|Resource sheet 5A
Scenario: Assume you want your students to master some
specific subject matter knowledge because it represents an important
foundation for later work. To reach this goal, you plan a series
of instructional activities to help students master this required
material. Now you want to assess to be sure they've got it. In
this particular case, you want them to know the material outright, not
through the use of reference materials
Question #1: Could you assess mastery of this material
using selected response modes of assessment, such as multiple choice,
true-false, or matching exercises? Yes or No. Please briefly
explain your response.
Answer: Yes selected response would be an appropriate
task for assessing learning of specific subject matter knowledge,
especially if we want the students to show mastery of the content.
For example if I want students to be able to write a critical response
to a chosen poem or song, they would need to some of the critical
vocabulary before they could begin this work. In order to ensure
that students have acquired this vocabulary I could give a simple
matching test wherein the students match a particular poetry term to an
example of that device in existing poems.
Question #2: Could you assess mastery of this material
using an essay form of assessment? Why or why not? Please
write a brief defense.
Answer: Yes an in-class writing assignment or essay answer
would show mastery of the given content; however, for the example given
above this would be more demanding than necessary, especially since many
students struggle with expressing ideas in this form. They could
become distracted trying to meet the formal demands of paragraphing and
lose sight of the content.
Question #3: If you wanted to assess students' mastery of
content knowledge as specified above, could you use a performance
assessment. Yes of No. Defend your answer.
Answer: No, I would not use performance assessment in
this case because it is far more work than is necessary at this
point. We are attempting to determine content knowledge and for
this purpose we should keep the assessment method as simple as possible.
Question #4: Do you think the personal communication
form of assessment--for example by oral exam, interview, conference, or discussion
could provide you with a viable assessment of your students' mastery of
this content knowledge. Why or why not?
Answer: Yes, an oral exam would work in this case, but
once again it would not be the most efficient of assessment methods,
especially in most classroom situations. In order to determine
whether each student had attained the required information one would
have to schedule individual interviews. For most teachers this is
Resource Sheet #5B
Scenario: Although assessing reasoning proficiency is next
on our list, let's hold on to that for just a bit and center next on
skills outcomes. This will permit us to return to reasoning
targets from a more informed perspective in Scenario #3.
In this scenario, assume that you teach French and wish to assess
your students' skill at communicating in that language in a
conversational situation. So the skill of oral language
proficiency is your target.
Question #1: Can you assess oral language
proficiency in a conversational context using the selected
response mode of assessment. Why or why not? Defend your
Answer: No, selected response will not work in this
instance because we are assessing oral language proficiency.
Question #2: Can you assess these skills using an essay
form of assessment? Yes or No. Why>
Answer: No, as above written forms of assessment will not work
for this kind of knowledge: it has to be oral to be relevant or useful.
Question #3: Will performance assessment work as a basis
for assessing the foreign language speaking proficiency of your
Answer: Yes, performance assessment would work well for
this learning outcome. For example we could assign the students to role
play a conversation and provide a rubric for the assignment that would
set the target so that the students understand how they are being
Question #4: Can you use personal communication as a
basis for assessing conversational skill in a second language?
Defend your response>
Answer: Yes personal communication would an obvious
assessment method to use in this case. The teacher could simply
have a class discussion based around the given conversational