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Chapter 6. Assessment (Child Development & Pedagogy for CTET & TET Exams)

Assessment

First of all we discuss basic terms related with assessment like measurement, assessment and evaluation. Lets us take help of an example: Ramesh has scored 65 marks in Mathematics in the final year examination, which is above average performance but he has not performed well on test items related to Trigonometry. Ramesh has improved significantly with compared to his half-yearly examination.
In this, 65 marks is a measurement indicator. Above average performance, identification of area of improvement in trigonometry comes under assessment and judgment of his performance in relation to half yearly examination is evaluation. So evalution is the broadest term witch include all type of assessments.

Measurement

Measurement is defined as a process of quantifying (65 marks) the degree to which someone or something possessed a given trait, i.e., quality, characteristics, or features. You can say that measurement is a quantitative description of one’s performance. It is a process of quantifying the degree to which someone or something possessed a given trait, i. e., quality, characteristics, or features.
you may conclude with the following characteristics of measurement:
• Measurement assigns a numeral to quantify certain aspects of human and non-human beings.
• It is numerical description of objects, traits, attributes, characteristics or behaviours.
• Measurement is not an end in itself but definitely a means to evaluate the abilities of a person in education and other fields as well.
• Nature of measurement and assessment vary for various traits or attributes of the students to deal with.
Scales of measurement: Whenever we measure anything, we assign a numerical value. This numerical value is known as scale of measurement. A scale is a system or scheme for assigning values or scores to the characteristics being measured (Sattler; 1992). Like for measuring any aspect of the human being we assign a numeral to quantify it, further we can provide an order to it if we know the similar type of measurement of other members of the group, we can also make groups considering equal interval scores within the group. These are called as measurement in different scales. There are mainly four scales of measurement, namely nominal (Excellent, Good, Bad), ordinal (10%, 20% …), interval (10-20, 30-40 …) and ratio are discussed to help you in adopting appropriate measurement tool and technique. Nominal Means for name only. Ordinal means to to put into order.
Process of measurement: Measurement is a process which involves certain common steps in all the fields including education. As a teacher you should be aware of this process so that you can follow the same during teachinglearning process. Measurement process involves three steps as follows :
Step-1 : Indentifying And Defining Attributes
You may measure height or intelligence level of a person, temperature of boiling water, etc. there may be some attributes which are easily observable and measurable where as there may be some complex or abstract properties also. When you are going to measure any abstract construct like intelligence, honesty, etc. you have to identify certain characteristics which you will use to quantify these constructs. For example, for measuring intelligence, you may measure performance of an individual on various abilities as described by multiple intelligence theory.
Step-2 : Determining the set of operations to isolate and display the attribute
The second step is to develop a procedure to find out and invent a set of operations which will isolate the attribute of interest and display it. There are attributes like length or weight for which you can use well standardized scales, but if you are measuring intelligence, or honesty or any dimension of personality, you have to determine the set of operations; this is called operationalizing the attribute or operational definition. For example, operational definition of intelligence may be like ‘in this measurement, IQ refers to the score obtained by an individual on a standard test XYZ.’
Step-3 : Quantifying The Attribute
The third step of the measurement process is assigning numerals to quantify the aspect of measurement or the attribute. This quantification helps in communicating about the attribute more efficiently and precisely. If quantification has been done according to a set of rule (this is known as scale), you can apply mathematical operations for making the measurement more meaningful. For example, you can decide heights will be measured in centimeters or inches, in pounds or kilograms, etc. or you will use a five point or three point scale to measure any behavioral attribute.
Assessment is “a systematic procedure for collecting information that can be used to make inferences about the characteristics of people or objects (AERA, et. al., 1999)”. Assessment is referred as “a process of collecting evidence and making judgments relating to outcomes”. It is said that assessment has a narrower meaning than evaluation but a broader meaning than measurement. In connection to measurement, you can say that measurement is a process of quantifying attributes, and assessment is the process of collecting the quantified information about the attributes and interpreting it.

