Knowledge processes - Chapter 10: Measuring Learning

Testing times

  • Write a personal narrative about the worst test experience of your life. Or interview another person. Use the assessment terminology developed in this chapter to interpret that experience.

Deconstructing evaluation

  • Locate an educational evaluation report and analyse its purposes, the means of the conduct of the evaluation and the judgement. If evaluation is a kind of argument, create a diagram that illustrates the logic model of the argument in the evaluation you are analysing. Do you consider the argument convincing in this case, or can you identify gaps in the argument?

Assessment types and assessment purposes

  • Make a list of the different forms of assessment. What purposes do these forms of assessment serve? How do they help teachers and schools meet expectations of accountability?

Education standards

  • Analyse a statement of educational ‘standards’ in your local region and in more distant sites. How are these standards framed in different (or similar) ways from traditional intelligence or knowledge-content assessments?

Testing the tests

  • Critically examine Test 6 of the US Army Alpha examination presented in the ‘Yerkes’ Intelligence Test’, to be found in the ‘Gould on the Mismeasure of Man’ section of Chapter 10 materials, at How well did you do within the three minutes allowed for the test? Now, see Yerkes’ grading instructions. Imagine some ways in which you could get the ‘wrong’ answers that were in other senses right. Remember, this test was designed for people who were not literate, many of whom were new immigrants to the United States. What language, cultural and educational assumptions are there in the test? What kinds of examinees are likely to fare better or worse in this testing environment? To what extent do the answers to the questions depend on knowledge rather than intelligence? Can knowledge and intelligence be meaningfully separated?

See: Gould on the Mismeasure of man.

Measuring learning

  • Create a three-level ‘learning measurement policy’ in which a hypothetical school explains to prospective parents the forms of educational measurement it undertakes:
    • our assessments
    • our evaluation processes
    • our school-based research.