What are Alternative Assessments Alternative assessment is any type of assessment in which students create a response to a question or task. Basically, it’s a way to measure student learning in forms other than traditional pencil-and-paper tests. Alternative assessments can include short-answer questions, essays, performance assessment, oral presentations, demonstrations, exhibitions, and portfolios.
Students are able to display knowledge in many different ways
Gives ongoing information on strengths and weaknesses of each student which provides the teacher an opportunity to work with those weaknesses.
Students who are not skilled test takers will be able to succeed in showing their abilities and therefore build self esteem
The bottom line is that the purpose of assessment should be to improve learning.
What Kind of Assessments Do We Need in Mathematics? We need mathematics assessment that:
Matches the ideal curriculum described in such documents as the California Mathematics Framework and the NCTM Standards in both what is taught and how it is experienced, with thoughtful questions that allow for thoughtful responses.
Communicates to students, teachers, and parents that most real problems cannot be solved quickly and that many have more than one answer.