Traditional Assessments- Tests

1. Which type/s of traditional assessment/ testing are you inclined to choose? Why?

 

Traditional assessments are usually true/false, matching, or multiple choice. These assessments are easy to grade, but only test isolated application, facts, or memorized data at lower-level thinking skills and it can be useful if I just want to check the students memory or knowledge about facts. I think I preferred the identification type and enumeration because it can easily give what are the needed output for the students, unlike in true/false quizzes the students can guess answers and they can get higher grades. Same with multiple choices, the students can guess and some questions are tricky. The goal is not give tricky questions but to fairly and accurately assess the students. 

2. Is it possible to ensure that the traditional assessment you craft will be good assessment, no less effective than an alternative assessment?

Traditional assessments are tests given to the students by the teachers to measure how much the students have learned.  I think it is possible to ensure that traditional assessment can craft a good assessment like all other methods of assessment, traditional assessment has strengths and weaknesses.   Traditional assessments generally have high practicality because they take little time to administer and score. The questions are generally objective and there is only one correct response.  There is not a lot of room for bias in the grading of traditional assessments. Traditional assessments can be completed within a class period and can be handed back to the students immediately.   Traditional assessment methods can be effective in many classrooms. The high practicality of traditional assessments is appealing to teachers. It is important to consider the goal of an assessment and then determine which method would be best employed. 

Traditional assessment methods have drawbacks as well.    If the test is in the form of multiple choice, it is difficult to develop a test that is reliable and has high validity. The teacher has to be very attentive to the questions asked and in the choices given. In order for the test to have high validity, there has to be reasonable dis-tractors among the choices. 

The most widely used traditional assessment tools are multiple-choice tests, true/false tests, short answers, and essays.  True/false tests: True/false items require students to make a decision and find out which of two potential responses is true. Since they are easy to score, it is easy to administer true/false tests. However, guessing might increase the chance of success by 50%. Especially, when the test item is false, it is quite hard to find out whether the student really knows the correct response. One possible solution is to ask student to provide with an explanation for the incorrect item, or rewrite the statement correctly. However, this affects the ease in scoring negatively (Simonson et al., 2000).  Multiple-choice tests: Multiple-choice tests are commonly utilized by teachers, schools, and assessment organizations for the following reasons (Bailey, 1998, p. 130):  1. 2. They are fast, easy, and economical to score. 

 

 

In fact, they are machine scorable. They can be scored objectively and thus may give the test appearance of being fairer and/or more reliable than subjectively scored tests. 3. 4. They “look like” tests and may thus seem to be acceptable by convention. They reduce the chances of learners guessing the correct items in comparison to true-false items. Simonson and others discussed the disadvantages of multiple choice tests. They claimed that depending on the level of cognitive effort, they become harder and more time consuming to create. In other words, multiple choice items can be used effectively in testing the items that demand low level of cognitive effort such as recalling previously memorized knowledge, yet items that require students to use higher order thinking skills such as analyzing and synthesizing are more difficult to produce (2000). 

 

Essays are effective assessment tools since the questions are flexible and assess the higher order learning skills. However, they are not very practical due to the fact that it is very difficult and time consuming to score the essays. Moreover, subjectivity might be an issue in scoring. Creating a rubric might be helpful to grade the essays (Simonson et al., 2000).

 

Instructors have an option to create, adapt, or adopt rubrics depending on their instructional needs. . Short-answer tests: In short-answer tests “items are written either as a direct question requiring the learner fill in a word or phrase or as statements in which a space has been left blank for a brief written answer” ). Furthermore, the questions need to be precise. Otherwise, the items that are open to interpretations allow learners to fill in the blanks with any possible information (Simonson et al., 2000 

 

3. What are some issues with norm-referenced tests?  Are there issues with criterion-referenced tests?

 

The issue in norm-referenced tests is that it cannot measure progress of the population as a whole, only where individuals fall within the whole. Thus, measuring against only a fixed goal can be used to measure the success of an educational reform program that seeks to raise the achievement of all students against new standards that seek to assess skills beyond choosing among multiple choices. However, in practice, the bar has often been moved in the face of excessive failure rates, and improvement sometimes occurs simply because of familiarity with and teaching to the same test.With a norm-referenced test, grade level was traditionally set at the level set by the middle 50 percent of scores.

