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Assessment & Evaluation

Definitions
Tests
∗ Procedure for gathering data to see if the learning objectives have been achieved
∗ Way of getting a sample of information about what a student knows or is able to do in a
given subject area
∗ Used to make comparisons between students taking the test
∗ Categorized as
o Informal, teacher-made or standardized tests
o Oral or written
o Mastery of basic knowledge & skills
o Diagnostic of specific disabilities
o Verbal, non-verbal, or performance

Assessments
∗ Many ways teachers use to check if students have achieved certain objectives of
instruction
∗ Systematic appraisal of an individual’s ability & performance
∗ Best assessment tools utilize a variety of data & measure learning a multiple ways
∗ Types of assessment include
o Teacher-made tests
o State tests
o Classroom assignments
o Homework
o Collected course work
o Samples of other student work
ƒ Such as reports
o Projects, student presentations, & portfolios
o Teacher observations & interviews with students

Standards
∗ Criteria teachers use for assessing and evaluating students
∗ Determine what students should know
∗ How carefully something should be assessed
∗ What is satisfactory performance or an acceptable level of learning
∗ Standards for Assessment
o National Standards
o State Standards
ƒ NCSCoS

Evaluations
∗ Judgments & interpretations made by students, teachers & schools using the data from
assessments to determine how well students are achieving standards & objectives
∗ Process by which both quantitative & qualitative data are processed to arrive at a
judgment of value, worth, merit, or effectiveness
∗ Two types of evaluation strategies
o Formative
ƒ Ongoing evaluation of student progress during instruction
o Summative
ƒ Formal evaluation as a culminating activity
ƒ Usually a very important component of a student’s grade
ƒ Should not be SURPRISES

Grades
∗ Shorthand ways of communicating the results of an evaluation
∗ Familiar way of communicating evaluation of individual students
∗ Normally in the form of a letter grade

Student Products & Student Performance


Three Categories
∗ Written
∗ Oral
∗ Visual

Written Oral Visual


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Biography Debate Banner
Book report Dialogue Cartoon
Character portrait Discussion Chart
Diary Dramatization Collage
Editorial Interview Computer graphic
Essay Newscast Data table
Journal Oral presentation Drawing
Letter Oral report Graph
Note taking Role play Map
Poster Skit Outline
Questionnaire Speech Photograph
Reader’s Theater Teach a lesson Poster
Research report Timeline
Script Venn diagram
Story Webbing
Test Graphic organizers
Assessments
Assessments should be used as part of the learning process and should be designed with care
There are various ways to look at assessments.
First, let’s consider what the assessments measure.
∗ Authentic
o Assessments connected to real-life problems and concerns
o Tasks are worthwhile, significant, and meaningful
o Real instances of learning instead of indirect estimates of learning
ƒ I.e. Driving a Car to get a Permit
∗ Performance
o Assessments that measure what students are able to do
o Tasks require students to create an answer or product
o Method for measuring student learning that requires the active construction of
responses in the context of performing real or authentic tasks
o Assess students’ ability to…
ƒ Identify, clarify, & problem solve
ƒ Use spatial tools such as maps, globes, and compasses to locate objects
ƒ Identify cause-effect relationships
ƒ Develop, execute, & critique an oral presentation or debate or deliberative
discussion
ƒ Generate & test hypotheses & generalizations
ƒ Apply & relate concepts
ƒ Take & defend an ethical position
ƒ Organize a body of related information into a graph, chart, or table
ƒ Conduct research
ƒ Essay writing to compare & contrast issues, events, & individuals
ƒ Evaluate evidence & formulate generalizations
o Assesses critical thinking & higher order thinking skills
ƒ I.e. Portfolios
• Samples of student’s work accumulated in a folder over a period
of time
• Allows for the demonstration of growth & improvement
• Includes
• Observations, comments, checklists, interviews, rating scales,
various examples of student work
o Example
ƒ ePortfolio
∗ Objective Tests
o Measure students’ factual knowledge

Testing Advice
∗ Inform students about the date of the test
o Announce & write the date well in advance
o Don’t delay the test due to student requests
∗ Provide feedback
o Immediate feedback helps students know how they are doing
∗ Manage paperwork
o Do not create impossible burdens for yourself
o Stagger your tests to ease grading loads
o Less testing may be better
∗ Tests should match instruction
∗ Select the types of questions that best match the instruction
o Put easier questions first
ƒ Test questions should progressively get harder
o Scantrons
o Software for electronic grading
∗ Choose the test form that is most beneficial
o In-class
ƒ Forces students to read, to think, and to write material rapidly under time
pressure
ƒ Rewards students who can form their thoughts quickly & write rapidly
ƒ Good practice for EOGs, EOCTs, & AP Exams
o Take home
ƒ Allows for more in-depth thought
ƒ Writing in more organized
ƒ Typed & better thought out
ƒ Be cautious of unauthorized help

Make-up Tests
∗ Generate a new test
o Can be in a new form
o Reorganization of initial questions
o Reword questions

