Happy_53_tnbBefore I thought that assessment simply knows if students understand the lesson and to then give grades and teacher needs to give more attention in teaching the knowledge and skills that the school demands. Well now I realized the importance of assessment.

Assessment is a tool used in the classroom every day and its purpose is to measure a student’s mastery- knowledge or skills in a particular subject area. Assessment data shows a teacher or school administrators what the students have learned.

I remember in my reading it said that assessment drive students learning, but I think as a teacher- assessment should drive our instruction. It is important that our assessment is aligned with learning objectives and instructional activities to ensure that students are meeting and achieving the expectations.

For me formative assessment is the most significant when it comes to learning process. We must utilize formative assessments to assess where students are at. The results can direct us to our next step, if an adjustment in the instruction is needed or modify our strategies to accommodate the need of students. A periodic monitoring of student’s knowledge and determining the level of understanding will direct us to create more suitable activities.

school-clip-artI think it is important to incorporate a variety of assessments in both formative and summative assessments. Summative assessment must not just a standardized test but like formative assessment that allows students to demonstrate what they know in different ways. In this way a student who is not good in traditional assessment test type might be good at performance assessment. I think it is significant to practice more of performance assessment rather than spending too much time in factual test. Alternative assessment promotes creativity and critical thinking which the goal of education is.

I believe that effective assessment must be valid or measure what is intended, fair in giving all students an opportunity to succeed, and always give feedback to help students learn from their mistakes.

As a teacher I will continue to seek improvement in my teaching and how I assess my students. I will practice to develop my skill in writing rubric and writing better test questions. I will be more careful in assessing my students and let the assessment drives my instruction.


This picture shows how happy I am to learn so much in a short period of time. I think in taking an online course, it is our advantage if our FIC gives a variety of reading resources and study guide questions that direct our learning. I am honored once again to learn from the best. A big KOMMOL TATA (Thank you very much) Teacher Malou and to all my classmates.




Planning & Construction of Test


The way I usually construct my test is simply get questions from the book or test bank that comes with it. It’s easy to comply with all the demands of work. Now that I learned the effective way of writing different types of traditional assessment, I can able to construct my own test. I can also identify those that are poorly crafted and improve it, especially if most of my resources are from internet. I believe that teachers must have the knowledge and skills to write an effective test.

Some of the problems in traditional assessment are:

  • The test questions are often unclear or vague
  • Questions measure only factual knowledge
  • Too little feedback is provided

Let me share my notes about different types of Traditional Assessment.

Multiple Choiceimages19


  • It can be used to test all level of learners
  • Questions are adapted to wide range of content and objectives
  • Easy to administer and less time needs to complete
  • Can be easily and accurately be scored and avoid bias


  • It’s difficult and time consuming to construct
  • It’s difficult to come up with distractors

Suggestion for Writing MCT items

  • To use at least four alternatives
  • To use capital letters ( A B C D ) as response signs
  • Randomly distribute the correct answers
  • Put the alternatives in some logical order
  • Keep all the alternatives in similar format
  • Make alternatives approximately equal in length
  • Use negatively stated stems sparingly

Essay Test


  • Easy to construct
  • Allows students to demonstrate ability to be creative, express opinion
  • Students less likely to guess


  • It limits the amount of content tested
  • Time consuming to score
  • Without rubric, potentially unreliable scoring

Suggestion for Writing Essay Test Items

  • Questions must be clearly define
  • Give students an appropriate amount of time
  • Avoid the use of optional questions
  • Questions must be in different level of learning
  • Choose a scoring model
  • Prepare students to take essay test

In my opinion multiple choice and essay test are both best types of traditional assessment. I think both bring balance to the time and effort in test construction and scoring of work. I am a newbie in this area (include rubric) but I am willing to enhance my skill through continuing practice. images21

I know that it’s not just for my own sake as a teacher but it will bring an advantage to my students by giving the grades that are reliable and valid. The sample test construction that I have done probably not yet satisfying but I am open minded to accept criticism to help me improve the skill.




