Monday, May 4, 2009

Creating threads of understanding

Our education doesn't need to be changed, but our assessment does. There is certainly a place and quite probably quite a central place for multiple choice tests within the framework of assessment.
I admit that multiple choice questions are the simplest to deal with. They have the very friendly trait of being simple to analyze. It's easy to count up the number of correct answers and give percentage score and plot that on a chart. The problem is that it so rarely reflects all the learner has learned and rarely shows the nuances of understanding that can exist.

Might I suggest an alternative approach, Allow students to create multiple lines of evidence for learning. Consider 3 or more lines of evidence and make at least some of the lines be chosen by Learners. If quizzes or tests are part of the assessment plans or requirements, make some of the other lines of evidence different methods, and not just essays or other traditional approaches. Consider:
  • videos
  • multimedia presentations
  • journals or notes (as an assessment tool not just as a study tool)
  • drawings, artwork, or artistic representations of processes.
  • animations or 3-D diagrams
  • In Class presentations
  • Collaborations
Visit specifically for ideas related to Multiple Intelligences and Project based learning.

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