ERIC Number: ED317575
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
On Their Own: Student Response to Open-Ended Tests in Social Studies.
In the spring of 1988, the Massachusetts Department of Education administered its second biennial assessment (the Massachusetts Educational Assessment Program) of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. This report discusses the use of open-ended questions in the tests of social studies. One-twelfth of the fourth graders, one-sixteenth of the eight graders, and one-twentieth of the 12th graders who were tested in 1988 received a form of the test that contained some open-ended questions. Questions were designed to examine: (1) distinguishing facts and opinion (grade 4); (2) problem solving (grades 4 and 8); (3) cause and effect (grade 4); (4) thematic history (grades 8 and 12); (5) current events (grades 8 and 12); and (6) evaluation of evidence (grades 4, 8, and 12). Sample test items and an analysis of student responses are provided for each grade level in the respective areas of social studies. These open-ended questions confirmed the findings of the multiple-choice sections of the assessment program in social studies; students generally knew diverse facts, but did not know how to apply the facts to form a coherent whole. They were not able to transfer what they knew to what they saw around them. Student responses and their frequencies are summarized in an appendix. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comparative Testing, Current Events, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade 12, Grade 4, Grade 8, Problem Solving, Secondary School Students, Social Studies, State Programs, Student Reaction, Test Format, Test Items, Test Results, Testing Programs, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Quincy. Bureau of Research, Planning, and Evaluation.