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eachers have started to moveaway rom multiple choice examsand towards alternative testingmethods, said Bruce Frey, Univer-sity associate proessor in psychol-ogy and research in education andthe author o “Modern ClassroomAssessment.” In the past, mosttests were given in traditional pa-per-and-pencil ormats, but many other methods have started to be-come more popular among teach-ers.Frey said one reason or this shiis that multiple choice tests don’tshow how students can apply class-room knowledge to an actual liesituation.“So many o the ways that wetest and assess students in class are very articial, and are things thatwe wouldn’t see outside o a class-room,” Frey said. “In real lie, whenpeople are evaluated on their skillsor perormance, it’s not going to beon a multiple choice test.”Tis issue can be addressed with“authentic assessments,” which isone alternative method o testingdiscussed in Frey’s book. Whilethere are many diferent denitionso authentic assessments, Frey saidthat they essentially test the stu-dent’s skills and abilities past basicclassroom knowledge.Tis could be done in many di-erent ways,depending onthe subjectarea. Studentscould write anessay, perorma task, create aproject or com-plete any otherassessmentthat reects their ability level.Frey said the problem with thisnew test strategy is that it tendsto be very subjective and requiresthe teacher to put a lot o thoughtinto airly testing every individualstudent. In addition, it also createsa challenge or the teacher — in-structors must gure out how tobest assign point values to non-tra-ditional testing measures.Because o this, a simple multiplechoice test with points awarded oreach correctly answered questionis oen times chosen over peror-mance-based assessments in orderto objectively assign a grade oreach student. While the studentshave less o a chance to show theirpersonal skills and abilities, multi-ple choice tests are optimal or test-ing a student’s basic knowledge andgrasp o a subject, said Frey.Another concept that Frey cov-ers in his book is the “ormativeassessment.” With this type o as-sessment, students are continually evaluated on their knowledge leveland what areas they do and do notunderstand. Tis evaluation mightcome in the orm o quizzes, dis-cussions or the student personally evaluating what they understand.While these checks may not alwaysbe valued toward the student’s nalgrade in the class, they allow boththe teacher and the student to seewhat concepts need to be claried."Tis idea o requently givingmeaningul eedback during thetime that learning is orming iswell-established as efective in in-creasing learning and test peror-mance,” Frey said. "It's the only typeo assessment that's been shown toincrease learning."Another one o the modern as-sessment techniques that Frey writes about in his book is the"universal test design," which is theidea to design assessments in a way that allows each individual studentto complete them and perormwell, despite diversity.“Te ways we teach and assessshould be useul and valuable orevery single student, no matter i they have a disability, regardless o what culture they come rom, orwhat their characteristics are,” Frey said.Frey adds that as teachers ndmore ways to create these types o universal assessments, more andmore students can complete themwithout being treated diferently rom any other student.However, instructors don’t needto choose between traditional test-ing methods and newer strategies.Lauren Dollar, a junior rom Nixa,Mo., said that a balance must ex-ist between completing hands-on,skill-based tasks and testing stu-dent understanding with a tradi-tional, paper-and-pencil method.“Tere’s no way to get aroundmultiple choice tests in order totest the students’ knowledge on theacts and theories that they learnedabout,” Dollar said. “As a teacher,in order to see where the studentis and how they’re progressing, youneed a comparison to see i they’reprogressing rom where they wereat the beginning.”Dollar recently applied to theSchool o Education and oundthat through school observations,she could make strong connectionsbetween what she read about in hertextbooks and how to realistically apply that knowledge when she’sinteracting with students.“You have to have the real-worldexperience, and you also have tocome back to the classroom andlearn why it works and how itworks,” Dollar said.
— Edited by Kayla Overbey
New testing methods embrace student diversity
Facing Genocide and its Atermath:“Cartographies o the Holocaust and Genocide”
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hall Center, Seminar Room
Alberto Giordano, rom Texas State Uni-versity at San Marcos, will speak at a seminaropen to aculty, sta and graduate students.
KU Common Book: An evening withauthor Timothy Egan
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
In a ree event, Timothy Egan, author othe 2013-14 KU Common Book will speak abouthis experience writing “The Worst Hard Time,”as well as take questions rom the audience. Abook signing will ollow the event.
Refecting Forward: Jazz Artists throughOral History
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Watson Library, Room 455
Coee and conversation with MaxineGordon. Part o American Studies’ celebrationo 60 years at the University.
The Museum Collection Across theCurriculum: Lives o Buddhist Artiacts
Noon to 1 p.m.
Spencer Museum o Art
In this ree event, religious studiesproessor Daniel Stevenson discusses theways in which Buddhist images and objectsound their way into the lives o Buddhistclergy and institutions, ollowers o Buddhismand vernacular culture.
Spencer Museum o Art
Beadwork activities representingArican and Native American cultures
Fables on Global Warming
Lied Center o Perorming Arts
Musical art perormance discussingsustainability through traditional animalables.
Study says smarter kids usedrugs, alcohol more often
YU KYUNG LEE
“In real lie, when peopleare evaluated on theirskills or perormance, it’snot going to be on a multi-ple choice test.”
BRUCE FREYUniversity associate proessor