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Additional Assessment Resources
The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (
CRESST) provides access to educational research about assessment reform.

Performance Assessment also known as alternative or authentic assessment, is a form of testing that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list.

Prentice Hall School: Alternative Assessment includes classroom-tested alternative assessment guides to improve student performances. Innovative scoring rubrics, practical evaluation forms and additional resources and on-line links.

 

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Assessment in ETE
Introduction
Dennis (1995) has pointed out that memorizing facts is not as important as having real life skills. Good assessment, therefore, should require learners to demonstrate what they can do. As the year 2000 approaches, the problem of evaluating student learning becomes increasingly complex. Not only are students expected to master skills and content, more and more they are expected to show competence in working collaboratively and creatively. These added competencies are drastically changing the ways teachers must teach. The result has been a reliance on "active learning" situations--group work, simulations, hands-on activities, and open-ended curricula. But active learning brings with it the challenge of finding meaningful methods of assessment.

Tools for assessing concepts, skills, behaviors, and final products of ETE modules include personal student responses in the form of a short answer, an essay, an oral presentation, a demonstration, an exhibit, or a portfolio. A full discussion of these items is presented in the sections linked below.

The first step is for you to share with students what the expected concepts, skills, behaviors and final products are. Sharing these expectations will show students how they may participate fully in the experiences offered by the paths of inquiry in a module.

Students should also be made aware of the criteria and rubrics by which their work, especially their final products, will be assessed. It is a good idea to develop these criteria with student input by having a class discussion of finished examples of superior and average final products.

Once expected concepts, skills, behaviors and final products have been identified and the criteria and rubrics for the assessment of final products have been demonstrated, students may begin using the ETE modules, and teachers may begin the ongoing process of assessment. 

It may seem risky using unconventional methods of measuring achievement in ETE, when compared to methods with which students, administrators, and parents have been comfortable for decades. Yet being a risk taker may be necessary for the teacher who is dedicated to active learning pedagogy.

Finally, using alternative assessment tools may require that the teacher tolerate some ambiguity at first. Alternative assessment tools may seem frustrating and unsatisfactory the first time they are employed. However, as with other skills teachers learn in the classroom, revision, practice, and persistence may lead to excellence.

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References
Dennis, R. (no date). Performance assessment and parents [online], [1995, Jan. 31].


 

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Last updated April 28, 2005
   

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