Perspectives

Behaviourist Perspective Of Assessment
As per behaviourist theorist of learning – change in behaviour is centre of everything and it can be achieved by manipulating external environment. All theories like classical conditioning of Pavlov, operant conditioning of Skinner, Trial and Error theorist comes under behaviourist approach. Behaviourist learning theories considered learning as association of stimulus and response resulting in change in behviour. Reinforcement is central to the behaviourist approach and it focused on objective measurement of ability and achievement. This developed the tradition of defining learning outcomes in observable behaviours. Learner’s personal experiences and socio cultural context had very little significance. For instance, the socio-cultural context of a child coming from remote or tribal area is entirely different from the children belonging to urban areas. This may affect their learning but was ignored in the behaviourist perspective that focuss on the outcome. The achievement of learners, therefore, become more important and it is presumed that any thing can be taught using reward and punishment.
The overemphasis on learning outcomes results in an examination system that encourages rote memorization, objective types test focuss on recall, completion, matching, and multiple choice tests which fit perfectly with what was deemed important to learn. It also results in neglect of the role of individual experiences and complex learning skills like analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, reflection, problem solving, etc. in learning. Therefore this perspective of human learning has encouraged schools to function as factories to produce learners with higher academic achievement that have been the sole determinant of quality education. Educational systems influenced with behaviourist perspectives follow the typical transmission mode of teaching learning process to fill the minds of young learners with heaps of information and then assess the learner’s ability to recall this information through various means of assessment tools. Behaviourist perspective, thus, encouraged the concept of mastery learning based on the premise that most students can master their learning targets, given enough time and suitable opportunity.
This perspective considers that assessment has to be uniformly administered on each and every learner, and individualized assessment based on the needs of individual learners is ignored. Due to emphasis on objectivity in assessment, teachers avoid using qualitative assessment procedures which could have ensured a holistic assessment of performance of the learners.
Cognitive Perspective Of Assessment
In contrast to behviourism the cognitive theorists, such as Piaget believed that learning is an integral process in which new information is assimilated in ones cognitive processes. The ‘child centered’ approach to learning evolved out of Piaget’s cognitive development theory which was further reinforced by Bruner with emphasis on ‘active learning’. Both Piaget and Bruner stressed on the importance of activity in learning which the learner can observe, practice, manipulate, modify and construct his/her own knowledge. They also stressed on relating new learning to the previous experiences of the learners. Piaget recommended giving challenging tasks to activate the thinking process which may facilitate the learner to reach equilibrium through the process of adaptation. From Piaget’s perspective though the task/ activity may be challenging but it should be according to appropriate developmental stage of the learner, otherwise the learner may not be able to learn. Therefore, from the cognitive perspective the cognitive development of the learner determines the assessment method, and tools to be used to assess the performance of learners. Clearly, there is no single or uniform method of assessment from this perspective. Assessment is not linear from this perspective; instead, it is a spiral and continuous process. Therefore as a teacher you have to inbuilt assessment in the activity itself and determine the assessment procedure according to the developmental stage, experience, and exposure of the learner.
Constructivist Perspective Of Assessment
A basic premise of constructivism is that individuals live in their own world of personal and subjective experiences and build new knowledge on the basis of their previous experiences, rather than new knowledge being imposed from outside. This premise of learning includes how children leam, as well as learning with understanding, and not limited to what they leam, that is, the end product acquired through rote memorization. Therefore, assessment is directed towards assessment of understanding the learners rather than their surface knowledge and ability to recall facts. As constructivist perspective of learning emphasizes the experiences of learners and their socio-cultural contexts in the learning process, organizing new information around the existing conceptual framework of learner facilitates learning. Concept mapping, therefore, plays very crucial role in constructivist learning and facilitates transfer of learning and problem solving from one conceptual framework to another. Assessment from this perspective has to be context specific and cannot be uniformly used for all learners. Usually children in schools come from different socio-cultural backgrounds. Tribal children, for instance, often have difficulty in communicating and understanding standard Hindi language due to their unfamiliarity with the standard language used in school. Therefore while assessing the language ability of such children, differential assessment procedure has to be adopted. It is expected to assess learner’s ability to link ideas, apply knowledge and solve problems. The assessment process is expected to challenge the incomplete understanding and pre- concepts of learners, and should help the learner to modify and refine their thinking through appropriate scaffolding and feedback. It means that you cannot use a single standardized test on all the learners and have to adopt a variety of assessment tools.