Clay, B. (2001, October). Is This a Trick Question? A Short Guide to Writing Effective Test Questions. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from

Reiner, C., Bothell, T., Sudweeks, R., & Wood, B. (2002). Preparing Effective Essay Questions, A Self-directed Workbook for Educators. Retrieved from

Helmenstine, M. (2001). Chemical Reactions – Types of Chemical Reactions, Chemistry. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from

Module 8: Something Good in Something Old

Traditional assessment is something that is hard to let go, just like eating rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are not satisfied eating without rice and for students a week will not be complete without any test or any form of assessment. Most common type of test that I experience during my school days are multiple choice, fill-in the blanks, true or false, and essay writing and the same type of test that I am commonly using in my science class.


There are two categories of test item- objective and subjective. Objective test items are questions that have only one correct response whereas to subjective questions, students can give their own answer and allow them to be creative. Essay writing and other performance assessment are example of subjective type assessment.

The advantages of traditional assessment are: (Objective Type)

  • Its practical (less expensive)
  • Take little time to administer
  • Fast and easy to score
  • Avoid bias in grading
  • Can handed back for immediate feedback

Because of the advantages of traditional assessment, it is more appealing to teachers like me to use it in classroom assessment but I think it is significant to consider the intended learning outcomes and the selection of assessment method is appropriate.

LearningTriangleA good traditional assessment is difficult to develop, especially if we want the test to be reliable and has high validity. Planning, writing of test items, analyzing and revision are necessary steps. I thinks that it is very important that every teacher must be skilled in developing an effective test questions because if not “Students aren’t Failing Test but Test are Failing Students” is more likely to happen.


Untitled-01I do have the same perspective as “Eric Fernandez”, using rubrics in grading the performance or products of the students give a fair evaluation. I remember back in high school, my friends usually can tell who the favorite of the teacher is. Though the other student has better work, the favorite students always have the highest grade. I don’t think my teacher use rubric in grading our essays or projects, all we knew was to do the requirements and submit it on time.

images17A teacher who is aware of or has the training in developing rubric is a merit. The issues about favoritism or being bias can be avoided and would not affect the grades of a particular student. Fairness and good quality of work from both teacher and students can be ensured.

Although I have a few years of teaching experienced, I never had a chance of creating my own rubric or developing it with students. That is because most of the book company provides a complete set of teachers’ resources, what we just need to do is to implement or use the textbooks along with learning materials that suits our students.


I am very lucky to have such brilliant FIC that really builds knowledge on our way through exploration. I am planning to have a science project this coming February as a preparation in our Education Week. This project will be my actual application which will focus on designing an alternative assessment and creating a rubric with my students. I know it’s not easy and I still have a very little knowledge and experience, but how will I learn if I won’t do it now.

Comparing Checklist, Rating Scale, and Rubric

After reading some of the materials, I am able to compare the three different tools that are used in performance assessment.

Definition  images13

Checklist – is a tool for identifying the presence or absence of conceptual knowledge, skills, or behaviors.
Rating Scales- is a tool used for assessing the performance of tasks, skill levels, procedures, process, qualities, or end products.
Rubric- is a tool that has a list of criteria and description in which inform the students what different levels of accomplishment look like.

Distinguishing Characteristicsimages14

Checklist:A checklist itemizes task descriptions in one column and provides a space beside each item in a second column to check off the completion of the task.
Rating Scales:Rating scales are similar to the checklists except that they indicate the degree of accomplishment rather than just yes or no.Rating scales list performance statements in one column and the range of accomplishment in descriptive words, with or without numbers, in other columns. These other columns form “the scale” and can indicate a range of achievement, such as from poor to excellent, never to always, beginning to exemplary, or strongly disagree to strongly agree.
Rubric:A rubric describes the differences between performances at each level in which clarify the expectation for student’s performance or products. Rubrics are not designed to compare students against each other, but to compare a student’s performance to the criteria. 

Important considerations in the Construction of a good designimages15


  • The itemized criteria for assessing a student’s achievement must be based on the expected learning outcomes.
  • State the level of success required for the checklist to be considered completed.
  • Decide on the response such as “Yes or No”, or simply have a box to be checked once the item has been completed.
  • From a procedure, process, or task description list, pick those items that are required for a good performance or product.
  • Group similar items or order them sequentially- keep as short as possible.
  • Highlight critical steps, checkpoints, or indication of success.
  • Write a clear instruction for the observer.
  • Review the task descriptions for details and clarity
  • Format the checklist.
  • Ask for feedback from other instructors before using it with students.
Rating Scales:

  • Review the learning outcome and associated criteria for success.
  • Determine the scale to use (words or words with numbers) to represent the levels of success.
  • Write a description of the meaning of each point on the scale, as needed.
  • List the categories of performance to be assessed, as needed.
  • Clearly describe each skill.
  • Arrange the skills in a logical order, if you can.
  • Highlight the critical steps, checkpoints, or indicators of success.
  • Write clear instructions for the observer.
  • Review the rating scale for details and clarity.
  • Format the scale.
  • Ask for feedback from other instructors before using it with students.

