SMARTER BALANCED READY: Big Idea #1

Students Benefit from Taking Interim Assessments

A teacher helps students working on computers.

Kiki Korakis’ 4th-grade class at Robert Sanders Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., takes a Smarter Balanced practice test, March 26, 2014. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)

In addition to the instructional benefits to teachers of the Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs), students benefit in many ways from taking interim assessments during the school year. Students were exposed to the testing platform and the accessibility and accommodations resources, and they were able to gain an appreciation for the depth of the questions. Most districts also heard from students that the assessment was more interesting and that they liked using the computer technology.

Although these benefits are possible with the Smarter Balanced Practice Test, the usefulness of IABs extends further. Teachers used data from interim assessments to talk to students about the next steps in their own learning.

The following sections describe specific examples of how students benefited from taking interim assessments.