Meaningless Assessments and Technology

As I look back at many of my assessments, I realize that they were meaningless. I had students act out scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and create PowerPoints about the characters’ routes, The students generally enjoyed these assessments and spend much time on them. I had them take quizzes on what happened in each scene. However, I did not assess anything critical such as their deep comprehension of the play, their ability to discuss major themes in the plays, or their analysis of how the play compared to other literature we read. My unit tests were “who did what” lower level tests.

No matter how good the technology I was using, I was using it for lower level thinking. I was assessing the non-critical aspects of the the play. The assessments were truly meaningless and technology’s role was reduced to a meaningless role.

How do you use technology for meaningful assessments?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

4 Responses to “Meaningless Assessments and Technology”

  1. 1 realstrings May 6, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Assessment of surface level learning is still useful and what technology helps to do is enliven this and make the marking/feedback process more efficient – hopefully leaving more time for both the teacher and the student to concentrate on deeper learning. Bloom’s taxonomy still has a bottom to it! So, yes, I do still use simple quizzes and and practice exercises (
    But I have also found technology can help enliven and streamline deeper learning where more analysis and synthesis is required. Technology is used to present the subject matter more appropriately and used to capture students’ own creative work (audio and video) for peer, self and formal assessment. These examples are in our college Moodle area. ePortfolios have also made a positive impact on learning – students like the reliability, ease of use/storage, caring and sharing (social/community) and the way an ePortfolio can be built up gradually wth regular interim feedback.
    I remember in my early days of playing with learning technologies I put a lot of effort into simple exercises ( then had to admit to myself that getting excited about this as a learning experience was a bit like teaching English and never getting further than spelling and grammar.

  2. 2 hgtuttle May 8, 2007 at 10:53 am

    I agree the real key is to concentrate on deeper learning through the power of technology. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case in many classes in terms of instruction and even less in terms of assessment.

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  1. 1 elearning for music » Blog Archive » Technology for assessment Trackback on May 6, 2007 at 8:01 am

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