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Alternative Assesment There is no single definition of ‘alternative assessment’ in the relevant literature. For some educators, alternative assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "Alternative Assesment There is no single definition of ‘alternative assessment’ in the relevant literature. For some educators, alternative assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alternative Assesment There is no single definition of ‘alternative assessment’ in the relevant literature. For some educators, alternative assessment is a term adopted to contrast with standardised assessment More general definitions: Smith (1999) refers to procedures and techniques which can be used within the context of instruction and can be easily incorporated into the daily activities of the school or classroom

2 Other terminology Authentic assessment Performance assessment Continuous assessment On-going assessment Other: as well as ‘informal assessment’, ‘descriptive assessment’, ‘direct assessment’, ‘dynamic assessment’, ‘instructional assessment’, ‘responsive evaluation’, ‘complementary assessment’, ‘formative assessment’, ‘portfolio assessment’, ‘situated/contextualised assessment’ and ‘assessment by exhibition’.

3 Problems with traditional tests Raising our awareness of the shortcomings of tests Curricular level – they limit the curriculum Educational level: –Limit the methodology – employ exam preparation practices –Limit the range scope and types of instructional materials –Limit students’ learning and studying practices Psychological level: –Students’ psychology – passive recepients – tests also affect other aspects like intrinsic motivation –Teachers’ psychology teachers’ knowledge

4 Problems with traditional tests cnt’d Dissatisfaction with teacher-made tests Criterion / normative assessment – the problem of competition Little reflection on what is done Equity in Education – cultural biases / students with special needs

5 Important characteristics of alternative assessment Formative / summative assessment Length – one-shot assessment vs. continuous (assessment over a long time) Low stakes / high stakes Beneficial vs. negative backwash effect Place – inside vs. outside the classroom Relevance to students’ lives Presentation: Assessment tasks can be presented in different ways Meaningful tasks

6 Benefits of alternative assessment 1.Evaluate the process and product of learning as well as other important learning behaviours (reflect developmental processes / learning about other factors that affect students’ achievement)

7 Learning about other behaviours Learning strategies Affective and personality style Students’ working habits Students’ social behaviour Students attitudes to the course

8 2. Evaluate and monitor instruction

9 Benefits cont’d 3. Produce meaningful results to a variety of stakeholders like teachers, students, parents and administrators Students: see their own accomplishments in terms that they can understand and, consequently, it allows them to assume responsibility for their learning

10 Benefits cont’d Teachers: obtain data on their students and their classroom for educational decision-making administrators, who are typically least convinced of the advantages of alternative assessment, can benefit from the clear information about student and teacher attainment over time (Hamayanm 1995:215)

11 4. Relate to cognitive psychology and related fields – “learning is not linear, but proceeds in many directions at once and at an uneven pace” – the possibility of generating rather than choosing a response 5. Represent a collaborative approach to assessment – teacher and student

12 6. Support students’ psychologically - enhance learners’ self-esteem and feelings of efficacy as a growing person and fosters intrinsic motivation 7. Promote autonomous and self- directed learning – they can judge their strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals, they becomce self- directed and autonomous

13 8. Provide new roles for teachers – Genesee (2001:150 ) points out that “[t]hese new evaluation approaches recognise classroom teachers as reflective, self-motivated professionals” (ibid:150) – enhances teachers’ role

14 Types or methods of alternative assessment Conferences Debates Demonstrations Diaries/Journals Dramatizations Exhibitions Games Observations Peer-assessment Portfolios Projects Self-assessment Story retelling Think-alouds

15 Tools to record alternative asseement Anecdotal records Checklists Learner profiles Progress cards Questionnaires Rating Scales

16 Concerns raised about certain qualities of alternative assessment it is argued that alternative assessment documentation provides rich data about learning but it is much more cost effective and time-consuming for the teacher to administer and analyse thoughtfully in order to give accurate feedback to the learner - especially in classes with large numbers of learners

17 Another concern is related to the special skills needed by teachers in order to successfully implement alternative methods of assessment Some learners might not accept it They also need to be valid, reliable and practical- they should as well have beneficial backwash

18 1. transfer and generalizability 2. cognitive complexity 3. content quality 4. content coverage 5. meaningfulness 6. cost and effect

19 Portfolio Assessment Portfolio assessment is not new but was introduced into language learning in the mid 1980s What is a Portfolio? A portfolio is a purposeful collection of selective significant samples of student work accompanied by clear criteria for performance which evidence student effort, progress or achievement. A portfolio is different from a folder in that it includes: o Explicit guidelines for selection o Comprehensible criteria o Clear objectives o Selective and significant pieces o Students’ self-reflection pieces o Evidence of student participation in selection of content

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