Comparison of Various Types of Assessment




Oral Question

Performance Assessment

Portfolio Assessment

 Purpose  Sample knowledge with maxim of efficiency.  Assess thinking and mastery of a structure of knowledge.  Assess knowledge during instruction.  Assess ability to translate knowledge and understanding into action.  Assess student progress over time.
 Formats  Test items: multiple-choice, T/F, fill-in, and
 Writing task  Open-ended questions  Written prompt or natural event framing the kind of performance required.  Input ranges from student only to teacher only.
 Major Advantages  Efficiency -- Can administer many items per unit of testing time.  Can measure complex cognitive outcomes.  Joins assessment and instruction.  Provides rich evidence of performance.  Allows for variety of assessment measures.
 Possible Limitations  Poorly written items, overemphasis on recall of facts, poor test-taking skills, failure to sample content representatively  Poorly written exercises, writing skill confounded with knowledge of content, poor scoring procedure  Poor questions, students' lack of willingness to respond, too few questions  Poor exercises, too few samples of performance, vague criteria, poor rating procedures, time, cost  Could become time consuming, storage problems.
 Targets  Overemphasis on recall encourages memorization, can encourage thinking skills if properly constructed.  Encourages thinking and development of writing skills.  Stimulates participation in instruction, provides teacher immediate feedback on effectiveness of teaching.  Emphasizes use of available knowledge in relevant problem contexts.  Emphasizes record of differing student measures.
 Keys to Success  Clear test blueprint or specifications that match instruction, skill in item writing, time to write items  Carefully prepared writing exercises, preparation of model answers, time to read and score  Clear questions representative sample of questions to each student, adequate time provided for student response  Carefully prepared performance expectations, careful and thoughtful rating, attention to validity and reliability issues  Careful determination of how to collect student data, methods of storage, should be limited, portfolios emptied from time to time

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