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Educational Psychology 302. Session 12 Student Assessment. Contrasts: Assessment Grades Formative Summative Diagnostic Final Non-Judgmental Evaluative Private Administrative Often Anonymous Identified

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educational psychology 302

Educational Psychology302

Session 12

Student Assessment



Assessment Grades

Formative Summative

Diagnostic Final

Non-Judgmental Evaluative

Private Administrative

Often Anonymous Identified

Partial Integrative Specific Holistic

Mainly Subtext Mostly Text Suggestive Rigorous

Goal-Directed Content-Driven

assessment purposes

During instructional phase

Gauging understanding



After instruction

Evaluating understanding and comprehension

Evaluating mastery

Higher stakes


Assessment Purposes
constructing assessments
Constructing Assessments
  • Target the specific behaviors and thought processes you want them to learn
  • Be difficult enough that students must expend energy to succeed.
  • Show students where and why their answers might have been wrong, and how they might improve on their answers.
  • Demonstrate, where appropriate, how several paths to the right answer might be taken.
characteristics of good classroom assessment
Characteristics of Good Classroom Assessment
  • Reliability—consistency of results
  • Standardization—consistency in content, format and scoring
  • Validity—the assessment measures what it is supposed to measure
  • Practicality—The feasibility of the assessment in terms of development time, administration time, cost, etc.
informal vs formal
Form: Observations, questioning

Very practical, usually spontaneous

Good for assessing students “interest” in a subject

Flexible to spur of the moment changes and adjustments

Will rarely, if ever, be standardized

Focus on assessing understanding within a specific content domain

Very much planned in advance

Closely tied to guiding instructional objectives

Bases results on “samples” of content

Informal vs. Formal
paper pencil vs performance
Suitable for both recall and recognition tasks

Easily standardized

Can sample knowledge on many topics in a short time

Students should understand scoring process

Portray the assessment as an opportunity to improve skills

Efficiently uses class time

Formatively oriented

Helps reduce the “evaluative” climate

Difficult to achieve standardization and reliability

Often time-consuming to administer and score

Paper-pencil vs. Performance
criterion vs norm referenced referenced
Tells us what the students have achieved in relation to specific instructional objectives

Oriented to achieving mastery

Diagnoses weaknesses very well

Compares a students’ performance on a task with the performance of other students

Frequently used in standardized tests

Can undermine the sense of community and create undo competitive situation

Criterion vs. NormReferenced Referenced
criterion or norm referenced
Criterion or Norm Referenced?
  • Ivy is taking an achievement test in English. Her score will let her know how her performance compares with that of her classmates.
  • Leon is taking a Spanish test that will determine whether he should be placed in an advanced section of Spanish II designed for students who have achieved a an especially high level in Spanish I.
criterion or norm referenced10
Criterion or Norm Referenced?
  • Mr. Jones asks his physical education students to do as many chin-ups and push-ups as they can. He requires at least 4 chi-ups and 20 push-ups from each student.
  • Mr. Duchesne grades students’ essays on the causes of the American Revolution, giving the five best essays an A, the next five best a B, and so on.


  • Definition—A systematic collection of student work assembled over time
  • Integrates instruction and assessment
  • Can be useful in promoting students self-evaluation
  • Can illustrate the complex nature of students’ achievement
  • Often have low reliability and validity
  • Almost impossible to standardize
objective tests
Objective Tests
  • Multiple Choice: Stem—alternatives. Recognition task. Can measure a variety of learning levels, easy to grade.
  • True/False: Statements a student judges as correct or incorrect. Easy to write and grade, tests recognition with a high probability of guesses.
  • Matching: Identify relationships. Asks students to apply discrimination skills. Tests a large amount of information in a short space.
multiple choice example
Multiple-Choice Example

An advantage of knowing some skills to a level of automaticity is that skills learned to automaticity:

a.  require less working memory capacity

b.  promote the development of retrieval cues

c.   make meaningful learning of those skills unnecessary

d. enhance the reconstructive nature of retrieval

constructed response tests
Constructed Response Tests

Tests high-level cognitive skills, but, time-consuming to grade and difficult to ensure reliability.

  • Short answer: Requires a single word, set of words, or sentence or complete.
  • Essay: Requires learners to organize and express their thoughts over several or more paragraphs.
  • Problem-solving: Presents situation for the learner to diagnose and solve.
problem solving examples
Problem-Solving Examples
  • One worker can build five benches in one day. For a particular job 20 benches are needed in one day’s time. How many workers need to be assigned to the job? Show all your work and circle the final answer.
  • You are given a beaker that contains one of five chemical solutions used in previous laboratory exercises. Describe a procedure that you would use to positively identify the particular solution and rule out the other alternatives. (be sure to list each major step in you solution).