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Team Blue: Objective Assessments

Assessments can be objective, subjective, formal, or informal. The purpose of an assessement is to determine whether the goal(s) of a given objective are met.

 

Formal Essays

Strengths:

  • The formal essay focuses on the development of the writing process.
  • It implements the art of creativity in writing e.g. imagery and logical thought and organization.
  • Develops students’ awareness and ability to follow guidelines and format standards.

Weaknesses:

  • Limits the assessment only to written text, which can be troublesome for some students

Technology: 

 

Interviews

Strengths:

  • Develops oral communication skills and presentation skills
  • Allows for verbal expression to be the
  • Develops the use for non-verbal cues properly

Weaknesses:

  • One sided that focus more on the communicative side than the academic side

Technology: 

  • Video capabilities with access to iChat, Skype, ooVoo, etc.

 

Performance Tasks

Strengths:

  • Performance tasks provide the most immediate and direct connection to lesson objectives, as students are required to use the skill and knowledge.
  • This develops oral communication and presentation skills among others
  • Develops the ability to multi-task with presentation equipment

Weaknesses:

  • This assessment is a cumulative/summative approach without benchmarks to monitor progress

Technology: 

  • Students can use PowerPoint and other presentation tools if necessary and applicable.

 

Journals

Strengths:

  • Develops oral written communication skills
  • Ability to exert all prior knowledge on the subject at hand

Weaknesses:

  • With the assessment full written, it gives lead way for the student to veer off track.

Technology: 

  • Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or other word processing application is an easy to access tool to journal with.  Creating an online presence in the form of a blog or website would be ideal.

 

Open Book Assessments

Strengths:

  • Develops reading skills as it is dependent on
  • Appeals to the visual and linguistic learners

Weaknesses:

  • It fosters reliability on the text and not memorization.

Technology: 

  • Most readily, the textbook would be the text being used.  However, Nooks, Kindles, iPads, or any other e-reader device can be used.

 

Exit Pass

As a formative assessment tool, teachers have students take a half sheet of paper to tell one important skill or piece of knowledge that they have acquired during the class period.

Strengths:

  • Teacher would receive immediate feedback from the students to inform instruction
  • Students wouldn’t be “lost” for an extended period of time

Weakness:

  • Collection and assessment of feedback can be cumbersome

Technology:

  • This works best if a class has a course website and the students have a means to respond
  • Email, blog, or discussion board will work best

 

Take Home Tests

Strengths:

  • Allows students to take their assessment in a comfortable environment
  • Students have ample time to work at their own discretion.
  • Time restraint will not be a factor to inhibit students due to related anxiety.

Weaknesses:

  • Testing security makes the results questionable as it challenges the issue of student integrity

Technology: 

  • Typically executed with pen and paper, technology can abrogate the security issues through Internet, interactive texts, iPads, and similar technology.

 

Norm-Referenced and Standardized Test

This type of assessment is usually purchased or provided by educational agencies. These test scores are based on comparison with a reference group.

Advantages:

  • Frees staff from having to spend time on test development
  • Quick implementation and execution
  • Generally graded by an outside agency
  • Objective scoring based on a scoring rubric
  • Provide norm referenced scores- compared to a reference group
  • Test results may be use in benchmarking

Disadvantages:

  • No formative evaluation
  • Tests are multiple-choice
  • Cost of test and scoring (standardized tests are provided by educational agencies at no charge to stakeholders)

Technology:

  • Many of these tests are now taken online using a web-based program

 

Oral Examination

A face –to-face interrogative dialogue used to evaluate student knowledge

Advantages:

  • Evaluates multiple skills such as speaking, listening, knowledge, and thinking.
  • Localized grading to provide instant feedback
  • No miscommunication in questions and answers; clarification is simple and easy.

Disadvantages:

  • Demands expertise in subject knowledge by the test administrator
  • May seems somewhat intimidating to test takers

Technology:

  • Electronically record oral exams for later evaluation
  • Word processing application to create and store test information

 

Simulation

A competency based tool to measure pre-operational abilities in a real world approach.

Advantages:

  • Can be administered individually or in groups
  • Flexible, can be arranged for any targeted skill
  • Has a more task ready feel and a real world application

Disadvantages:

  • Considerable preparation time
  • Can be expensive

Technology: Computer used to provide the context, problem or actual simulation via virtual 3 dimensional programs and also to collect and store data.

 

Collaborative Groups

Students work in focus group on a project or a problem. Group discussion is conducted several times.  The group provides an analysis of collaborative efforts.

 

Advantages:

  • Inexpensive
  • Quick and helpful in a survey design
  • New insight provided by feedback from members of the group

Disadvantages:

  • Facilitators require training
  • Coordinating group member’s time
  • Group members need time to understand and function efficiently in their roles

 

Technology:

Technology is limited only by the members’ imagination. Internet, podcasting, video conferencing are excellent tools to use. There are limitless opportunities for group production with technology

 

Portfolios

A collection of student work collected over a period of time that will be rated using a specific rubric.

Advantages:

  • Work is collected over a period of time
  • Used to view learning and developmental longitudinally
  • Reflects student’s point of view
  • No test anxiety
  • Focus on student participation

 

Disadvantages:

  • Time consuming for the evaluator
  • Security concerns
  • Challenging grading criteria
  • Evaluator’s control of interpretation

Technology: Computer-based e-Portfolio software, basic word processing.

