The Effect of Using Alternative Assessment Activities on Students' Success and Attitudes in Science and Technology Course

By Kirikkaya, Esma Bulus; Vurkaya, Gurbet | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

The Effect of Using Alternative Assessment Activities on Students' Success and Attitudes in Science and Technology Course


Kirikkaya, Esma Bulus, Vurkaya, Gurbet, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

The pre-test and post-test quasi-experimental design with control group was used in this study, in which the impact of alternative assessment activities on students' academic achievement levels and attitudes were explored by employing these activities in the unit "Electricity in Our Lives" of the Science and Technology Course. The research was carried out in three elementary schools in the city of Kocaeli, which exhibited three different levels of success in the SBS (National Level Determination Exam). The academic achievement test, which was one of the data collection tools of the study, was developed by the researchers and its reliability was found to be .85. A Likert-type scale, whose reliability was found to be .96, was employed in order to measure students' attitudes towards science. In addition, 14 alternative assessment activities were used in the study, which were developed by the researchers and composed of structural communication grid, diagnostic tree and predict-observeexplain activities. According to the findings of the research, a significant difference was found between the experimental and the control groups with respect to science attitudes and achievement in the favor of the experimental groups. A generally positive correlation was found between the mean scores that the students in the experimental group got from the activities and their achievement pre-test-post-test scores.

Key Words

Science and Technology Course, alternative Assessment Activities, Structural Communication Grid, Diagnostic Tree, Predict-Observe-Explain.

Osborne and Wittrock (1983) underlined that the knowledge a student or an individual possesses is of importance for responding new information. This opinion was based to constructivist learning approach. Brooks and Brooks (1999) suggested that the student works actively in this process to construct knowledge and that she/he has selfcontrol (cited in Hançer, 2006). In an educational environment in which students actively seek to construct knowledge, it is not enough to use only the conventional assessment approaches. Students either interpret the new situation or prefer to undertake regulations again in the event that structuring is not meaningful. (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).

Colburn (2000), effectively using the principles of the constructivist approach, makes some suggestions for the teaching of science and technology. First one is the inquiry method of the central of teaching science, second one, is to encourage collaborative learning in class, and the last one is importance of questions asked in classroom.

Alternative assessment approaches are used to assess students' knowledge and skills, and they are different from conventional methods. Alternative assessment is a philosophy and it is goal-oriented. Alternative assessment generally emerged out of a practice connected to an educational reform and of a new quest (Donovan, Larson, Stechschulte, & Taft 2002; McMillan 2001; Settlage, 2004). Stone (1990) argued that new practices and strategies are needed for the selection of a good assessment method, and underlined the importance of using alternative assessment methods instead of conventional ones.

In their studies, Herman, Aschbacher and Winters (1992) listed the common features of alternative evaluation as enabling students to do something new, to develop their higher thinking skill on the basis of comprehension, to solve problems, to take responsibility and to undertake tasks, to have a real world interaction and to make more coherent decisions, i.e. to make a better evaluation (cited in Corcoran, Dershimer, & Tichenor, 2004). In their studies, Conradie and Frith (2000) and Bol, Ross, Nunnery and Alberg (2002) maintained that the use of alternative methods would make evaluation flexible and yield positive results.

The structural communication grid (SCG) technique, which is among alternative assessment activities, is an assessment technique aiming at revealing students' cognitive structures and is composed of small boxes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effect of Using Alternative Assessment Activities on Students' Success and Attitudes in Science and Technology Course
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.