Alternatives in assessment


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Alternatives in assessment

  1. 1. BEYOND TESTS: ALTERNATIVES IN ASSESSMENT Source: Brown, D. (2004) Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices. New York: Pearson Longman. Jenny C. Acevedo and Rocío C. Oviedo Universidad Industrial de Santander Santander, Colombia
  2. 2. Introduction In Chapter 1, an important distinction was made between testing and assessing. • Tests are formal procedures, usually administered within strict time limitations, to sample the performance of a test-taker in a specified domain. Test • Assessment connotes a much broader concept in that most of the time when teachers are teaching, they are also assessing. Assessment includes all occasions from informal impromptu observations and comments up to and including tests. Assessment
  3. 3. ‘One of the disturbing things about tests is the extent to which many people accept the results uncritically, while others believe that all testing is invidious. But tests are simply measurement tools: It is the use to which we put their results that can be appropiate or inappropiate’.
  4. 4. ‘Alternative’ Assessment A new proposal that emerged in the 1990’s The proposal was to assemble additional measurement of students, in order to triangulate data about students. Portfolios Journals Observation Self- assessment Peer- assessment
  5. 5. The characteristics of alternatives in assessment Brown and Hudson proposed a new terminology: instead of Alternative assessment, they changed it to ‘Alternatives’ in assessment. All tests are assessments but, not all assessments are tests.
  6. 6. The characteristics of alternatives in assessment 1. They require students to perform, create, produce, or do something 2. They use real-world contexts or simulations 3. They are nonintrusive 4. They allow students to be assessed on what they normally do in class 5. They use tasks that represent meaningful instructional activities 6. They focus on processes as well as products 7. They tap into higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills 8. Provide information about both the strengths and weaknesses of students 9. They are multiculturally senstive when properly administered 10. Ensure that people, not machines, do the scoring, using human judgement 11. Encourage open disclosure of standards and rating criteria 12. Call upon teachers to perform new instructional and assessment roles
  7. 7. Dilemma in standardized and alternatives in assessment Formal standardized tests are almost by definition highly practical, reliable instruments. They are designed to minimize time and money on the part of test designer and test-taker, and to be accurate in their scoring. Alternatives such as portfolios or conferencing with students on drafts of written work, or observations of learners over time all require considerable time and effort on the part of the teacher and the student.
  8. 8. Practicality/reliability and washback/authenticity relationship graph
  9. 9. Performance-based assessment Performance-based assessment implies productive, observable skills, such as speaking and writing, of content-valid tasks. Characteristics 1. Students make a constructed response 2. They engage in higher- order thinking , with open –ended tasks 3. Tasks are meaningful , engaging, and authentic 4. Tasks call for the integration of language skills 5. Both process and product are assessed 6. Depth of a student’s mastery is emphasized over breadth
  10. 10. Procedures for performance- based assessment Performance-based assessment procedures need to be treated with the same rigor as traditional tests. This implies that teachers should • state the overall goal of the performance, • specify the objectives (criteria) of the performance in detail, • prepare students for performance in stepwise progressions, • use a reliable evaluation form, checklist, or rating sheet, • treat performances as opportunities for giving feedback and provide that feedback systematically, and • if possible, utilize self- and peer-assessments judiciously.
  11. 11. Portfolios A portfolio is a purposeful collection of students work that demonstrates students’ efforts, progress, and achievements in given areas (Genesee and Upshur, 1996). Portfolios include materials such as: • essays and compositions in draft and final forms; • reports, project outlines; • audio and/or video recordings of presentations, demonstrations, etc. • journals, diaries, and other personal reflections; • tests, test scores, and written homework exercises; • self- and peer-assessments--comments, evaluations, and checklists.
  12. 12. Atributes of portfolios Gottlieb (1995) suggested a developmental scheme for considering the nature and purpose of portfolios, using the acronym CRADLE to designate six possible attributes of a portfolio: • Collecting: an expression of students lives and identities. • Reflecting: thinking about experiences and activities. • Assessing: evaluating quality and development over time. • Documenting: demonstrating student achievement. • Linking: connecting student and teacher, parent, community, and peers. • Evaluating: generating responsible outcomes.
  13. 13. Steps and guidelines 1. State objectives clearly 2. Give guidelines on what materials to include 3. Communicate assessment criteria to students 4. Designate time within the curriculum for portfolio development. 5. Establish periodic schedules for review and conferencing 6. Designate an accessible place to keep portfolios. 7. Provide positive washback when giving final assessments. It is inappropriate to reduce the personalized and creative process of compiling a portfolio to a number or letter grade. Instead, teachers should offer a qualitative evaluation such a final appraisal of the work, with questions for self-assessment of a project, and a narrative evaluation of perceived strengths and weakness.
  14. 14. Activity In groups you are going to implement , as a teacher, a portfolio on your class. Using the guidelines on pages (257-259), you are going to plan your portfolio following at least 5 out of the 7 steps. You will have 10 minutes.
