Interim Benchmark Assessments

What is an Interim Benchmark Assessment and how are they used?

Interim or interim benchmark assessments have grown in prevalence as the stakes associated with accountability for public schools have increased. Rather than waiting for annual state test data to be returned to schools the use of “interim” assessments was adopted for widespread use. Interim assessments or (IBA’s) vary in purpose and use and therefore the characteristics or features incorporated in the design of these measures matters.

While school requirements to report adequate yearly progress served as the initial driver for

districts looking for information to inform changes to curriculum; recent requirements in educator evaluation requirements, have fueled more use of IBA’s in order to populate educator evaluation plans with student growth information.

A dozen different purposes have been identified for interim assessments (all legitimate) but more importantly few assessments can serve more than one or two purposes well.  The quick links provided engage the website user in definitions, quick primers, importance of identified purpose, characteristics of measures to meet identified purposes.

A Learning Moment Video

Marianne Perie emphasizes the importance of assessment design when using interim assessments.

We’ve assembled more resources for this topic below.

A Thoughtful Educators Guide to Interim/Benchmark Assessment

This 20-page guide by Jim Gullen, PhD, is written with the aim to help the reader understand interim/benchmark assessments in the broader context of a balanced assessment system. Further, it addresses some of the characteristics of interim/benchmark assessments and how they are constructed. Gullen explores several potential uses of these types of assessments and addresses relevant issues related to each use.

Interim Assessment: What are some key characteristics?

Learn about some key characteristics you should know when selecting interim assessments. Also see "Learning Resource: Purposes for and Essential Characteristics of Interim Assessment".

Interim Benchmark Assessment – A Typology

This paper describes several ways that interim benchmark assessments can be categorized.

Learning Point-What do we mean by interim/benchmark assessments

Interim benchmark assessments are described in this Learning Point.

Learning Resource-Purposes for and essential characteristics of interim assessment

This Learning Resource is a companion chart to the Learning Point, "Interim Assessment: What are some key characteristics?"

LM-Marianne Perie: Components of interim assessments

In this ALN Learning Moment video, Marianne Perie answers the question, "What components would be necessary for an interim assessment to provide information to address a specific purpose?"- 12.15.17.

Moving Toward a Comprehensive Assessment System: A Framework for Considering Interim Assessments

This article lays out a conceptual framework for interim assessments, distinguishing them from so-called "formative assessments."

What are diagnostic assessments?

Diagnostic tests are defined, and their use described, in this Learning Point. 

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