States

Alignment is the degree to which learning expectations, curriculum, assessments (and other parts of the education system, e.g., teacher education, instructional practices, professional development, etc.) are in agreement and serve in conjunction with one another to guide the system toward students learning what is expected (Webb, 2007). Considered an ethical imperative in the field of measurement, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing call out evidence of content alignment between standards and assessments as a core aspect of a validity argument for the interpretation and use of test scores (AERA/APA/NCME, 2014). 

What are Alignment Studies?

A content alignment analysis of standards with assessments evaluates the relationship between the two artifacts, based on agreed upon criteria and cutoffs that are grounded in the intended interpretations and uses of test scores. Our team brings expertise and deep understanding of Dr. Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) framework and alignment methodologies that have been refined over 20 years, yielding a flexible, effective, and efficient analytical approach. Having completed studies in more than 30 states and abroad, with study designs tailored to fit a variety of assessment types and contexts, our team is ready to help you as you prepare to evaluate statewide summative assessments. We continuously work with other assessment experts to develop and improve alignment approaches to address Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), NGSS assessments, and more.

An Efficient and  Thorough Process

WebbAlign alignment analyses can be conducted in-person or remotely, using an online data collection system that allows for real-time monitoring of data entry. We provide a comprehensive report which outlines the degree of alignment between standards (or other learning expectations) and corresponding assessments. If alignment issues are identified, we specify the necessary adjustments that would be required to meet the minimum cutoffs for acceptable alignment per our widely accepted alignment criteria.

To learn more about our alignment criteria and approach, contact us today. Click here to read more about using the results of alignment analyses to inform ongoing item-level improvements.