ERIC Number: ED456125
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Comparing Students' Attitudes towards the Use of Traditional and Alternative Assessment Practices.
DeMauro, Tom; Helphrey, Traci; Schram, Greg; Spiekermann, Carrie
This paper describes a program designed to compare students' attitudes towards the use of traditional and alternative assessment practices. The targeted population consisted of a second and third grade general education class, a third grade physical education class, and an eighth grade applied technology class in three communities in northern Illinois. Each community is part of a suburban area where the family income ranges from low to upper levels. Evidence for the existence of a problem came from student surveys and teacher observations. Analysis of probable cause data shows that negative attitudes towards assessments have a direct effect on students' attitudes about learning. Students experience frustration due to the lack of choices they are given about being assessed; they experience anxiety because of the pressures to achieve, and they demonstrate low self-esteem as a result of low test scores. A review of solution strategies suggested by the professional literature, combined with an analysis of the problem settings, result in the opportunity for students to participate in both traditional and alternative assessments that will allow them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and reflect on their feelings towards the different assessments. Post intervention data indicate a discrepancy between the feelings of primary and middle school students towards the various assessments. Elementary school students tended to describe their feelings about traditional and alternative assessments using a similar vocabulary without a preference for either approach. In the middle grades, students preferred to engage in alternative assessments although they felt that traditional assessments were more reflective of their abilities. Seven appendixes contain cover letters, surveys, and consent forms used in the study and reflection sheets. (Contains 16 tables and 27 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier and IRI/Skylight Field-Based Master's Program.