Essay on Overview of Testing and Assessment

Essay on Overview of Testing and Assessment

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Overview of Testing and Assessment

Assessment is defined as “an exercise—such as a written test, portfolio, or experiment—that seeks to measure a student's skills or knowledge in a subject area” (edweek.com). Mainly today, we rely on multiple-choice exams, or tests that are easy to grade in a very generalized manner. The focus is mainly on math and reading, and requires remembering an assortment of different facts. Alternatives to these testing norms are often called alternative assessment. Alternative assessment is defined as “any form of measuring what students know and are able to do other than traditional standardized tests. Alternative forms of assessment include portfolios, performance-based assessments, and other means of testing students.” Performance-based assessment “requires students to perform hands-on tasks, such as writing an essay or conducting a science experiment. Such assessments are becoming increasingly common as alternatives to multiple-choice, machine-scored tests. Also known as authentic assessment.” This seems like an incredibly promising form of assessing an individual student, yet it remains less used because it is more involved. A portfolio is “a systematic and organized collection of a student's work throughout a course or class year. It measures the student's knowledge and skills and often includes some form of self-reflection by the student.” This is also used in many situations, but again, based on personal experience at many schools, the portfolios seem to have little influence on monitoring a students academic success. Measuring the performance of a student should be a completely holistic effort, and should be intensive. It may require a lot of work for the teacher, and qualifications would be ...


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...eved November 25, 2004, from http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/assess/front_assess.htm

This website provided for in depth research into alternative options to assessment.

Newspaper or magazine articles

Baltimore Sun Staff. (2004, November 23). Balto. Co. schools honored for state test results. The Baltimore Sun.

This article discussed how eighty-six Baltimore county schools were honored because of their improved performance on the assessments taken to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Bowie, L., Bowler, M. (2004, September 15). State high schools chalk up solid gains on assessment tests. The Baltimore Sun.

This article discussed how performance on end-of-the-year tests in English, biology, algebra and government improved greatly amongst many students in various Maryland districts. It also gives some details on the NCLB Act.

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