ERIC Number: ED317576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
On Their Own: Student Response to Open-Ended Tests in Reading.
Badger, Elizabeth; Thomas, Brenda
In the spring of 1988, Massachusetts conducted its second Educational Assessment Program to assess the performance of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students' responses to open-ended questions in one form of the reading test were studied. One-twelfth of the fourth-graders, one-sixteenth of the eighth-graders, and one-twentieth of the 12th-graders tested received a test form that contained some open-ended questions. Student responses to 11 open-ended questions across the three grades are reviewed, along with sample test items. Several trends were apparent that have clear developmental and instructional implications. Students performed reasonably well when asked to interpret poetry, but had great difficulty with its formal and figurative aspects. Difficulty with figurative language was also apparent for nonfiction. Difficulties in abstraction persisted throughout the grades. Students generally performed well when asked to interpret the thoughts and actions of characters. Difficulties with the more external aspects of reading suggested a lack of familiarity with recognizing metaphor, identifying the effects of structural aspects of the text, and viewing the text as a genre in itself. An appendix classifies the open-ended questions according to the Massachusetts Framework for Reading Comprehension and presents results to enable comparison of students statewide. (SLD)
Descriptors: Comparative Testing, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Figurative Language, Grade 12, Grade 4, Grade 8, Reading Achievement, Reading Comprehension, Reading Tests, Secondary School Students, State Programs, Student Reaction, Test Format, Test Results, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Quincy. Bureau of Research, Planning, and Evaluation.