Avoiding Cheating
∗ Teacher presence/visibility
∗ Revise test each semester/year
∗ Give alternative sets of test
∗ Avoid self-checking or peer checking

Confidentiality of Grades
∗ Return student work directly
∗ Return student work without the visibility of grade
∗ Discuss grades privately
∗ Never leave grade book open on desk
∗ Do not publicly report grades

Teacher-Made Paper Pencil Tests


∗ Reasons for using
o Cover a significant amount of material
o Ease of scoring
o Easy numerical translation

Multiple Choice
∗ Disadvantages
o Stresses factually information over higher order thinking
o Only 1 right answer
o Neglects writing skills
o Doesn’t test application of skills & knowledge
∗ Advantages
o Assess a broad range of content
o Gives poor writers & limited ability students a better chance to show what they
know
o Can test the ability of students to think
o Quick to grade
o Reliable in scoring
∗ Creating Multiple Choice
∗ Composed of
o Stem
ƒ Body of the question
o Distracters
o Key
∗ Important to…
o Organize stem around only one idea
o State stem in a positive form
o Use clear language
o Don’t overdo reading
o Avoid double negatives
o Use the same number of answers for each question
o Reduce guessing
o Responses should be the same length
o Avoid using terms NOT or NEVER
o Use plausible choices
o Use 4 options
o Avoid “All of the above” or “None of the above”

Alternative Response or True/False


∗ Experts do NOT recommend that these types of question ever be used
∗ Allow guessing & higher probability of being correct than any other type of question
∗ Some teachers require students to correct false statements
∗ To be good test items
o Use simple language
o Always state one idea as clearly & concisely as possible
o Avoid ambiguous statements
o Make sure that the items are clearly true or false
o Avoid statements designed to “trick” or mislead students if they do not read
carefully
o Avoid using terms MAY, SHOULD, ONLY, ALWAYS, NEVER, ALL,
GERNALLY, OCCASSIONALLY, or EVERY
ƒ These signal the correct answer

Matching Questions
∗ Benefits
o Evaluate student’s ability to make associations between persons & their
achievements or words & definitions
o Identify dates with events
∗ Drawbacks
o Usually only test recall & identification
∗ Developing matching questions
o Items in each column should be related
o Directions should state clearly what the student is to do & any special limitations
on the use of choices (i.e. if an item can be used more than once or if there are
multiple answers)
o There should be more choices than can be matched
o Order of items in each set of choice should be either alphabetical or random
o Number of items in the shorter column should be less than 10 to avoid wasting
time by searching through long lists

Completion or Fill-in-the-blanks
∗ Students supply a word or phrase
∗ Less common because they require a teacher to correct
∗ Can be difficult to create
o Example
o “___________ invented _______________ in ________________”
o This question is vague and could have multiple answers
∗ In developing questions
o Use clear & unambiguous items
o Be sure that there is only one answer
∗ Only use one blank
∗ Use sparingly

Subjective Teacher-Made Tests


Essay Tests
∗ Students write a description, analysis, explanation, or summary
∗ Students develop a thesis & support it with data
∗ Engages students in higher order thinking
o Students develop their own interpretation or response using the information that
they have studied in class
∗ Purpose
o To measure students’ ability to organize, analyze, apply, synthesize, generalize,
& evaluate in their own words information learned
∗ General Guidelines for Writing Essay Questions
∗ Use clear, specific, & simple language
∗ Avoid using verbs such as describe or discuss
o These verbs will elicit little analysis
∗ Do not ask “who, what, when & where” questions
∗ Use verbs like analyze, compare, contrast, evaluate, generalize
∗ You can ask students to respond to a short statement, quotation, political cartoon,
document based questions, or prompts
∗ Limit the scope of the question & the expected answer as much as possible
∗ Estimate length of time to complete essay
∗ Use multiple essay questions
o Covers more content
∗ If you choose to give students a choice in essay questions, limit that choice
∗ Disadvantages
o Subjectivity of grading
∗ To reduce subjectivity
o Set criteria for grading ahead of time
o Always outline a model answer
o Determine values of Answers
o Use rubrics for grading
∗ Watch for fatigue when grading
∗ Alternative
∗ Holistic scoring (overall quality of essay)
∗ Multiple essay tests
o Grade all question 1’s first then question 2
∗ Range finding
o Skim several essays so that you can get a feel for what an average essay looks
like
o Identify what grades are appropriate for what level of performance
o Arrange essays in grade piles (A, B, C, etc.) or above average, average, below
average

Short-Answer Questions
Open-response or constructed response question
Tests for factual knowledge & critical thinking without extensive writing requirements
Questions can have more than one answer or just one answer
Number of lines or space provided indicates length of response
Types of short-answer questions
o Identifications
Brief synopsis of a person, event or development
Describe why the person, event or idea is significant
o Clusters
List of events
Requires sequencing or ordering of events
Explanations of why sequence is important or makes sense
Explanations of relationships
o Source-based questions
Written chart, graph, or primary source, cartoon, news headline, or
photograph
Explanations of perspectives or interpretations