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Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Thematically Linked Integrated Assessment Task

A thematically linked integrated task (item set) is an assessment activity focused on an idea or concept that involves the integration of learning objectives in two or more content areas.   Learning objectives addressed in the task should encompass all four VSC content standards.   The item set typically includes a specified number of selected response and/or constructed response items, a performance-based task, and a self-reflection component.

The following is an example of an assessment task — thematically linked item set — that integrates skills and knowledge in music with those of social studies.   The task also allows for optional integration with English language arts.   This task is presented in a framework that enables teachers to modify components as they see fit.

Unlike a high-stakes summative assessment, these integrated thematically linked activities need not be administered under highly controlled and standardized conditions.   For that reason, directions have not been scripted as they might be for a standardized performance task.  

It is suggested that educators read all instructions thoroughly (instructions to the task administrator appear in bold letters) and decide ahead of time the degree to which they wish to use the directions as worded.   Teachers might choose to deliver directions orally; have students follow along in a text as they are read aloud; or provide the directions for students to read and follow on their own.  

A Student Booklet may be generated for those who wish to administer the tasks under more standardized conditions.   If teachers wish to present the assessment in this fashion, they should introduce all student directions with the instruction to “follow along as I read aloud.”

Educators also have the discretion to determine how much time should be allotted for each activity or group of activities, or if a time constraint should be imposed at all.

In addition, they should feel free to add, remove, or change activities to suit their instructional and assessment purposes.   Such changes might include:

  • Presenting the background or directions in a more informal way, rather than having students follow along as the teacher reads directions
  • Providing more scaffolding to activate prior social studies knowledge
  • Modeling hands-on activities

View Example:

Music Thematically Linked Integrated Item Set (PDF: 280k)


Following are examples of student work from the thematically linked integrated music item set as administered.


Music Thematically Linked Activity 1

Music Thematically Linked Activity 2

Music Thematically Linked Activity 3

Music Thematically Linked Activity 4

Music Thematically Linked Activity 5

Music Thematically Linked Activity 6A

Music Thematically Linked Activity 6B

Music Thematically Linked Activity 7

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