This is another spin-off from Making Meaning, a forum started by Julie Osteen.
Sylvia Martinez talks about assessment:
"Assessment is the way that someone judged what someone else does. Tests are only one way, and a fairly narrow way. A test slams a door closed on the subject matter, when what we want to do is open doors of opportunity. Authentic assessment is a two way street, where the assessment is happening in real time, in a way that informs the student so they can correct their mistakes or misconceptions, and continue their work. In a sense, it's just talking, asking questions, and guiding. The goal of authentic assessment is that everyone succeeds - and the assessment is part of that success. Think of that - all children succeed! Instead of a bell curve where half are expected to 'fall below norm'.
Sometimes people call it formative assessment, but that word seems to have been stolen by test prep companies who apply it (wrongly) to standardized tests done multiple times.
Computers could be a huge part of this, not because they make assessment more efficient, but because they expand the options of what a child can do to create knowledge. I really disagree with the current focus on 'information' because this also diminishes the role of 'doing'. The information you can now more easily find is nothing until you let the student DO something meaningful with it.
One of the 'oldsters' who I left out was Seymour Papert, who has a TON more to say on this subject. When you read his work from the 80's, it might well have been written yesterday...
'The role that the computer can play most strongly has little to do with information. It is to give children a greater sense of empowerment, of being able to do more than they could do before. But too often, I see the computer being used to lead the child step by step through the learning process. Ivan Illich said the most important thing you learn at school is that learning only happens by being taught. This is the opposite of empowerment. What you ought to be learning at school is that you don't need to be taught in order to learn. This is not to say that the teacher is not an important part of the learning process. That teacher is, of course, the most important person there. But recognizing the importance of the teacher is very different from reducing learning to the passive side of being taught. This is the fundamental cleavage between theories of education: empowerment of the individual versus instruction and being taught.'" (discussion segment from Sylvia)
Anone want to continue along with some reactions to that?