Traditional Assessment Paper AET/535 Shaun Stillwell October 14, 2012 Instructor: Shaitaisha Winston Assessment Paper Developing an assessment for performance measurement requires determining which skills, concepts, and knowledge should be assessed. The developer must know what type of decisions, learning objectives, and information used from the assessment by asking the following questions to define purpose. Defining the Purpose Determine what type of learning skills are students going to learn. This can include cognitive skills, writing, communicative and solving real-life problems.
Ask what social and effective skills can aid in student development.
This step includes working independently and learning to appreciate individual differences. The metacognitive skills students will develop using the assessment include working on the writing process and self-monitor progress. The assessment can include problems for students to solve. This step is inclusive of researching and predicting consequences. The assessment includes principles and concepts which help students understand cause and effect relationships. Establish clear focus for instruction and design.
According to Wiggins and McTighe, “What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What content is worthy of understanding? ” (Wiggins, McTighe, 2005).
This process will give the assessment measurable objectives. Choosing the Activity When developing the assessment select a performance activity. There are several factors to consider such as resources available, time constraints, and the amount of data required for evaluation. Some recommendations are to include an real-life situation, and provide a valuable learning experience.
A performance assessment require more investment of time and instructors will be able to assess student understanding and knowledge. The measurable goals and objectives must be clear and the elements of an activity should correspond. Students will complete the task and purpose of the assessment. All assessments must be fair and free from bias. For example, if an instructor gives an assignment that includes statistics on football, the students who love football will excel while other students will struggle. This may give an unfair advantage to some students.
Choose topics and subject materials that are clear and precise. According to Payne, “Validity is defined as the extent to which a test does the job for which it is used” (Payne, 2003). Multiple lines of inquiry are useful for publishers of standardized tests and go to great lengths to acquire validity. Content experts review assessments and determine if the activity and the assessment matches learning objectives. Developing the Scoring Criteria The last step in constructing an assessment is developing scoring criteria.
Traditional assessments are mostly comprised of answers which are right or wrong (Brualdi, 2000). Student achievement can be determined with rubrics. Rubric is defined as, “a criterion-based scoring guide consisting of a fixed measurement and descriptions of the characteristics for each point. Wiggins and McTighe state, “rubrics describes degrees of quality, proficiency or understanding along a continuum” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Before creating or adopting a rubric, it must be decided whether a performance task, performance product, or both a task and product will be evaluated.
Moskal (2003) explained that two types of rubrics are used to evaluate performance assessments: “Analytic scoring rubrics divide a performance into separate facets and each facet is evaluated using a separate scale. Holistic scoring rubrics use a single scale to evaluate the larger process. ” Moskal’s six general guidelines for developing either type of rubric are as follows: • The criteria set forth within a scoring rubric should be clearly aligned with the requirements of the task and the stated goals and objectives. The criteria set forth in scoring rubrics should be expressed in terms of observable behaviors or product characteristics. • Scoring rubrics should be written in specific and clear language that the students understand. • The number of points that are used in the scoring rubric should make sense. • The separation between score levels should be clear. • The statement of the criteria should be fair and free from bias. When creating analytic scoring rubrics, McTighe (1996) has noted that teachers can allow students to assist, “based on their growing knowledge of the topic. There are other practical suggestions to consider when developing rubrics. Stix (1997) recommended using “neutral words” (e. g. , novice, apprentice, proficient, distinguished; attempted, acceptable, admirable, awesome) instead of numbers for each score level to avoid the perceived implications of good or bad that come with numerical scores. Another suggestion from Stix was to use an even number of score levels to avoid “the natural temptation of instructors—as well as students—to award a middle ranking. For analytic rubrics, sometimes it is necessary to assign different weights to certain components depending on their importance relative to the overall score. Whenever different weighting is used on a rubric, the rationale for this must be made clear to stakeholders (Moskal, 2003). Gathering evidence of content validity is critical for both performance assessments and rubrics, but it is also vital that rubrics have a high degree of reliability. Without a reliable rubric, 7 the interpretation of the scores resulting from the performance assessment cannot be valid.
Herman et al. (1992) emphasized the importance of having “confidence that the grade or judgment was a result of the actual performance, not some superficial aspect of the product or scoring situation. ” Scoring should be consistent and objective when individual teachers use a rubric to rate different students’ performance tasks or products over time. In addition, a reliable rubric should facilitate consistent and objective scoring when it is used by different raters working independently.
In order to avoid “capricious subjectivity” and obtain consistency for an individual rater as well as inter-rater reliability among a group of raters, extensive training is required for administering performance assessments and using rubrics within a school or across a school division. “Rater training helps teachers come to a consensual definition of key aspects of student performance” (Herman et al. , 1992). Training procedures include several steps: • Orientation to the assessment task • Clarification of the scoring criteria Practice scoring • Protocol revision • Score recording • Documenting rater reliability Despite the fact that developing rubrics and training raters can be a complicated process, the ensuing rewards are worth the effort. Perhaps the greatest value of rubrics is in these two features: (1) “they provide information to teachers, parents, and others interested in what students know and can do,” and (2) “promote learning by offering clear performance targets to students for agreed-upon standards” (Marzano, Pickering, & McTighe, 1993).
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