Assessment in Higher Education: Issues of Access, Quality, Student Development, and Public Policy

By Samuel J. Messick | Go to book overview

The final suggestion is for student design of tests to cover learner- or examinee-generated knowledge. If you are trying to learn what I know about chemistry, biology, English, or the social sciences, why not give me the opportunity to define the domain of knowledge I think I am an expert in? Some years ago out at the Rand Corporation they were experimenting with approaches to computerbased instruction. One of the lines of investigation being pursued was selfdesigned tests whereby an examinee constructed his or her own assessment from a pool of items and assessment situations. Letting students define the boundaries of their knowledge and understanding in a subject area may be the best way of assessing their knowledge structures.

Having laid out this program of research-and-development to make assessment more responsive to human diversity, I must remind us of the point at which we began: Unless persons have had adequate educational and social opportunities to learn and develop, whatever we do in assessment is not going to help very much.


REFERENCES

Fordham S., & Ogbu J. U. ( 1986). "Black students' school success: Coping with the burden of 'acting white'." Urban Reveiw, 18, 176-206.

Gordon E. W., Allen B. A., & Armour-Thomas E. ( 1988). The development and enhancement of cognitive competence of educationally disadvantaged high school students. A Report to the Exxon Foundation.

Hamilton L. S., Nussbaum E. M., Kupermintz H., Kerkhoven J. I. M., & Snow R. E. ( 1995). "Enhancing the validity and usefulness of large-scale educational assessments: II. NELS:88 science achievement". American Edu­` cational Research Journal, 32, 555-581.

Herrnstein R., & Murray C. ( 1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press.

Kupermintz H., Ennis M. E., Hamilton L. S., Talbert J. E., & Snow R. E. ( 1995). "Enhancing the validity and usefulness of large-scale educational assessments: I. NELS:88 mathematics achievement". American Educational Research Journal, 32, 525-554.

Resnick Lauren B. ( 1987). "Learning in school and out". Educational Researcher, 16( 9), 13-20.

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