Important Concepts

Formative Assessment & Summative Assessment
Formative assessment refers to a wide variety of methods that teachers use to conduct in-process evaluations of student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during a lesson, unit, or course and not after finishing of it. Formative assessments are commonly contrasted with summative assessments, which are used to evaluate student learning progress and achievement at the conclusion of a specific instructional period—usually at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year. In other words, formative assessments are for learning, while summative assessments are of learning. Formative assessments help teachers identify concepts that students are struggling to understand, skills they are having difficulty acquiring, or learning standards they have not yet achieved so that adjustments can be made to lessons, instructional techniques, and academic support.
Assessment Of Learning (AOL)
We have seen that the objective of assessment from behaviourist perspective is to assess the extent of learning that has taken place at a particular point of time, for instance, after teaching a lesson or unit, you might be interested to know the level of achievement of students on the content you have taught and therefore you give them some test for it. The predominant objective of assessment in schools is assessment of learning. You might be using various forms of tests to assess the quantity and accuracy of learners’ work represented through grades or marks. This type of assessment tells you as to how well the students are performing in comparison to certain criteria such as ‘high and low achievement’ or ‘pass or fail’, etc. School report card of students provide feedback to parents about the progress of their wards as well.
Similarly, at the larger scale, State level or National level surveys are conducted to assess the performance of students at different levels. The focus of such assessment is to rank order students in groups in terms of their position within the group such as first or second, and so on. Although such type of assessment has long historical tradition and is widely accepted by schools and parents alike, but, it has several limitations and doubts have been raised about the reliability and validity of such type of assessment procedures. Assessment from this perspective has been considered as a means to achieve the goal of mastery learning. This approach led to identifying minimum levels of learning (MLL). The National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986, revised in 1992 and its Programme of Action (POA1992) stressed on minimum levels of learning (MLL) which subsequently led to stage- wise and subject- wise development of MLL by the NCERT. Traditionally assessment of learning has been carried out in our schools with the help of numerical assessment (0-100) or grades (A-E), etc. and is summative in nature reflecting how much a learner has achieved at the end of learning any concept and unit. Assessment of learning, therefore is summative and linear which is carried out with the objective to ascertain what the learner has learnt after teaching is over. It is the end product of learning.
Assessment For Learning (AFL)
In the preceding section of this Unit, you have seen that traditionally assessment of learning is done after the task is completed with the objective to assess the outcome of learning. In this section let us focus on assessment for learning where assessment is inbuilt in the whole process of teaching learning itself.
We have already discussed in section 2.3 the importance of the role of individual differences from cognitivist and constructivist perspective which play crucial role in human learning and needs to be considered in any decision making. Three things are essential while assessing learners:
• the understanding of how learners learn,
• how a learner is progressing with reference to himself/herself. We have also discussed the concept of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) of every learner. Each learner, therefore has to be assessed according to his/her ZPD to ensure maximum learning. Assessment from this perspective tells us how the learner is progressing and what more can be done to facilitate him/her to reach to their maximum capacity; and
• as teacher we are also interested to know the learner’s progress with reference to his/her peer group and the criteria set by the teacher.
