015 and to register, click on the link or visit www.acer.edu.au/rc

Visit ACER's Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation for more information about initiatives to lead new thinking, metrics, technologies and assessment resources and how to get involved in the Rolling Summit.