Posts Tagged ‘standardized testing’

Assessing Multiliteracies

Posted by tricialauter on July 21, 2011

As the video demonstrates, the skills that are being routinely assessed through standardized tests are not commonly transferable to successful lives after graduation. The link between what and how students are learning, how they are assessed, and what they encounter within their real lives continues to weaken. But what is actually wrong with today’s assessments? What is a better way to assess the multiliterate student?

Time for a Change

Current assessments do not reflect the social and cultural needs of the students; the skills needed in the new economy and the digital world. As discussed in earlier posts, the way one learns has changed. Work, civic and private lives have changed with the compression of time and space (New London Group, 1996). Answering multiple choice questions does not demonstrate the skills to work within a diverse setting, communicate effectively, or successfully complete a group based project. “The end result is a widening gap between the knowledge and skills students are acquiring in schools and the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the increasingly global, technology-infused, 21st century workplace…We must move from primarily measuring discrete knowledge to measuring students’ ability to think critically, examine problems, gather information, and make informed, reasoned decisions while using technology,” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007).

Assessments then, must reflect the context of learning. “Learning must form the basis of our assessment practice,” and it must “be grounded in processes that reflect current understandings of learning, literacy, and society,” (Costello, P. & Johnston, P., 2006, p. 265). For assessment to reflect the principles of multiliteracies, it must take into consideration the way a diverse student population learns, as well as the global and technological context of life. Assessments must acknowledge the multiple paths of understanding, learning, and literacy development. Read the rest of this entry »


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