Therefore, assessment for learning is much broader term and refers to formative assessment, though it is not simply formative assessment, that takes place in order to take decisions to inform the next stage of learning (Earl, 2003). As learners have different experiences, background and learning styles, and they construct their own knowledge based on these experiences, learning needs to be considered as a continuum. Assessment for learning ensures that the learner is able to translate and reflect in his/her behavior whatever he/she has learned. Hence, Assessment for learning is viewed as spiral and part of the learning process itself in which learners play a central role in evaluating their own progress. It is ongoing and individual process and helps the teacher to take decision on the level of understanding of the learner and plan teaching learning strategies accordingly. It is essential for improving the performance of the learners. For AFL, you have to collect wide range of data so that you can modify your teaching learning strategies according to the needs of your learners. Grading in AFL is not done with the objective of merely making comparative judgment of learners’ achievement, but, to know their strengths and limitations and provide them feedback that will help to improve their learning. It also helps the teacher to bring suitable modification in teaching learning process to ensure learning. The crucial question in AFL is ‘what comes next in learning’. Both teachers and learners are decision makers in this process and the information about learners’ present level of achievement is taken to help them to reach to their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
It is essential to clarify at this point that though AFL is formative in nature, but, it is different from what traditionally has been referred to as formative assessment. While formative assessment is about being more frequent, AFL is about being continuous. Likewise formative assessment is undertaken by the teacher to gain feedback on learner’s progress, while AFL is about informing learners about their own progress. Formative assessment tells teachers who is meeting the standards and who is not but AFL tells teachers about the progress of each learner towards meeting the standard while learning is happening and there is still scope to help them.
Therefore, AFL directly influences learning by reinforcing the connection between assessment and instruction. It is interwoven in day-to-day teaching learning process and uses information to plan suitable strategies based on the learning style of learners. It also encourages active participation of learners in utilizing information to self- assess, regulate and monitor their own learning. Teachers
play the role of facilitator, guiding, coaching and scaffolding to lead learners towards a learning destination which is clearly understood by both teacher and students. Clearly AFL is different from formative assessment. AFL is therefore focused on how learners learn instead of what they learn, and facilitates them to improve their learning and not just limited to providing feedback to them about their performance.
Assessment As Learning (AAL)
The third term being used is Assessment as Learning (AAL) which occurs when the learner personally monitors his/her own learning, assimilates the required changes, accommodates and adapts to these new changes. It provides opportunity to learners ‘to monitor’ what they are learning and use feedback to make adjustments to their understanding (Earl, 2003). The learner critically evaluates situation, asks reflective questions to him/herself and considers a range of activities to learn. He/she uses personal experiences and knowledge to construct meaningful learning. In such type of assessment comparison with others becomes unnecessary. The learner compares his/her learning own prior achievement and his/her aspirations and targets for continued learning. For instance, suppose you wish to get ‘A’ grade in your examination but you received ‘B’ in your assignment. You try to reflect on the reasons why you could not get ‘A’ grade, use this feedback on the assignment grade to overcome your shortcomings so that you may improve and get your desired grade. You are engaged in assessment as learning. Assessment as learning therefore includes self – assessment by learners to take informed decisions about their own learning. The reference point here is learner’s own previous learning and the desire to achieve some goals specified him/herself instead of being determined by the teacher. Therefore, while in assessment of learning and assessment for learning the teacher plays an important role, in assessment as learning the learner him/herself initiates assessment process with the objective to achieve some goals he/she has set for him/herself.