  15. 15. Journals • A journal is a log of one’s thought , feelings, reactions, assessments, ideas, or progress, toward goals, usually written with little attention to structure, form, or correctness. • Journals obviously serve important pedagogical purposes : practice in the mechanics of writing , using writing as a thinking process, individualization , and communications with the teacher .
  16. 16. Steps for journals 1. Sensitively introduce students to the concept of journal writing. 2. State the objective(s) of the journal: Language-learning logs, Grammar journals, Responses to readings, strategies-based learning logs, Self- assessment reflections, etc. 3. Give guidelines on what kinds of topics to include. 4. Carefully specify the criteria for assessing or grading journals. 5. Provide optimal feedback in your responses: cheerleading feedback, instructional feedback, or reality-check feedback. McNamara, (1998, p.39) 6. Designate appropriate time frames and schedules for review. 7. Provide formative, washback-giving final comments.
  17. 17. Conferences and interviews Conferences are not limited to drafts of written work. It must assume that the teacher plays the role of a facilitator and guide, not of an administrator, of a formal assessment. Conferences goals • Commenting on drafts of essays and reports • Reviewing portfolios • Responding journals • Advising on a student’s plan for an oral presentation • Giving feedback on the results of performance on a test • Assessing general progress in a course. Interviews goals • Assess the student’s oral production • Seeks to discover a student’s learning styles and preferences • Asks a student to assess his or her own performance • Requests an evaluation of a course
  18. 18. Guidelines for conferences and interviews 1. Offer an initial atmosphere of warmth and anxiety-lowering (warm- up). 2. Begin with relatively simple questions. 3. Continue with level-check and probe questions, but adapt to the interviewee as needed. 4. Frame questions simply and directly. 5. Focus on only one factor for each question. Do not combine several objectives in the same question. 6. Be prepared to repeat or reframe questions that are not understood. 7. Wind down with friendly and reassuring dosing comments.
  19. 19. Observations Observation is a systematic, planned procedure for real-time, almost furtive recording of student verbal and nonverbal behavior. One of the objectives of such observation is to assess students without their awareness (and possible consequent anxiety) of the observation so that the naturalness of their linguistic performance is maximized.
  20. 20. Potential observations • Sentence-level oral production skills pronunciation of target sounds, intonation, etc.- grammatical features (verb tenses, question formation, etc.) • Discourse-level skills (conversation rules, turn-taking, and other macroskills) • Interaction with classmates (cooperation, frequency of oral production)- • Frequency of student-initiated responses (whole class, group work)
  21. 21. Steps for observations • Determine the specific objectives of the observations • Decide how many students will be observed at one time • Set up the logistics for making unnoticed observations • Design a system for recording observed performances • Do not overestimate the number of different elements you can observe at one time • Plan how many observations you will make • Determine specifically how you will use the results
  22. 22. SELF- AND PEER-ASSESSMENT Do you think learners are able to monitor their own performance and use those conclusion for corrections?
  23. 23. Self-assessment derives from principles of second language acquisition • Autonomy • Intrinsic Motivations • Cooperative Learning (peer- assessment)
  24. 24. Subjectivity Drawbacks Not having the tools to make an accurate assessment Being too harsh or too self-flattering Not being able to discern their own errors
  25. 25. Types of self- and peer-assessment: 1. Assessment of (a specific) performance: • Students monitors him/herself • Give evaluation of performance • Takes place immediately or very soon after the performance
  26. 26. 2. Indirect assessment of (general) competence:
  27. 27. 3. Metacognitive assessment (for setting goals): Personal goal settings: • Fosters intrinsic motivation • Provides extra-especial impetus of having set and accomplished a goal Journal entries A list of possibilities Being too harsh or too self-flattering questionnaire s Cooperative pair or group planning
  28. 28. ‘Goal card’ example: The student’s self-assessment on the back of the card:
  29. 29. 4. Socioaffective assessment: When learners resolve to: • Assess and improve motivation • Lower their own anxiety • Plan to overcome mental or emotional barriers to learning
  30. 30. Self-assessment of styles: Self-assessment of multiple intelligences:
  31. 31. Self-assessment of learning preferences:
  32. 32. 5. Student-generated test: Engage the students in the process of constructing tests themselves
  33. 33. Guidelines for self- and peer-assessment 1. Tell students the purpose of the assessment 2. Define the task(s) clearly. 3. Encourage impartial evaluation of performance or ability. 4. Ensure beneficial washback through follow-up tasks.
  34. 34. Self- and peer-assessment tasks Listening Tasks • listening to TV or radio broadcasts and checking comprehension with a partner • listening to an academic lecture and checking yourself on a "quiz" of the content Speaking Tasks • using peer checklists and questionnaires • rating someone's oral presentation (holistically)• Reading Tasks • reading passages with self-check comprehension questions following • taking vocabulary quizzes• Writing Tasks • revising written work on your own or with a peer (peer editing) • proofreading
  35. 35. The six alternatives in assessment with regard to the fulfillment of the major assessment principles: To summarize
  36. 36. Thank you