The A-Z of Education: Assessment and Evaluation
In this series, I hope to guide you in acquiring the vocabulary that you need to know to be considered a competent education professional. In this article, we will discuss education vocabulary centered on assessment and evaluation.
Achievement Tests are tests used to measure knowledge in specific areas: mathematics, chemistry, social studies, etc.
Alternate Choice Tests are the most common form of objective tests. They include variations of the popular true or false format (yes/no, agree/disagree, etc.).
Assessment refers to the methods used to measure or gather information about what students have learned. This may be done formally, by requiring students to complete tasks on paper and giving grades, or informally, by assessing students based on their performance without extensive prior preparation or warning and where no grade is assigned.
Authentic Assessment refers to a type of evaluation requiring students to provide answers to real-life situations by means of critical thinking. These assessments place emphasis on problem-solving by integrating content learned in the year/period/lesson.
Bell Curve refers to a statistical distribution of measurement. Its function is to show the frequency with which a phenomenon is repeated. In this case, it will reflect the percentage of students who got each of the grades (1 to 10). A certain distribution is expected, where, the high and low range will turn out to be similar, and the majority of scores will be distributed in the center.
Completion Tests are a type of test where students are required to fill in a gapped lead sentence with a phrase, word, or number that best suits the context.
Corrective Feedback is feedback provided by an educator focused on the area where the student excelled or made a mistake.
Criterion-Referenced Tests are tests in which the students being tested are not compared to a norm-group, but rather are required to reach a predetermined standard. All students may be required to achieve an average above a certain percentage or to obtain full marks to be considered as having successfully completed the assessment. These tests are generally suited to specific testing objectives with definite outcomes.
Diagnostic Tests are designed to identify or assess learning difficulties that students may experience. Diagnostic tests are often delivered to students by professionals trained in the area of presumed difficulty.
Formative Assessment is conducted to allow a teacher to assess whether or not the instruction being given is appropriate and being understood, which may inform their decision-making with regards to learning direction.
Mean refers to the mathematical average of a group of scores, giving a value that is representative of the overall scores.
Monitoring Tests are evaluated by descriptive criteria. Monitoring is an evaluating method of the informative assessment technique.
Normal Distribution refers to a statistical data distribution pattern. Certain data, when graphed as a histogram (data on the horizontal axis, amount of data on the vertical axis), creates a bell-shaped curve known as a normal curve, or normal distribution. Normal distributions are symmetrical with one central peak at the mean (average) of the data. The contour of the curve is bell-shaped. The spread of a normal distribution is determined by the standard deviation. The smaller the standard deviation the more concentrated the data.
Norm-Group refers to the representative group that the students being tested are being ranked against comparatively. This takes place in norm-referenced testing.
Norm-Referenced Tests are tests where assessment is conducted with reference to a norm-group. These tests generally cover a broad range of topics rather than specific, defined objectives.
Objective Tests are easy to mark, as the answers are either right or wrong. Examples include multiple-choice, true or false, fill in the blank, and dictation tasks.
Performance Feedback refers to the process of providing information to learners about their progress.
Quizzes are tests that consist of three or four questions based on previous lessons.
Standard Deviation refers to how widely measured values differ from the mean value. High standard deviations imply that scores varied widely from the mean value, irrespective of what the mean value was. It is given as a numerical value.
Standardized Tests are assessments with consistent and predetermined elements, administration, and scoring.
Summative Assessment refers to testing that occurs at the end of a defined learning unit to determine whether the learning content has been adequately retained by the students. This is also referred to as an evaluation.
Validity refers to whether or not a test has content validity, i.e., if it measures the knowledge it was designed to measure.
Are there any terms that we missed?