Evalution

Approaches To Evaluation
Assessment is conducted in different phases of the teaching learning process. We carry out assessment before the beginning of the teaching-learning process; during the teaching-learning process and at the end of the instructional process. Approaches of Evaluation on the basis of its types and functions can be classified as follows :
■ Placement evaluation
■ Formative evaluation
■ Diagnostic evaluation
■ Summative evaluation
Placement Evaluation
It builds on the prior knowledge, and experiences of the learners, and ensures learner friendly assessment. It is conducted at the start of the new unit, lesson or a new session.
Formative Assessment
Formative assessment provides feedback and information during the instructional process, while learning is taking place, and while learning is occurring. Formative assessment measures student progress but it can also assess your own progress as an instructor. For example, when implementing a new activity in class, you can, through observation and/or surveying the students, determine whether or not the activity should be used again (or modified). A primary focus of formative assessment is to identify areas that may need improvement. These assessments typically are not graded and act as a gauge to students’ learning progress and to determine teaching effectiveness (implementing appropriate methods and activities).
Types of Formative Assessment Observations during in-class activities; of students non-verbal feedback during lecture Homework exercises as review for exams and class discussions) Reflections journals that are reviewed periodically during the semester Question and answer sessions, both formal—planned and informal—spontaneous Conferences between the instructor and student at various points in the semester In-class activities where students informally present their results Student feedback collected by periodically answering specific question about the instruction and their self-evaluation of performance and progress
Diagnostic Assessment
Diagnostic Evaluation
Diagnostic evaluation is conducted along with formative evaluation during the instructional process. It is carried out based on the data obtained from formative evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation is specially conducted to identify and remove the learning difficulties of learner if it is observed and found during the formative evaluation. For example, if a learner couldn’t understand certain concepts in a particular subject and continuously performing poorly in that subject, we conduct diagnostic test to know the causes of the difficulties and accordingly provide them remedial treatment to overcome the difficulties. The key word in diagnostic evaluation is identifying of‘learning difficulties’. Diagnostic evaluation not only solves learning difficulties of learners but also identifies and provides remedies for personal, physical and psychological problems. This can be exemplify as sometime you may find that few students in your class are very nervous to come forward and say something, tendency of fear towards the friends and teachers, suffering certain psycho-social disorders and physical disorders.
Summative Assessment
Summative evaluation is used to find out the extent to which the instructional objectives have been achieved at the end of a terminal period. It is used primarily for assigning course grades or for certifying student’s mastery of the intended learning outcomes at the end of a particular programme. The techniques used for summative evaluation are determined by the instructional objectives. For this evaluation, both external and teacher-made tests are used. Although the main purpose of summative evaluation is assigning grades or marks, it also provides information forjudging the appropriateness of the course objectives and the effectiveness of instruction.
Types of Summative Assessment Examinations (major, high-stakes exams) Final examination (a truly summative assessment) Term papers (drafts submitted throughout the semester would be a formative assessment) Projects (project phases submitted at various completion points could be formatively assessed) Portfolios (could also be assessed during it’s development as a formative assessment) Performances Student evaluation of the course (teaching effectiveness) Instructor self-evaluation
Internal And External Evaluation
When examinations are organized and conducted by an agency other than the institution giving instruction to the students, and all the students of the group of institutions come together under the perview of the agency, the evaluation carried out is regarded are an external evaluation. To this extent, the public examinations in our country are conducted by the appropriate school boards are external evaluation
Norm-Referenced Evaluation
When we measure one’s relative position in a well defined known group, we usually use the norm-referenced test. As example, if we want to know Sudhir’s rank or position in the 10th Board Examination held in 2017 in the State of West Bengal, that can be done through the norm-referenced test. In this example, we compare Sudhir’s performance with others performance in that group.
Criterion-Referenced Evaluation
Criterion referenced evaluation is related to performance of the students in a well defined learning task. It has nothing to do with the norms or relative rank or position of students in any well defined group. As example, if we say that Sudhir successfully solves 60 percent of questions in the chapter of ‘Modem