 

It can be approve if all school will conduct the exam in the same manner, reducing such inaccuracies as time differences or environmental differences that may cause distractions to the students. This also makes these assessments fairly accurate as far as results are concerned, a major advantage for a test. Critics of criterion-referenced tests point out that judges set bookmarks around items of varying difficulty without considering whether the items actually are compliant with grade level content standards or are developmentally appropriate

A norm-referenced test has none of these problems because it does not seek to enforce any expectation of what all students should know or be able to do other than what actual students demonstrate. Present levels of performance and inequity are taken as fact, not as defects to be removed by a redesigned system.  The disadvantages include standards based assessments measure the level that students are currently by measuring against where their peers are currently at instead of the level that both students should be at. Because it is a rank-based system produces only data that tell which average students perform at an average level, which students do better, and which students do worse, contradicting fundamental beliefs, whether optimistic or simply unfounded, that all will perform at one uniformly high level in a standards based system if enough incentives and punishments are put into place. This difference in beliefs underlies the most significant differences between a traditional and a standards based education system.

Norm Referenced VS Criterion Referenced Tests 

Retrieved from:

Source: http://www.altalang.com/beyond-words/2008/05/22

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Rubrics

1. In which type of assessment will you associate rubrics with—criterion- or norm-referenced assessments? Elaborate. 

I think rubrics is associated with criterion referenced assessments because it makes judgements about performance, rather than on people. It assessed the extent to which a student has achieved the intended learning objectives and performance outcomes of a subject. A rubric is a printed set of scoring guidelines (criteria) for evaluating work (a

performance or a product) and for giving feedback. It is a scoring guide or a set of characteristics that are used to judge student performance.

 

A normreferenced assessment make judgements about people, expresses students’ scores in rank order, based on a distribution of scores., it relates the achievement of a particular student to the achievements of other students after the teaching is over.

  

 Thus, student performance is compared to a previously specified standard of achievement (criteria) and not relative to other students. 

 

The logic of criterionreferenced assessment is say what you want students to be able to do (see learning objectives), teach them to do it (through lectures, tutorials, and learning activities), and then see if they can do it (Biggs 2003, p.144). For criterion-referenced assessment to work, it is necessary to be clear about what your students should be learning in terms of qualities or performance criteria that define the grading categories and then to devise assessment tasks that will tell you how well students meet the criteria (Biggs 2003, p.145). 

 

The first task is a matter of setting learning objectives. As noted in the first training package, learning objectives are statements of what you expect your students to learn as a result of studying your unit. In other words, what should they be able to do at the end that they could not do before they commenced the unit. It is a focus on student performance not on how you teach!

 

A rubric is usually handed out before the assignment begins in order to get students to think about the criteria on which their work will be judged. It is suggested that rubrics improve students’ end products and therefore increase learning. When teachers evaluate papers or projects, they know implicitly what makes a good final product and why. When students receive rubrics beforehand, they understand how they will be evaluated and can prepare accordingly. Sharing the rubric and going over it step-by step will help students to understand the standards by which their work will be judged.

.

Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university : What the student does.

Second Edition, Society for Research into Higher Education : Open University Press Buckingham.

 

Source: Dr Rob Connoley

Educational Developer/Lecturer Teaching & Learning Faculty of Business & Law

Deakin University Version 1 – November 2004

 

2. How do rating scales, checklists, and rubrics compare with respect to the type of information they provide? 

 Checklists and rating scales lack descriptions of performance quality and rubrics are defined by two characteristics: criteria for students’ work and descriptions of performance levels. Because checklists and rating scales lack one of these two pieces, they are not rubrics. 

