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Criteria and Standards for Assessment

Criteria and standards for assessment need to be determined before an appropriate assessment can be developed and implemented. (Sandoe, 2005). Developing critical thinking skills is the goal for educators and alternative assessment is a tool to achieve this goal. As a process, critical thinking involves adults in recognizing and researching the assumptions that undergird their thoughts and actions (Brookfield, 1987). Critical thinking skills allow adults to make choices when evaluating knowledge and thoughts of others.Adult students need to know what is expected of them in order to do what is needed to learn. They also need to feel the learning will benefit them in some way. Teachers need to know how they are going to evaluate the students. Standards should be set to inspire students to grow and learn. Standards should not be set too high as to discourage the student or to low to impede learning. Criteria are to determine what steps are taken to meet the standards. Students and teachers at the University of Phoenix use rubrics as an assessment tool. The rubric lets the student know exactly what is expected of them. It shows the teacher precisely what the student has achieved. As an assessment tool, the rubric demonstrates to the student and the teacher areas of improvement. This improvement may need to take place with the student or the content of instruction may have to change.A rubric is an assessment tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or what counts (for example, purpose, organization, details, voice, and mechanics often are what count in a written essay) and articulates gradations of quality for each criterion, from excellent to poor. (Andrade,2001). Rubrics must be carefully constructed to be clear and concise for the student and the teacher in order to be fair. Rubrics can be changed during or after a course of instruction.Whether we teach elementary school or graduate students, rubrics orient us toward our goals as teachers. We use them to clarify our learning goals, design instruction that addresses those goals, communicate the goals to students, guide our feedback on students progress toward the goals, and judge final products in terms of the degree to which the goals were met. (Andrade, 2001).Standardized and norm-referenced tests are traditionally used to assess students and courses of instruction. Standard tests can be affective if used properly. They can be used to develop statistics to compare many students. Once the students are compared, corrective measures can be put in place to get all students up to speed. Unfortunately, abuses and mistakes can be made to make these tests invalid. They may also be irrelevant to the student and other shareholders and instructors may just form their instruction around the tests.Andre, H. (2000). Teaching with rubrics. The good, the bad, and the ugly. College Teaching. (Vol. 53-1).Brookfield S. (1987) Developing Critical Thinkers. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Sandoe C. (2005) University of Phoenix Materials

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