"Do We Need to Give Exams?" and other Assessment Questions to Consider

Status: RECORDED on NOV 02, 2016

$156 Non-Member

[$143.00 Gold Member]

Much focus has been given to student-centered pedagogy that emphasizes “21st century skills,” but in many cases assessment practices have remained largely the same. Teachers may experiment with inquiry-based learning, flipped classrooms, and collaborative activities, while still ending each unit with a written test. Some middle schools give traditional exams “to prepare students for high school” and high schools claim that long, cumulative written exams given in the same week are necessary to prepare students for college. Will lower schools soon be joining the ranks and give exams to prepare students for middle school? This Webinar explores assessment practices that are student-centered, more reflective of “real life,” and that fit with the emerging pedagogues that are based on brain research.

Special attention is given to the discussion of traditional final exams and exam periods.

We'll cover these topics and more:

  • How do we evaluate our current assessment practices?
  • What are some different assessment practices we might consider?
  • Should we have mid-term and final exam periods?
  • Will students be prepared for college if we change our assessment practices?

Run Time:
Total run time is 60 minutes. The presentation will run approximately 45 minutes with 15 minutes designated for Q&A.

Who Should View:Division Heads/Principals, Academic Deans, Deans of Faculty, and School Heads will benefit from this session.

staff photo barbara beachley

Barbara Beachley

ISM Director of Advisory Services | Consultant


Barbara provides her expertise in the areas of student-centered and brain-based pedagogies, faculty growth and culture, faculty evaluation, academic leadership, mission identity, survey best practices, and data analysis.

Current Role

As Director of ISM Advisory Services, Barbara:

  • Oversees ISM’s Consulting, Publications, Research, and Professional Development divisions
  • Consults in strategic academic planning and school leadership
  • Writes for ISM’s publications, including Ideas & Perspectives
  • Facilitates some of ISM's scheduling workshops, empowering teachers to transition to and teach effectively in longer periods
  • Leads courses at ISM’s Summer Institute, including Transformative Academic Leadership: Inspire and Empower Excellence and Administration and Faculty Evaluation: Maximize Your Team's Capacity
  • Speaks at educational conferences, including CASE-NAIS, EMA, and AISAP
  • Facilitates Board and school leadership retreats

Prior Experience

Barbara joined ISM in 2011 after working in the field of education since 1996. She served as an ESL and adult literacy teacher at Boston University, MA; an upper school modern language teacher at the MacDuffie School, MA; and a language teacher and lead advisor at Collegiate School, VA. She also served as Academic Dean at Cape Henry Collegiate School, VA, where she oversaw curriculum and professional growth in grades PK−12.

While enrolled at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, she attended a year of high school in France through School Year Abroad. She later lived in Spain and Brazil, where she learned Spanish and Portuguese.


Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish from Trinity College, CT; a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Boston University, MA; a master’s degree in educational administration from Harvard University, MA; and a master’s degree in independent school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, NY.

Personal Mission Statement

To cherish my work and to support and empower educators such that they cherish theirs.

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