Writing about the various terms used to describe e-assessment made me realise just how littered with adjectives the whole area of assessment is.
We have formative, summative, thresholded and diagnostic assessment.
We have peer assessment and self assessment, and when you’re assessing yourself against previous performance, the assessment becomes ipsative.
We want assessment to be authentic and sustainable and Stephen Draper has recently defined catalytic assessment where the ‘purpose of test questions is to trigger subsequent deep learning without direct teaching input’.
Assessment has been described as convergent (one correct answer is required) or divergent (the answer depends on opinion or analysis); quantitative (a bit like convergent?) or qualitative (a bit like divergent?). At this point my understanding of the subtleties is probably somewhat flawed.
Assessment experts usually seem to think that convergent is better than divergent and that quantitative is better than divergent. Objective assessment gets a particularly bad press…
And so we come full-circle to the hate it/love it field of online, technology-enabled, computer-assisted, electronic assessment.
…and I could go on…
How about setting it all to music? Is there a modern-day Gilbert & Sullivan or a Flanders & Swann of assessment out there?
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