Week 7: Alternative Assessment

greenspun.com : LUSENET : EDUC 321 : One Thread

Continue last week's online dialogue and tell us what you think about using alternative assessments to measure the effects of using computers in education. How do they compare to traditional testing? Which one do you think assesses better? Why? What are you actually measuring?

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2000


I think alternative assessment is the way testing should be done. I agree that traditional testing does not focus on the process chosen to reach an educated answer. Traditional testing is more concerned with memorization instead of thought process. We want our children to be critical thinkers, not memorizers of information that they can not apply to real life situations there must be a correlation between the the two, so the assessment reflects thorough understanding of the task at hand.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

I agree with Charisse. Alternative assessments are better than traditional testing. This offers you a different way to learn, but in a more constructivist way. This can offer a student more access to various resources and can be more time effecient.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

I think using alternative assessments are a great way of measuring the effects of computers. It is better than traditional testing because it is more concentrated. I happen to think that alternative assessment is much better because it breaks down what a student has learned instead of as a whole. You can measure a students performance as well as how the students has performed and if in fact the solution they came up with coincides with what the problem was. I think the good thing about assessment is that it looks at wide areas of a student because each student is a different learner.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

I believe that alternative assessments should be used for everyday testing and not just for computers. Gardner believed in multiple intelligence, that everybody has a specific subject area that he/she excels in be it,math, science,art,etc. Assessment testing also puts undue pressure on the students to perform. By using the computer the student may not have to share his answers with his fellow students thus the uncomfortable level decreases. The teacher can access his file and look at his answers at her own discretion and not in front of the class. What we are actually measuring depends on the questions that are asked along with the type of response you are seeking. As authors, Reeves and Okey summon it up,students leaving the classroom now ask each other,"What did you get on the test?" instead of "What did you learn?" Things must change, test scores should not be the final indicator of your learning. The overall picture must be included into the scores. Until we change this, test scores unfortunately will be the final indicators.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

I feel that using alternative assessment in education is better than traditional testing. Traditional tests are a poor basis for classroom assessment. Traditional tests control the curriculum, emphasizing recall of facts instead of thinking and problem solving. These tests are limiting. These tests are sending a message to students that only right answers matter and their thinking behind the answers is unimportant.

Computers in education gives the student many advantages. They entertain as they educate with engaging graphics, colors, sounds, movement and simulations. Computers can force one-to-one attention which is known to speed learning. Unlike a textbook, computers can encourage you when you have grasped the material and congratulate you on a job well done. They can support extended learning activities and make work accessible. Instructional goals for students should include abilities to write, speak, listen, create, think critically, do research, solve problems and apply knowledge. Computers in education allow students to do this giving students standards of excellence against which they can judge their accomplishments.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2000

I believe that alternative assessment should be used in all aspects of education, and not just when it comes to technology. Every week we read and discuss constructivism, and active learning. How can we evaluate these learning situations by giving a multiple choice tests. The answer is, we can't. Students are learning so many things in school, not just what is a part of the curriculum. Students are learning how to interact with their peers and withh adults. There is no way, right now, that teachers are assessing this. And the truth is that students do not get praised or graded on anything bu their academic work. Someone who is great at socializing, should get an A, just the way another student receives an A for a math test. It should be the dame way for all of the arts, and for many other things. Students need to be aware of all the learning that happens at school and outside of school. They need to be aware of all of the ways and things that they are learning about in order to reflect on them and to truly have a learning experience.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2000

I agree with Clarissa that Alternative assessment should not be measured only when it comes to technology. Learning is done in so many different ways. It is true that computers give students a greater and wider range to explore and discover new aspects about the world they live in. Teachers can't always assess thier students social or emotional behaviors by giving them a test which doesn't measure acdamic skills. Kathleen stated it well Computers are good one-to-one resources, because, they do allow the student to ask themselves questions and encouges them to seek more information about the topic. Students should still be given the oppitunity to read, write and resource info. the old fashion way.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2000

On chapter 15 it is mentioned that traditional testing approaches ignore student motivation, which is included by the alternative assessment. Also in a constructivist-learning environment intrinsic motivation factors are included, because in the assessment process student commentaries regarding an assessment are encouraged. Next one of the forms of alternative assessment is responsive assessment that focuses not on learnersB weaknesses, but on his strengths making the student to decide his learning goals and activities, which is the constructivist view on education. Another approach to alternative assessment is performance assessment that allows us to see the student in terms of what he actually does and not what he gets on the test. In this way the concept of a testing dependent society and its implications, when labeling diversity as abnormal category, will be changed. For this reasons I think that alternative assessment is better to measure the effects of using computers in education. We actually must measure what was the test designed for and that is indicated by its statement of purpose.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2000

Alternative assesement is a key element for an constuctivist learning environment to be succesful. Traditional standardized tests that are common in classrooms are not able to mearsure the goals achieved in a contructivist setting. Wilson states that traditional assessment has been a major force in retarding educational reform. This is true because constuctivists were forced to be assessed by traditional stadardized tests, with did not meet the goals of a more open classroom.

Alternative assesment is needed in all aspects of the constructivist classroom in order for constuctivism to be successful. To fairly assess a student the teacher must understand the student as a learner. The teacher and student need to establish resonable goals that the student is able to achieve. The teacher can therefore base the asseesment on these goals. The student should be graded on the growth they have achieved. The portfolio assesement is a great tool to measure the growth of the student. The use technology is making the portfolio process more orderly, convient and long term. The portfolio could potentially follow the student througout his or her educational career.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2000

Traditional assessment focuses on learners defiencies, also it is used to label individuals infairly and focuses them to restrective environments with limited goals. whereas alternative assessment offords us the ability to include motivation as an important factor in the assessment process. Evene though alternative assessment is dependent upon technology inovation, we canot consider technology to be the best way of testing unles we free oulselves from the insidous effects of testing dependent society. I feel traditional assessment continue to have some positive points, because some learners need that extra motivation. alternative assessment will also depend on the learning environment whereas all learners is not exposed to technology environment. Which mean traditional assessment would be better for the learner. Alternative will offord a variety of ways to be tested and be more apporiated to the learners ability and skills.

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2000

I feel that using the computers is an excellent way of assessing a student. In traditional testing a teacher may miss something, where as in using the computer you may now pick up on something you may not have seen before.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