Are students across an entire school or district grasping the content they are learning? Are students going to perform well on big upcoming assessments like state testing or summative exams? One effective way to answer these questions is through interim assessments.
What Are They?
Interim assessments are given at different intervals throughout the school year (hence the name). Interim assessments are often given on a district or school wide level. This allows education leaders to compare results and track progress of entire classes or schools.
It’s important to note that the terms “interim assessment” and “benchmark exam” are often used interchangeably. They are used to track student mastery and understand how to guide future instruction, so students can be fully prepared for summative exams or state testing.
Components of Interim Assessment
- Give insight on student progress
- Term used interchangeably with benchmark exam
- Given at different “intervals” throughout the school year
- Used for accountability of schools, students, and teachers
- Used to identify areas where adjusted instruction is needed
How Is Interim Assessment Different From Formative Assessment?
While both interim and formative assessments help teachers drive their future instruction, there are key differences between the two. Formative assessments are low stakes, quick ways to check in with students that happen frequently. In addition, they come in many forms: quiz, exit ticket, artwork, venn diagram, game, presentation, etc.
On the other hand, interim assessments are formal. They typically are longer, carry more weight, and require more preparation. Beyond this, interim exams are typically given across many different classes or schools, while formative assessments usually are only assigned by one teacher in a singular class.
Keep in Mind
The terms interim assessment and benchmark exam are often used interchangeably. Both refer to exams that typically align to state learning standards — like PARCC, AIR, SBAC, FSA, or PSSA. School leaders give interim/benchmark exams to track academic trajectory and to help students practice and prepare for spring state testing.
Online Interim Assessment with Edulastic
Many teachers, schools, and districts across the country use Edulastic for their interim assessments to gain immediate insights and access robust reports. For starters, teachers can view the live class board while students are taking an exam. Student answers populate in real-time. This allows teachers to immediately identify which students are finding success and which students need more help. Once the exam is completed, the free data reports help teachers view student results in an easy-to-read yet powerful format.
At the district level, common assessments are easy with Edulastic Enterprise. Results are instant and with standards-tied questions, standards mastery tracking is a breeze. Plus, school and district leaders also can drill down the data to building, grade, teacher, class, or student. With an Enterprise administrator account, you can view data based on demographics such as gender, FRL status, race, ELL status, and more.
Edulastic assessments are powerful and are paving the way for efficient and useful testing at the class, school, and district level.