ERIC Number: ED381187
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation Bias in Prior Learning Assessment Challenge Processes.
Haden, Dan; Wells, Sue
In 1993, the Centre for Instructional Development at Centennial College, Ontario, Canada received funding to investigate the effects of student diversity on prior learning assessment evaluation processes and to develop guidelines to respond to any effects demonstrated. A review of the literature identified six barriers to equitable evaluation: alienation; diminished self-confidence; slow reaction time; impaired vision and hearing; English language difficulty; and learning style. In addition, the literature suggested eight strategies to overcome the identified barriers: neutral language in evaluation instructions; scrutiny to assure bias-free test content; definition of clear outcomes; flexible evaluation to accommodate learning and culture and the use of various means of score analysis; self-administered tests and the provision of evaluation options to students; regular formative evaluation; extending peer-tutoring and other group models to the evaluation process; and performance-based assessment evaluating skills in a natural setting. A survey was conducted at Centennial College to identify evaluation methods that students and faculty felt provided the most fair and equitable opportunity to illustrate students' knowledge and skills. The survey obtained responses from 1,542 continuing education students, 1,688 full-time students, and 156 faculty. The study revealed that some cultural groups had a wide range of experiences with evaluation formats while others had only limited exposure; female students and students under 25 were more experienced with all formats than male students and older students; students who spoke only English at home had more experience with all formats; and students completing their highest educational level 1 to 3 years prior to the survey experienced a broader range of testing than students completing their highest educational level more than 3 years prior to the survey. Based on the literature review and survey findings, faculty were urged to define learning outcomes; carefully consider the evaluation format; examine contents closely; link things to connect personal experience with the challenge process; and provide formative features. (Contains 17 references.) (KP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ontario Council of Regents, Toronto.
Authoring Institution: Centennial Coll., Scarborough (Ontario). Centre for Instructional Development.