EdSteps seeks to give teachers, parents, and students a Web-based resource for comparing their student work to that of other students. The centerpiece will be a large public library of student work samples in key skill areas that are typically difficult and costly to assess. For each skill area, student work will be presented in a continuum — a gradual progression — from emerging to accomplished work.
The EdSteps continuums will allow teachers, parents, and students themselves to measure individual students’ progress over time and answer questions about whether students are on track to success. The continuums’ work samples will help teachers, parents, and students answer a central question for student growth:
Where is a particular student now, and what should he or she do to improve?
Click here to download more information about how we are building the continuums.
The EdSteps Skills
The EdSteps skill areas were selected because they are important for student success and they are traditionally difficult and costly to assess. The five skill areas — Writing, Global Competence, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Analyzing Information — are in different stages of development and will be phased in over time.
EdSteps is currently collecting work samples in Creativity, Global Competence, Problem Solving and Analyzing Information from students and adults of all ages from across the country and the world. Work samples will be accepted in any format, including Word documents, PowerPoints, video presentations, audio files, PDF—any file that can be downloaded on a computer is welcome.
EdSteps also invites students and educators to review student writing samples online.
Each continuum will be made through thousands of paired comparisons. In a paired comparison, a reviewer looks at two pieces of student work and determines which is better. This approach is different from other assessment methods, which rely on absolute judgments or rating a single item based on set criteria. The paired comparison approach is effective because comparative judgments are more concrete and easier to make than absolute judgments. For more information about the rating process, please see our Technical Report.
What Teachers are Saying:
"Thank you for taking this project on! This is what I have needed ever since I took on teaching primary school two years ago: what is expected of a first grader's writing? a second grader? a kindergartner? I teach in a small, rural school, and so have no other teachers handy to compare notes on this. This project could be the answer to my pleas to the universe. I'll be watching for more updates, and I will be happy to send in samples from my students' work."
- Ms. Steffano-Davis