Gerwin, D. (2014). What lies beyond the bubble? Trying out one of the stanford history education group’s new history assessments. Social Studies, 105(6), 266–273. https://doi.org/10.1080/00377996.2014.930401
This study was about trying a new social studies testing method that does more than just recall historical facts, but engages historical thinking. The researchers had a group of graduate students who received their BA with the social sciences field (history, geography, etc.) who were in the certification program to get their license to teach 7-12 grade, and had not yet completed a practicum. The students were given a poster of the play “Battle Hymn” from 1936 that was about the abolitionist John Brown who tried to start a slave revolt in 1859 in Virginia. The students were then asked three questions, the first was asked when the play was written. The second asked the students to choose 2 of 4 facts given to them that would help explain why the authors wrote the play. The last question was an open-ended response that related to the second question, “Fact # __ might help explain why the authors wrote this play because…” and then gives the students 7 lines for their response. The researchers found that this assessment technique gave a better representation of student knowledge than a multiple-choice exam, but that the scoring rubric for it was too literal, and needed to be re-examined. I think this is relevant to my field and to my topic because it tests out a new kind of performance assessment. It assesses multiple levels of cognitive thinking. This assessment gives a document and has students make inferences based on that document, but is not an in-class essay, which many social studies performance assessments wind up leaning towards.
Kon, J. H., & Martin-Kniep, G. O. (1992). Students’ geographic knowledge and skills in different kinds of tests: Multiple-choice versus performance assessment. Social Education, 56(2), 95–98.
This study researched if performance assessments or multiple-choice assessments were better. The researchers gave three different performance tests and one thirty-six question multiple-choice test. These assessments were given to thirteen world history classes of 6 teachers with 9th and 10th grade students in northern California. The schools were chosen by geographic and socioeconomic diversity and by the teachers’ interest for geographic education and using alternative assessment methods. The results showed that performance assessments are a viable alternative to traditional multiple-choice testing. The performance tests offered students a chance to use higher-ordered thinking skills, are reliable, and are a better representation of student knowledge and comprehension. The researchers concluded that in their discussion that performance testing should be used more often multiple-choice. All of the teachers that administered the test had positive feedback for the performance testing and thought that they were more relevant and desirable for students. I think that this study is important to my topic and my endorsement area because it examines performance and multiple-choice assessments side by side to see which one works better, and they do find that the performance is just a good if not better than the multiple-choice. This is the first study that I have found does this comparison. I think it is very informative to see the two analyzed together, and shows the usefulness of performance testing compared to multiple-choice.