Formative assessment is research-based. Student self-assessment is research-based. What gets measured, gets done. And we must know the extent to which we are successfully helping students develop behavioral skills. So, how do we measure it? The assessment of noncognitive factors is an emerging field, and while observations and surveys may have reliability and validity complications, there are simple tools that we can use to capture evidence to inform who needs what in a timely manner.
There are efficient ways of gathering evidence and there must be equally efficient ways of managing this information and using it to inform future teaching and learning. Software solutions exist that will facilitate the management of evidence of behavioral skills. Regarding processes for the impactful use of data, we recommend, as we have throughout the book, that schools follow the same protocols that they use to analyze data related to academic concepts and skills. Data analysis guides exist, teams regularly devote time to reviewing and responding to data, and professional learning communities and data teams proscribe steps to guide educators.
We urge you to prioritize the use of assessments and evidence to inform practices in both behavior and academics. Speaking of assessment: “A growth mindset will be shaped by the structure of learning opportunities and assessment practices, as well as by the messages they receive from teachers that emphasize ability or effort” (Farrington, et al., p 74). The manner in which we assess matters and influences behaviors in an indisputable way.