Checklists usually offer a yes or no format in relation to student demonstration of specific criteria. They may be used to record observations of an individual, a group or a whole class.

Rating Scales allow teachers to indicate the degree or frequency of the behaviors, skills and strategies displayed by the learner.  Rating scales state the criteria and provide three or four response selections to describe the quality or frequency of student work.

 

Source: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/112001/chapters/Checklists

3. Cite ways how you can use rubrics to promote thinking and learning in your own class settings. In what ways can rubrics be used to intentionally promote learning? 

 

Rubrics can promote thinking and learning in a class by evaluating the performance of student  because it is consists of a fixed measurement scale and detailed description of the characteristics for each level of performance. The descriptions focus on the quality of the product or performance and not the quantity. Rubrics are increasingly recognized as a way to both effectively assess student learning and communicate expectations directly, clearly and concisely to students.

It is also commonly used to evaluate student performance with the intention of including the result in a grade for reporting purposes and for students to be motivated some are grade conscious so they gave their best in the criteria in the rubrics given to them.

 The inclusion of rubrics in a teaching resource provides opportunities to consider what demonstrations of learning look like, and to describe stages in the development and growth of knowledge, understandings and skills.Because rubrics in we can see the progression of mastery and development of understandings and skills of children. The children will be guided in what to give to the teacher for them to have higher grades.

Source:

http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mewa/html

Assessments

 

How have various assessments (e.g., written tests, oral exams, projects, graded homework and recitation, etc) affected you?

 

I believe that assessments provides opportunities for me to self monitor , rehearse, practice the lessons in school .Because it guides and encourages me to continue learning  . Learning is fun and effective if there is an assessment which I am challenged.

 

I believe I study more effectively when I  know I am working on to something like for instance – the grades for my report card. I value, and expect, transparency in the way my knowledge will be assessed.

Whenever I’m studying I wish to see a clear relationship between lectures, tutorials, practical classes and subject resources, and what they are expected to demonstrate , to  know and what I can do.

As a student, I am grade conscious I wish to understand how grades are determined and I always expect a  timely feedback that explains the grade that I  have received. I remember when I was in college for my news writing course. When I saw my class card I only got a 2 and I was surprised that I got the same grade of my classmate who is not participating actively in the class and has lowered grades in our exams, recitations, seat works and home works  so without hesitations, I approached my professor and asked him if I can check why I got 2, when he checked it my grade is not 2 but 1.5 , the 2 is for my classmates who is after my name in the class record. Good thing, I am brave enough to ask my professor ..hehe .. Eversince I’m in gradeschool up to college, I always aim to have high grades and to be in the top. I just realized if I really learned effectively or I simply love learning.

 Having considered the implications of educational assessment on the learner and on his learning, what can you (rather than “they, the other teachers”) do proactively? Focus on doability and personal commitment

Teaching is a complex activity which is strongly affected by external decisions about curriculum and assessment. The teacher plays a crucial role in the implementation of curriculum and assessment, and of course for the students’ achievement.

Because testing can help the teacher determine the pace of classroom instruction,

teachers tend to use tests/assessments to prepare the students for the next lessons or level and to prepare themselves for the pacing of the students.

It is also to monitor what has been previously learned. As a personal commitment , I  will ensure my student to give examinations that is related to the subject matter, that can gauge their understanding with the lesson.

 

I will use the tests to measure how good my teaching was and  also the assessments should motivate and engage students in ways that are consistent with their learning and with theories of development, learning and motivation. I will use good assessment that is fair, leading to valid  measures that show student understanding

I will make sure that I have a clear understanding that the purpose of assessment is for students to develop and improve in their learning and for teachers to plan and teach effectively.  I will also make sure that students will be actively involved in, and having some control over, their learning and with assessment tasks and strategies that are fair and enable all students to demonstrate their learning achievements. I will also try my best to  give specific and timely feedback to help the students be the best they can be.

