ERIC Number: ED319466
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Defining Expectations: The Essay Test Made Simpler.
Bishop, Philip E.
Impromptu writing on tests is a useful way to evaluate student comprehension and encourage students to use critical thinking skills. Students' performance on essay tests can improve, and teachers' time required for grading can decrease through the use of an adapted holistic grading scale that clearly states expectations. First, a carefully written essay question clearly enumerates a number of sub-topics and provides cues for specific supporting information. The question suggests an organizational structure and recommends a selection of examples and details, making the essay questions easier for students to respond to completely and in an organized manner. Second, a grading scale keyed to the question permits grading to be completed quickly and consistently. The scale identifies the characteristics of student essays that should be assigned a range of scores. For example, a student will earn top points on an essay that clearly states a position, is generally well-organized, is generally free of factual and writing errors, and completes the specific tasks assigned in the essay (e.g., identifies three aspects of the Renaissance and causally relates them to a reaction or result in the Reformation). Sample test questions, grading scales, and student essays are provided. (WJT)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Successful College Teaching (Orlando, FL, February 23-March 3, 1990).