TitleFocused anecdotal records assessment: A tool for standards-based, authentic assessment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBoyd-Batstone, P
JournalThe Reading Teacher
Start Page230
Type of ArticleElementary
KeywordsClassroom Observation Techniques, Data Collection, Evaluation Methods, Performance Based Assessment, Standards, Student Evaluation

  This article describes the tension between standards-based assessment on a macro level and authentic assessment on a micro level. Content standards arguably supply systematic criteria for quantitative measures to report trends and establish policy. Qualitative measures, such as rubrics, student profiles, and observational records, fill in the gaps to give teachers immediate feedback for instructional planning. The purpose of the article is to describe an observational tool for standards-based authentic assessment. Focused anecdotal records assessment (ARA) is a collection of techniques for recording, maintaining, and analyzing observational records. Five components are described: (1) observing children in instructional settings, (2) maintaining a standards-based focus, (3) recording anecdotal records, (4) managing anecdotal records, and (5) using anecdotal records for assessment. The article includes formats for recording specific standards, observational data, summaries of strengths and needs, and instructional recommendations. Focused ARAs help organize assessment data and facilitate communication with students, parents, and other members of the educational community.