 

 

Importance of Assessment

 

Whether as a teacher, a group leader, a peer, or in some other role, you surely have had the opportunity to assess or evaluate another person. Were you always prudent about the accuracy of the feedback you gave about their performance?

We easily judge people most of times even with just the first glance and we can be either right or wrong.  Ordinary people judge others. There is no exception, so how much more to a teacher and a leader who needs to assess to bring out the best in a person. Evaluating other people is something we do all of our life, both formally, as a teacher, parent, or manager, and informally, as in personal relationships with our peers.

I can say that I am always prudent for the accuracy of the feedback I gave for other person to be fair to the efforts they gave in. I have different chances of measuring the assessment and evaluation of a student. When I’ve been a volunteer teacher in our church. It is easier to know if the students learned the Bible stories and facts. However in terms of their deep understanding of the lesson  it is hard to assess whether they applied the lessons in their daily lives.

We make decisions about the characteristics of other people from their actions. We decide that someone is aggressive if they shout, make rude comments, and try to push people around. Often a specific behavior is ambiguous. It is not entirely clear what it signals.  Assessment, to be meaningful must be driven by a purpose not just based on our physical or emotional judgment.  For a teacher we must remember that meaningful assessment drives effective education. Assessment must be aligned to learning goals and objectives and the broader purposes of education.

Giving feedback to others is a skill that is really worth learning.  It will make you more effective and powerful in all  relationships, particularly if you recognize that feedback isn’t always negative. Commenting positively on a job well done is feedback, too. Too few people recognize this as the powerful tool it really is.

Describe an assessment that you think now did not align with the learning experiences that you were provided beforehand. Did [Do] you believe that it was a case of an unsuccessful preparation on your part on account of an erroneous anticipation about the nature of the upcoming test? What were your thoughts and feelings then? Did this affect in any way how you subsequently approached learning in the subject or with the same teacher?

 

I remember during my high school days, we have home economics subject. For our final exams our beloved teacher gave us a written exam, multiple choice and identification. Instead of our teacher giving us practical exams like sewing, cooking,  or baking. She gave a written exam that does not test our skills for the topic that we studied. It will be better if she asked us to cook individually or by group. I will surely treasure all the  food preparation and cooking lessons if I’ve tried to cook all by myself in a younger age.

Back then, I was expecting that every subjects that we have in the classroom will offer a written exam quarterly so I studied and tried to memorize almost all the terminology that I encountered in our lessons. I wasn’t conscious that a hands on exam will be better instead of a written exam. Because I love to study and when I was in a high school with my studious group of friends, belonging in the star section and running for honors. I am satisfied with the assessment the teacher gave me. I know the written exams were piece of cake. Later that I realized that the assessments given to us was not completely aligned to the objectives and the lesson of the course.

Do you believe that you need to be assessed; do you want to be assessed? Is there a misalignment between your “needs” and “wants” about being assessed?

As a person I need to be assessed because I believe aside from myself , other people can tell who  I am. I wanted to give myself a room for improvement. I don’t want just to stay where I am right now. The truth is most often, we avoid honestly assessing ourselves because we could not accept criticisms constructively.

I believe self-appraisal is a necessary activity for navigating a course through life. A conscious assessment of our goals, behavior, relationships and performance in all domains ultimately enables self-improvement. It allows us to expand our options in life by a  deeper experience of  life.

Accepting weaknesses and errors can help us learn to understand and forgive ourselves. Through it, our relationship with ourselves gets better and same as our relationship with other people.

 Lastly, self-evaluation plays an important role in the overall development of an individual.  As the Bible verse from Matthew 7:4-5   Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  . 

 It should be judging oneself before being judge by the world.

