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Integrating Communication

Integrating Culture


Curriculum Planning

Knowledge Base


Assessment: Connect-Reflect...

Activity 1: Let's see how much you have now learned about performance assessment. First it is important to understand the difference between formative and summative assessment. Select the word below that best describes these examples of how student knowledge is assessed.

1. Students demonstrate their knowledge of healthy lifestyles through responding to a poll using thumbs up/thumbs down.
2. Students write or present orally a description of their own family prompted by a photograph.
3. Students create a PowerPoint game including questions and answers related to the theme studied.
4. Students draw a picture based on the description read to them by their partner.
5. Students put sentences in sequential order to form a logical story.

Personal Connection: Please copy and paste the following questions and chart into your word processor or download the word document containing the questions and chart. Then fill in the chart, answer the questions and save it for your professional development portfolio. Word Document

Decide how these types of assessment could be used to elicit language performances from students that are closer to the proficiency goals of the various levels.  Consider how to change the traditional use of each assessment type in order to provide a better bridge for students, helping them move to a more open-ended, communicative performance

Traditional Assessment Performance Assessment
1. Beginning students select the correct answers to complete isolated statements based on a vocabulary list.  
2. Students answer true or false statements.  
3. Students listen to a short paragraph and write what they hear.  
4. Students write a short paragraph in response to a question.  
5. Students translate isolated sentences.  
  1. Consider this quote: 

“The aim of assessment is primarily to educate and improve student performance, not merely to audit it.”  Grant Wiggins (1998).

If you keep this in mind as you plan your units of instruction, what specifically might you change/do to impove student performance on assessments? Provide an example of how you would need to change your end-of-unit assessment (summative) and your “in process” (formative) assessments during the unit.

  1. Change one end-of-unit assessment to provide richer evidence of students’ proficiency in using the language (vs. assessment that shows what they know about the language). What do you anticipate would be different in terms of what you learn about student proficiency as a result of this change?

Expansion: If possible, use this assessment with students and discuss their reaction to the assessment task.  What worked, what didn’t, what would make it more effective?

Next: Assessment: Expansion

© 2004 Wisconsin Association For Language Teachers
Last updated: July 25, 2006