ERIC Number: EJ905008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Balancing the Needs to Assess Depth and Breadth of Knowledge: Does Essay Choice Provide a Solution?
Samuels, Linda B.; Coffinberger, Richard L.
Journal of Legal Studies Education, v22 n2 p103-122 Mar 2005
Teaching and assessment of student learning are not unrelated activities. Rather, assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Teaching is how instructors help students to discover knowledge and new ideas and ways of organizing and perceiving what they have learned. Assessment of learning incorporates the broad array of techniques that can capture what a student knows about what was taught. Just as there is no "best" teaching method, neither is there only one "best" approach to student assessment. Tests, however, are generally the primary and sometimes the only method for assessing learning. This article begins with an overview of the relevant aspects of the research of Benjamin Bloom and other educational psychologists on the levels of intellectual competencies important to learning and the test question cues related to these competencies. The article then describes legal environment of business exams where students can choose both which essays to answer and how many to answer, thereby self-determining the mix between objective questions (true-false and multiple choice) and essay questions. The results of a student questionnaire as well as data analysis of student point scores are also examined. The article concludes with observations on the benefits of offering students essay choice. (Contains 1 figure, 17 footnotes and 5 tables.)
Descriptors: Student Evaluation, Role, Knowledge Level, Instructional Effectiveness, Educational Psychology, Psychologists, Selection, Questionnaires, Data Analysis, Scores, Business, Legal Education (Professions), Models, Test Construction, Essay Tests, Multiple Choice Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A