Competency-Based and Proficiency-Based Assessment and Reassessment of Learning Outcomes (PARLO):
Competency-Based and Proficiency-Based Assessment and Reassessment of Learning Outcomes (PARLO). 21PSTEM developed the PARLO assessment system to remove learning roadblocks caused by punitive grading practices, particularly when implementing problem-based and project-based curriculum. PARLO is based on years of research on formative assessment and cognitive developmental psychology. The heart of the PARLO process is to breakdown the curriculum to a small set of high value student learning outcomes (SLOs) that require “strategic thinking;” then, iteratively assess for student mastery of each SLO. Student grades are based on the percentage of SLOs where the student has reached proficiency rather than the total points awarded for every assignment divided by the total possible points, a practice which penalizes late learners.
Assessment Management System (AMS) – PARLO Tracker:
To help manage progressive evidence of student mastery of Student Learning Outcomes, Competencies, or similar learning benchmarks, 21PSTEM has developed a robust interactive online assessment management system (AMS) called the PARLO Tracker. The Tracker enables parents, students and administrators to monitor student progress toward mastery of strategic content. The Tracker AMS is extremely user friendly as it was based on years of field testing from two federally funded projects. The Tracker software is available to colleges, districts and schools at a nominal cost.
Tests of Concepts (TOC) in Science and Mathematics:
To test for conceptual development and chart learning progressions, 21PSTEM developed a process to create isomorphic assessment items of progressive difficulty based on decades of cognitive science research on typical misconceptions in science and mathematics and student data. For an example of these durable misconceptions see the Private Universe link.
21PSTEM developed tasks and protocols for assessing student performance on laboratory based practical knowledge. These authentic assessments or “lab practicals” can be an important component of a mixed methods approach to gauging students STEM knowledge.
Assessing High School to College to Workforce Alignment:
Component 21PSTEM has developed strategies to better assess alignment between high school, college and the workforce. Three graphics with accompanying narratives outline the more obscure challenges of alignment.