2 Objectives for Chapter 10 Discuss the use of essay questionsCompare two types of essay questionsHypothesize the advantages and disadvantages of using essay questionsCompare two types of scoring rubricsEvaluate sample essays using a scoring rubricCreate examples of two types of essay questions
3 What’s So Great About Essay Questions? They allow assessment of students’ abilities to:Formulate problemsOrganize, integrate, and evaluate ideas and informationApply knowledge and skills
4 Forms and Uses of Essay Questions May be used to measure knowledge of factual informationFull potential realized with more higher-order thinking problems
5 Useful in meeting learning outcomes concerned with the abilities to conceptualize, construct, organize, integrate, relate, and evaluate ideas in content areas such as: history, civics, literature, science, math, etc.Most widely used when the main focus is on student writing in any subjectExamples: distinguishing between narrative essays, expository essays, and persuasive essays or focusing on writing process
6 Confucius Say…The freedom of response provided by essay questions is not an all-or-nothing affair but, rather, a matter of degrees.Restricted ResponseExtended- Response
7 Restricted Response Essay Questions Usually limits both the content and the response by restricting the scope of the topic to be discussed, generally indicated in the questionUseful for measuring learning outcomes requiring interpretation and application of data in a specific areaAny outcomes measured by an objective interpretive exercise can be measured by a restricted response essay question
8 Examples of Restricted Response Essay Questions Describe two situations that demonstrate the application of the law of supply and demand. Do not use those examples discussed in class.State the main differences between the Vietnam War and previous wars in which the United States has participated.Why is the barometer one of the most useful instruments for forecasting weather? Answer in a brief paragraph.
9 Is there a better method for evaluating complex achievement… The Restricted Response essay question provides for more ease of assessment, but it restricts the scope of the topic to be discussed and indicates the nature of the desired response to the student which limits his or her opportunity to demonstrate these behaviors on their own.Is there a better method for evaluating complex achievement…
10 Extended-Response Essay Questions Freedom of response allows student to select information that they think is pertinent, to organize the answer in accordance with their best judgment, and to integrate and evaluate ideas as they deem appropriatePlaces value on higher-order thinking skills
11 Examples of Extended-Response Essay Questions Imagine that you and a friend found a magic wand. Write a story about an adventure that you and your friend had with the magic wand.Compare developments in international relations in the administrations of President William Clinton and President George W. Bush. Cite examples when possible.
12 To Keep Things Simple… Objective Interpretive- select Restricted Response Essay- supplyExtended-Response Essay- write
13 Pros & Cons of Essay Questions Apply your knowledgeThey give student the options to chose what they want to write aboutreasoningThe teacher can tell if the student studies or notCan often prepare in advance what to writeTime consumingGrading: grammar usage vs. contentLegibilityHard to formulate ideas in timeTakes longer to grade
14 How Can We Change Those Cons to Pros? Unreliability- clearly defining learning outcomes to be measured, properly framing questions, carefully following scoring rules, and obtaining practice in scoringAmount of time- reserve use of extended-response questions for learning outcomes that cannot be measured well objectively
15 Limited Sampling- try to obtain as representative a sample of learning outcomes as possible (accumulate a series of essays throughout the school year to be included in a writing portfolio)
16 Suggestions for Constructing Essay Questions Restrict use of essays to learning outcomes that cannot be measured well objectivelyConstruct questions that call forth skills specified in learning standardsExample box on page 235
17 Phrase the question so that the students’ task is clearly indicated Example:Poor: Compare the Democratic and Republican parties.
18 Better: Compare the current policies of the Democratic and Republican parties with regard to the role of government in private business. Support your statements with examples when possible. (Your answer should be confined to two pages. It will be evaluated in terms of the appropriateness of the facts and examples presented and the skill with which it is organized.)
19 Now that we have essay questions how do we score them? Indicate an approximate time limit for each questionAvoid the use of optional questionsExample Box page 239Now that we have essay questions how do we score them?
20 Scoring Essay Questions Tips to remember…Use clear specifications of scoring criteriaInform students of scoring criteriaUse an initial review to find “anchor” responses for comparisonUse descriptive rather than judgmental scores or levels (“writing is clear and thoughts are complete” vs. “excellent”)
21 Scoring for Restricted Response Essay Questions In most instances, the teacher should write an example of an expected responseFor example, if the student is asked to describe three factors that contributed to the start of the Civil War, the teacher would construct a list of acceptable reasons and give the student 1 point for each of up to three reasons given from the list
22 Scoring for Extended-Response Essay Questions Analytic Scoring RubricsConsist of a rubric broken down into key dimensions that will be evaluatedEnables teacher to focus on one characteristic of a response at a timeProvides maximum feedback for students
23 Holistic Scoring Rubrics Yield a single overall score taking into account the entire responseCan be used to grade essays more quicklyDoes not provide as much specific feedback as analytic rubricShould not consist of scores alone, but rather contain scores accompanied by statements of the characteristics of the responseExample Table 10.3 and 10.4
24 Suggestions for Scoring Essay Questions Prepare an outline of the expected answer in advance and use a clear scoring rubricUse the scoring rubric that is most appropriateDecide how to handle factors that are irrelevant to the learning outcomes being measured
25 Evaluate all responses to one question before going on to the next one When possible, evaluate answers without looking at the student’s nameIf especially important decisions are to be based on the results, obtain two or more independent ratingsLook out for bluffing! Page 247