History’ in class-IX text of History, is rightly an example of criterion-referenced evaluation. In this example, the performance of Sudhir is defined in relation to a learning task i.e., chapter of ‘Modem History’ in the class-IX text of History. Thus in contrast to a norm-referenced evaluation we can refer an individual performance to a pre-determined criterion which is well defined. In criterion- referenced evaluation, a criteria is fixed i.e. a fixed standard in a learning task, say 50% or 60%.
Recent Trends In Assessment And Evaluation
In the last section, we discussed about certain concerns of evaluation system and also hinted upon new trends in evaluation. In this section, we will discuss the emerging trends to make our examination system effective. Before discussing the trends, let us highlight the issues concerning suitable use of examination.
• The obtained results should be carefully systematized and conclusions should be scientifically drawn and reported to the stakeholders involved in the system including the students.
• The number of external examination should be reduced. More scientific and systematic methods of evaluation need to be devised.
• While conducting evaluation, the student’s work throughout the year should be assessed.
• Evaluation procedures should include variety of techniques and tools, new types of tests among which objective type tests are of considerable importance.
• In testing performance of students focus should be on what and how much the student knows, not on what he does not know. Scoring should be objective and transparent.
• The evaluation should be treated, not as the end, but only as the means, since the purpose of evaluation is to aid education/leaming in achieving its primary goals.
• Oral testing should be given a suitable place in the system of evaluation.
• Evaluation should be in parts and not at one stroke.
• There is great need for reform and improvement in the question papers employed in the prevailing system.
• The questions should be so designed that the child is stimulated to think for himself seeking for the answers. Questions to test higher abilities should be included.
• Evaluation needs to be diagnostic, comprehensive and continuous. Stress should be on performance in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas.
Keeping the above points in consideration, many new initiatives and trends are recently being witnessed in our evaluation system. Let us discuss the trends of evaluation in detail.
School-Based Assessment
School-Based Assessment (SBA) is a type of evaluation that is performed at the school level by teachers. Unlike external board examination, SBA is performed internally as per the schedule set by the school and in compliance with the board guidelines. The main features of SBA are that it is child-centred and multidimensional.
The following are some other features of SBA:
► It focuses mainly on the positive learning and development of children.
► It is multidimensional in nature as it triggers the overall development of children, such as social, physical, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
► Teachers have full authority to evaluate children and there is no interference of any external agency.
► It is more transparent in nature as children can know what they have done during the examinations.
► It provides a fair idea to teachers about what children have learnt, how they learn, what difficulties they face, what their interests are, etc.
Need For Effective SBA
The traditional evaluation system, i.e. external board examinations, suffers from various drawbacks. The major drawback is that it assesses only the scholastic areas of learning and not the capabilities of children. Moreover, the traditional system does not take into consideration the improvement aspect of children’s learning.
All these shortcomings of the system can be overcome by an effective SBA, which eliminates subjectivity and the chance element in learning. SBA focuses on continuously developing the skills and competencies of children. It also lays emphasis on diagnosing children’s skills and taking remedial measures. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)
CCE is a type of school-based assessment that focuses on the development of both scholastic and co-scholastic areas of children’s learning. Scholastic areas are related to the intellectual development of children and involve curricular subjects, assignments, project work, etc. Co-scholastic areas, on the other hand, involve psychomotor skills, physical development, life skills, attitudes and so on.
The main objective of CCE is to improve the ongoing teaching-learning process by identifying learning gaps and providing an honest feedback. CCE considers assessment a means of motivating children in further programmes. In India, CCE has been introduced at the secondary level in schools affiliated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Generally, each term has two formative assessments and one summative assessment in each subject.
Formative assessment involves monitoring the progress of children through class work, homework, oral questions, quizzes, projects and assignments. Summative assessment, on the other hand, is conducted at the end of the session to gauge children’s understanding. The following are the important features of CCE:
► It helps a teacher to formulate best teaching practices as per the needs of children.
► It helps children to develop good study habits, correct errors and direct their activities towards the achievement of the desired goals.
► It helps in identifying the areas of aptitude and instructions.

