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Alternatives in Assessment
Transcript of Alternatives in Assessment
September 3, 2012
So, what's wrong with a little test, now and again?
Tests & Teaching
Tests - What are they good for?
What are you testing?
Tests separate assessment from learning
The 'washback' of a test changes the teaching of a course
A test item is a statement of your belief towards a subject
Tests change the way a student learns
How much backwash would your washback wash
back if your washback would wash back ?
The effect that the test has on a course; derived
from the collision between the forward
momentum of the teaching objectives with the
backward momentum of the test objectives
How much can you assess in a test?
What sample of the course does your test favour?
What depth of knowledge can a student show in a test?
What knowledge does your test item represent?
What model of knowledge does the test presume?
Individual scores - (almost) guaranteed
Controlled, secure assessment environment
Typically restricted answers: there is a correct answer
High reliability, low validity
So, What's the Alternative?
A reliable assessment will produce exactly the same result under exactly the same conditions
A valid assessment will produce an accurate measure of the real-world conditions that the test represents
Performance Assessment - single event
Performance Assessment - multiple measures
Assessment Design Options:
Amount of Warning
How high are the stakes for failure?
Zero, one, specified or unlimited chances to re-submit, revise or re-take
What is the scope of the assessment?
What is the duration of the assessment?
What resources are available to support students?
How Does it Work?
Where Can I Find Out More?
Based on the Type of Outcome (see Bloom's taxonomy), Decide How Best to Measure that Skill
Design an assessment tool that best replicates the real-world use of those skills
Improve the assessment to account for
The content of the test
accurately reflects the
content of the course
The results of the test
accurately predict future performance in the construct that the
Clarify and publicise criteria prior to assessment
Combine assignments with controlled assessment
Divide process into stages and assess individual stages; grade and return for next stage
Spot-check, cross mark, standardised marking
A course with outcomes that engage students in learning at different levels of thinking and that are assessed by a range of relevant, motivating, reliable and valid instruments
Look for the terms "authentic," "alternative," "direct" or "performance" assessment in your field
Here are just a few suggestions:
Any questions that will help you with the next step in today's process: preparing your own performance / alternative / direct / authentic assessment items
This Depends on Your Field, but Possibilities Include:
Designs, drawings, plans & drafts
Essay, Report, Brief, Paragraph, Summary
Full Lab Report, Results of Experiment
Blog, Facebook, Web pages
Regular Journal, Letter, Diary, Log entries
Map, Model, Plan
Presentation, Debate, Leading a Tutorial
Instructions, User Manual, Recipe, Experimental Design
Story Board, Comic Book, Graphic Novel, Multimedia Production
Reading list, Internet Resources
Single or multiple and varied assessment items
Individual, group or split grading
Formative assessment tools
help form a picture of the student; they provide feedback on a student's progress towards goals; they are typically associated with informal assessment procedures, but student progress can easily be assessed in a formal test
Summative assessment tools
summarise learning; they measure students against a standard; summative assessments are not designed to provide feedback to the student; summative assessments are associated with high-stakes exams, such as High School leaving exams, IELTS, SATs, GCSEs etc., but they may also be implemented at a more local level, such as an end of course exam