  • Review the learning outcome and associated criteria for success.
  •  Develop a list of the qualities/criteria-address a variety of intellectual, knowledge or practical competencies
  • decide the levels of performance/proficiency-achievement are described according to terms such as excellent, good, needs improvement and not yet achieved
  • Develop commentaries to describe each level of proficiency for each criterion-provides a detailed description of the defining features that should be found in the work at a particular level of mastery.
  • Arrange the skills in a logical order, if you can.
  • Write clear instructions for the observer.
  • Review the rating scale for details and clarity.
  • Format the scale.
  • Ask for feedback from other instructors before using it with students.

Usefulness- How/ Whenimages16

Checklist: (1st Stage)

  • Useful for identifying whether the key tasks in a procedure, process, or activity have been completed.
  • Best used when introducing basic skills and not about the quality of students work yet since it’s at the beginning stage
Rating Scales: (2nd Stage)

  • Useful when students are beginning to take ownership of the knowledge or skill acquired- moving on to their mastery level.
Rubric (3rd Stage)

  • When the student is ready to move on to demonstrating deeper understanding and is beginning to take charge of their own learning.
  • The purpose is not for giving grade but for assisting student’s learning by providing descriptive feedback.


Checklist:A checklist does not, however, give any indication that the students understand or have mastered the information or skill.
Rating Scales:A rating scale result or responses give little information of what was done incorrectly and how to improve it.
Rubric:Development of rubrics can be complex, time consuming and using the correct language to express performance expectation can be difficult.




Richardson, E. (2003). Scoring Performance Assessments: Checklists, Rating Scales and Rubrics. Retrieved November 4, 2013, from

British Columbia Institute of Technology (2010). Developing Checklists and Rating Scales. Retrieved November 3, 2013, from

Cheat Sheet


I’m also curious of Aries Macam’s question about open book exam; I already encountered the open book exam back in high school. I thought it was good because my note will help me to do better in the exam, but that is not what happened. Most of the important information in the exam was not in my notes, so open book exam is good for nothing…..

After the exam our teacher told us the purpose of having an open note exam, and that is to see how effective our note- taking during the discussion. My teacher gave us some helpful note taking tips and strategies that will help us to perform better on tests and to achieve higher grade.


images11I had a mind blowing experience in completing the Assignment 1 & 2; it’s really a challenging and meaningful task. I’ve been doing lesson plan every week but it’s still a challenge how to shift from traditional methods to alternative methods. I realized that it’s a challenge to every teacher how to design a meaningful task for students, as well as creating a rubric to avoid any unfair grading system.

It is true that traditional assessment is easier design and administer, but like what we have learned that traditional assessment generally focused on the cognitive skill alone. There is no evidence that students can do or apply what they have learned in a real- world setting. Students who are good in memorizing factual information and no problem in reading comprehension will most likely to excel in the exam.

Alternative assessment is an ideal method to have a clear picture of both what students know and can do, but it’s time consuming for both teachers and students. Teachers need time to design the task and develop a rubric, if the teacher will allow it student can participate in developing the rubric or criteria for evaluation. Doing this kind of assessment is far more meaningful than answering a multiple choose the questions, meaningful because students are able to really apply what they know and discover possible adjustment on how they understand the concept. Just like when I ‘m doing the assignment for alternative assessment, I used my prior knowledge in designing task and made an adjustment to accommodate new information such as working with scenarios and rubrics. For me the most challenging part and I can say that it’s my weakness is creating a rubric, because usually I just rate my students work with 1-10 and then get the equivalent percentage. But having a rubric is far more complicated, more detailed and more accurate; it really gives justice to students’ work. Most especially the experienced I had will last in a lifetime and will be used to improve my teaching method and how I assess students work.images12

All I’m saying is I had a good time in our task, challenging, meaningful and truly a good example of alternative assessment.