This is the fourth and final installment in the four-part blog series on authentic learning. We’ll explore how assessments fit into the authentic learning process. So far in the series we have discussed the components of authentic learning, the elements of a successful authentic learning environment, and how to integrate these experiences into existing curriculums. The final piece is assessment. Why Do We Assess? While assessment is not usually anyone’s favorite part of the learning process, it is necessary. All assessment seeks to measure student performance toward learning objectives or standards. Types of Assessment Assessment usually takes one of two forms: formative or summative. Both types of assessment can be used in an authentic learning environment, but it does take some creative thinking to break out of the scantron bubble. Formative Assessment These assessments take place during the learning process, allowing for modification of both teaching and learning activities. A couple of great examples of formative assessment in authentic learning are journals and student interviews. Journals Journals are a space for students to process [...]
Writing good multiple choice assessment items might seem easy, but creating questions that truly get at “what students know” takes a good deal of practice.
AP exams can be daunting for students—and just as daunting for the teachers entrusted to effectively prep those students to succeed. However, these anxieties can be reduced by providing well-constructed test prep assessment items. Not only will students reap the benefits, but teachers will feel better when preparing their classes for the AP exams. So how does one write these effective assessment items? Start with this simple checklist: Use application over recall Focus on analysis Use visuals: cartoons, photos, maps, or artifacts Compare and contrast The Importance of Application The AP Government exam will not ask students to recall specific names or dates. Instead, students will be tested in their ability to apply their knowledge to specific scenarios. The assessment items used to prepare students should mimic that level of application. Don’t just ask students to know; ask them to show what they know and how it connects to real-life politics. Why Analyze? Students shouldn’t just identify governing documents or Supreme Court decisions; they should also evaluate and interpret the causes and effects. Think Bloom’s Taxonomy [...]
Assessment is a vital piece of the educational process. Not only do students get a better understanding of their learning, but assessments help gather valuable learner data. Before we jump into designing effective online assessments, let’s first look at the different types of assessments. Formative Assessments Formative assessments give a glimpse into student knowledge at a certain point in the learning process. These assessments are usually used for feedback and are simple; classroom polls, think-pair-share, or charts are all examples of formative assessments. Summative Assessments Summative assessments are the other commonly used type of assessment. They are given at the end of units or courses to assess learning. These heftier assessments measure student achievement while providing data on student learning of content standards and program effectiveness. Online Assessments With learning going digital, online assessments provide a number of benefits not found with their paper and pencil counterparts. Online assessments are less time consuming easier to explore and organize data on student performance easily adaptable conducive to the collection of new data While online assessments offer several [...]
With the advance of technology, students and educators have options outside of the traditional classroom experience. Online learning, or eLearning, is a fresh educational setting that provides more opportunities for engagement and sets the stage for an inviting learning experience. Interactive assessments through eLearning are also transforming the way learners and educators exchange information. An effective online course ensures that varied learning styles are considered so that the learner remains engaged enough to complete the course. Since there is usually no instructor to guide the day-to-day activity, both the content and the related assessments must be engaging. Interactive assessments are assessments that involve interaction on part of the learner. This can be as simple as an immediate response that displays “Correct!” or “Good Job,” but the most effective interactive assessments require the learner to participate in the learning process. When this is done effectively, learners not only engage in the processing of content but are able to test their knowledge of the content almost simultaneously. Examples of interactive assessments in eLearning include the following: Drag and [...]
It’s the question at the forefront of every assessment writer’s mind: “How can I really find out what students know?” All types of assessments have limitations, and multiple choice items are certainly no exception. However, if written well, this type of assessment can give you a good (and quick) sense of student knowledge. If written well, multiple choice items can assess many levels of thinking. While there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating great multiple-choice assessment items, there are a few characteristics of good questions that test writers working in almost every type of educational content should know. Here are three of them. They assess higher-level thinking. Although multiple choice items are certainly appropriate to test concepts in lower taxonomic levels, they’re not limited to asking students to do tasks like simply choosing the right vocabulary word or solving a problem. While it will definitely take some work to construct a scenario that has the information a student needs to answer a Level 3 or Level 4 item, the investment is worth the insight you [...]
Even assessments need to be assessed!!
The use of technology-enhanced items in assessment has gained immense popularity in recent years due to the numerous advantages these item types offer.