ERIC Number: ED337494
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Toward Extended Assessment: The Big Picture.
Hacker, Jacob; Hathaway, Walter
Testing and assessment that are "more authentic" (performance-based or alternative) represent the most pressing issue in education today. Some of the major criticisms leveled at standardized testing are examined, and the advantages and disadvantages of more authentic assessment are reviewed. A general direction for integrating traditional and innovative forms of assessment is proposed. Among criticisms of current tests that have been identified by the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, two of the biggest criticisms are that standardized objective testing fails to assess real mastery and is of limited validity. Advantages claimed for more authentic assessment include: (1) direct measurement of what children should know; (2) emphasis on higher order thinking skills, judgment, and collaboration; (3) encouragement of active participation in the learning process by children; and (4) allowing educators to teach to the test without destroying validity. Disadvantages of authentic assessment include high cost; difficulty in making results consistent and usable; and undemonstrated validity, reliability, and comparability. Three examples of authentic assessment are provided. A compromise between traditional and authentic assessments could begin with encouraging use of multiple measures and promoting more authentic measures when possible and cost effective. A 52-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Assessment, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Measurement Techniques, Performance Based Assessment, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Reliability, Test Validity, Testing Problems, Testing Programs, Thinking Skills, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conferences of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (Chicago, IL, April 4-6, 1991).