What kind of academic assessment do (did) you dread (“hate”, perhaps)?

In terms of academic assessment that I dislike (not totally hate) its the multiple choice examinations. It seems that all the given choices were correct and itbwas a hard time thinking which answer is the best. I preferred essay type questions so I can explain my point and I can elaborate on my answer.

Have you ever had an academic assessment that you were happy about BEFORE it was administered? Or did you feel “better” only AFTER you got the results?

I remember in my College days,  we were asked to make a documentary to assess whether we understood the subject. It was my favorite project and I was very excited about iy. I know in my heart that I will do good. But I feel better after my professor congratulates me because I did a great job in the documentary. 

Have you experienced a change of motivation in any academic endeavor as a consequence of a test result or some other form of feedback? 

While I was a student in my highschool days. I remember, I experienced a change of motivation in my academic endeavor when my teacher told me that I should be at least in the top three for the batch to maintain my scholarship. I made it in two years but I slowly gave up when I was given a low marking (closely in the line of 7) in  Trigonometry. I slowly learned to dislike that subject and because I have poor performance in quizzes and recitations. I diverted my attention to other activities that I excel and enjoyed. My parents were supportive of me and they still encourage me to do good. They bought me more Trigonometry books but the more I’m studying it feels like the concepts are becoming more unclear. Looking back I honestly did not know how I passed that subject with line of eight. Hehe ..Even I have passing marks and what I do is more on memorization rather than understanding the concept. This happening made me learn to love extra co curricular activities than academic subjects( For Trigonometry and Calculus)

In the non-academic arena, which occasions do you positively anticipate the occasion that your performance will be assessed (e.g., sports, crafts, cooking, stage performance, etc)? 

In my student life, I admit it that I enjoyed extra co curricular activities or the non academic arena than academic aspects. I joined almost all the organizations that I can. I was an officer of Teatro Filipino and I performed in different plays in our school. The most unforgettable play is when they gave me the lead role. I really gave my best to it and I sometimes skipped class for the practice. All our efforts paid off  when I heard their praises and appreciation. The great feed back was overwhelming and so for my other performances I was giving greater effort knowing that I was to be assessed. More doors open me to bigger opportunities. I was given a chance to join speech and declamation contest. It was more diffiucult because you were expected to win and thank God even I was not on the the top. I was still given the number two place. 

As a student, what does it mean to get a high score?  How do or might you react emotionally and behaviorally to a failing grade?   Ultimately, how important are grades to you?

As a kid, I was taught of giving priority to my studies. I remember my father will scold me and spank me if I did not study my lessons. Early on, it was in stilled in me that I should study. I was not serious during my preparatory years but when I entered grade school level. That is when 
I learned how to love studying. I am always aiming for high score. A star , a very good or excellent stamp from my teacher made me proud and help me grow confident.  When I entered elementary and go on till college. Getting a high score and being on the top of the class was my goal. 

I will surely be sad for a failing grade. I will probably blame my self for failing and I might lowered my self esteem. 
I remember when in my third and fourth year highschool I am close in getting a line of seven in Trigonometry and Calculus. I kept telling my self that why are those subjects discovered when I will not be able to use it in our daily lives. My teacher was good to us and gave us special project so that we will still have line of 8 and we will have a chance to be included in the top ten. 
It was painful for me when all my grade school years  I was in the  star section and always included in the top 10 and in my 1st and 2nd year highschool I was full scholar for having first honors award and on my third and fourth I was completely gone in the honor roll list. I was disappointed but my parents still let me felt that it was ok and they are still proud of me. I have given most of my time in extra co-curricular activities. I have been the student council president, writer for our school paper, a CAT officer, a christian organization president, a camera club member and many more. I realized that I set aside academics and I did not regret it because I developed my talents and skills that is not taught inside the four corners of the class room.

Grades are important to me but not more important than the knowledge , wisdom and skill I can acquire  and  be applied to my life.