 

 

Clipboard Observation

 

Strengths:

 

While monitoring students, the teacher can make notations on index cards for each student. A teacher is more likely to hear how much the child knows when they are speaking to each other (Alternative Assessment Techniques, 2011).

 

Technology:

 

Technology could be used in the way of a response blog. The notations that are made by the teacher could be kept in the student’s electronic portfolio. They could also be emailed to the student, which could be ongoing and serve as extra guidance during the process.

 

Clear and Unclear Windows

 

Have the students fold a piece of paper in half. Then, they label half of the paper as “Clear Windows.” On one side of the paper the student is to write down all that they have learned about a concept or skill. On the other half of the paper, the student is to write “Unclear Windows.” On this side, they are to write down parts or various things that they are still unclear about.

 

Strengths:

 

The strength of this assessment is that it clearly shows you what the student still needs help with. From a technological aspect, students could post this to a class blog. Other students are then free to respond on the parts that they feel they know well. The teacher could also respond  (Alternative Assessment Techniques, 2011).

 

Open-ended Questions

 

Posing open-ended questions really allows you, as the teacher, to get to the “meat and potatoes” of what the student knows and has learned. This alternative form of assessment is more authentic then a multiple choice test or any other traditional form of assessment. This assessment lends itself nicely to a blog  (Alternative Assessment Primer).

 

Oral Presentation

           

Students have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned and to practice speaking in front of a group. This type of assessment, not only confirms the knowledge learned, but also a student’s ability to speak in front of a group.

 

Strengths:

 

One of the strengths of oral presentations is the ability to tailor it to fit the needs of each student. This alternative assessment lends itself nicely to the use of technology. The student could create a power point presentation, a flipchart for a smart board or Promethean, website, or even a blog (Heidenberg).

 

Self and Peer Evaluations

 

Students listen more intently to each other and value each other’s opinion. What better way to assess than with a classmate! No matter the age, students deserve to evaluate themselves.

 

Strengths:

 

For the most part they are honest and sincere about how they think they’ve done. The use of a rubric will aid the student in their evaluation of their work. Students could record their project and create a podcast for others to view and comment on.

 

Rubrics

           

At any age, a rubric is an authentic way for teacher and student to assess the learning that has taken place. It takes us away from the A-B-C-D-F traditional grading.

 

The strength of a rubric is the fact that everyone is clearly aware of the expectations. The student has the choice via how much of the requirement they fulfill.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Check

Especially useful in the English or history courses, a book check is a quick way to check the completion of reading and some level of comprehension.

 

Strengths:

  • Immediate feedback is an accurate barometer of the class in regard to reading

Technology:

  • Typically executed as a pen and paper document, this can be an in-class check completed on the computer and emailed to the teacher

 

TPRI Assessment

TPRI (Texas Primary Reading Inventory) is an early reading assessment intended to target areas of need for student through a one on one diagnostic test.

Strengths

  • Identifies the reading development of students in kindergarten through third grade.
  • Easy to use one- on-one assessment
  • Helps teachers provide targeted instruction so that students improve as readers

Weaknesses

  • Use limited to grades K-3

Technology

  • Blackline masters are on the web for download at www.tpri.org
  • Test can be administered using a Palm Pilot or another portable digital device

 

AMC Anywhere Math Assessment

Strengths

  • A cohesive look at the development of students understanding of the core math concepts.
  • Not a random collection of questions focused on a child’s ability to get correct answers.
  • Helps teachers pinpoint what each child knows and still needs to learn.
  • Not about helping children be right but about uncovering what they still need regarding instruction.
  • Aligned with Common Core State Standands

Weaknesses-

  • Limited to grades K-3

Technology

The web-based applications for Mac and PC computers

 

Reading Street

Reading Street is an online reading and language arts program designed by the Scott-Foresman Publishing Company. 

Strengths

  • Progress monitoring accessible online
  • Pre-K- 6th grade program designed to help teachers build better reading and comprehension skills in their
  • Engaging literature, researched-based instruction and various teaching tools
  • Differentiated instruction for below-level, on-level, and advanced learners is also provided.

Technology

 

EnVision Math

Strengths-

  • A digital environment for teaching and learning math.
  • Every lesson is available in a digital format along with resources for expanding learning beyond the lessons.
  • Interactive white board ready
  • Math games
  • Success Tracker
  • Pre-K through 12th

Technology:

Every lesson is available in a digital format.  Available online at http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZuQp

 

 

References

 

Alternative Assessment Primer. (n.d.). Retrieved from Teaching :

http://teachingtoday.glencoe.com/howtoarticles/alternative-assessment-primer

Alternative Assessment Techniques. (2011). Retrieved August 13, 2011, from Inspiring Teachers:

http://www.inspiringteachers.com/classroom_resources/tips/assessment/alternative_asses

sment_techniques.html

Heidenberg, A. H. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2011, from Assessing the Use of Technology and

Using Techology to Assess: http://www.maa.org/SAUM/cases/heidenberg-huber1105-

saum.pdf

 

 

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