Formulating Appropriate Questions

Classroom assessment is the process of evaluation conducted by teachers to design, gather, interpret and apply information regarding the progress of children’s learning.
This helps teachers to make educational decisions as per the needs of children. The following are the steps performed in classroom assessment:
1. In the first step, the teacher defines the purpose of assessment. This purpose can be diagnostic, formative or summative. Diagnostic purpose of assessment involves identifying the difficulties faced by children during learning. Formative purpose of assessment lays emphasis on collecting information for providing continuous feedback to children. Summative assessment involves gauging children’s progress at a particular point in time.
2. The next step is to gauge children’s learning using tests, surveys, observations or interviews.
3. This step involves assessing the data used for gauging children’s learning in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of children. Based on the assessment of data, the teacher makes interpretations.
4. In this step, the teacher applies the interpretations to accomplish the purpose of assessment defined in the first step. Classroom assessment can be successful if the questions put up in assessment tests are relevant to the subject and well-designed. There are various formats of questions asked in the assessment. Let us discuss some of the formats.
Selected Response Formats
In selected response questions, children need to choose a response mentioned by the teacher or the developer of the test. In these questions, children are not required to construct answers in their own words. Examples of selected response formats include multiple choice, interpretive exercises, matching, true-false, checklists, alternate choice, etc. Let us discuss some of these selected response formats in detail.
► Multiple-choice questions: A multiple-choice question has a statement, generally called stem, with some answer choices (called distractors). Distractors are generally four in number. The following are the guidelines for forming multiple-choice questions:
► Distractors should be plausible and homogeneous.
► Answer choices should be of similar length.
► Distractors should be arranged in a logical order.
► Options like ‘All of the above’ and ‘None of the above’ should be avoided.
► Matching: Matching items have two lists of words, phrases or images. Children are required to review both the lists and match each premises with the right response.
Similar to multiple-choice questions, answer choices of matching items should be homogenous and arranged in a logical order.
► True/false: True/false items contain two statements. One is wrong and the other is right. Children are required to choose true and false statements. The reliability of true/false questions is not generally very high as the responses are based on guesses.
Constructed Response Formats
Constructed response questions require short-or essay-type answers. Responses can be limited to the number of words or the space provided on the answer sheet.
Constructed response questions are useful for assessing factual knowledge and basic comprehension. These questions are scored by a judge either using norm referencing or criterion-referenced scoring procedure. In norm referencing, the instructor compares the quality of responses provided by a child to a reference group and assigns the score accordingly. Criterion-reference scoring, on the other hand, involves comparing a child’s score with the degree to which the child has shown the achievement of specific knowledge or skills.
Advantages and Limitations of Test Formats
There are certain advantages and drawbacks associated with every type of test format. Thus, it is important for a teacher to be careful while choosing a particular question format. Let us now compare the advantages and limitations of selected and constructed response formats.
► Selected response questions are selected when teachers have less time to assign scores as they can be graded faster as compared to constructed response questions.
► Selected response questions are preferred when the goal is to gauge the basic level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. On the other hand, constructed response questions are selected to measure the advanced level of the Bloom’s Taxonomy.
► Selected response questions are considered to produce more consistent scores as compared to constructed response questions.
► Teachers require less time to prepare constructed response questions as compared to selected response questions. This is because selected response questions require well-designed answer choices.
► Constructed response questions focus on the recapitulation of previously gained information and the demonstration of the skills learnt, while selected response items focus on mental recognition.
Comparing Classroom Assessment And Traditional External Assessment
Classroom assessment is often compared with external assessment with an aim to identify its advantages and loopholes. External assessment helps in evaluating the performance of children at a broader level without any bias. Classroom assessment, on the other hand, is used to determine whether the children have learnt the required skills. Therefore, classroom assessments are based on specific curriculum and instruction. Classroom assessment is an ongoing process; thus, children’s performance is measured on a continuous basis.
In the external assessment, preparation of items requires thorough development and research. In classroom assessment, on the other hand, teachers develop their own items followed by textbooks. External tests are conducted once or twice a year, while classroom tests can be conducted more frequently as per the needs of children and teachers

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