Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 3: The Psychology of Student Assessment

This week, David led a workshop addressing the psychology of student assessment and methods to assess higher order thinking.

We began by taking short assessments of different construction, based on different, popular pedagogical theories. Each version of the assessment had an opposing version which contained the same subject matter but assessed in a different manner.

This transitioned to a discussion session. The following topics were discussed in considerable detail:
--How does the presentation of an assessment emphasize any inherent anxiety?
--Is scaffolding inside of an assessment a constructive way to focus student responses?
--How can questions be constructed so as to induce students to extrapolate, rather than interpolate or recall?
--What is the outcome of giving an assessment that contains significant errors?
--How is it possible to fairly and accurately grade questions that are constructed so as to allow a wide spread of possible valid responses?
--What are the best practices for grading tests that were written by a third party, such as when a TA grades a test written by a professor?
--In what ways might "group" tests enhance/devalue summative assessments?

We discussed some excerpts from Higher Order Thinking Skills (King, et al: http://www.cala.fsu.edu/files/higher_order_thinking_skills.pdf), and spoke about how the material informs our ability to assess the highest order thinking skills.

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