An alternative approach to assessing achievement

2016-04-27T13:31:10Z (GMT) by Ian Jones Ilyas Karadeniz
Traditional exams typically assess general achievement by testing procedural knowledge across a sample of mathematical domains. Here we explore whether achievement can be assessed by testing conceptual understanding across domains. This follows previous work in which we showed that comparative judgement, based on pairwise expert judgements of students’ work rather than rubrics and scoring, can be used to measure understanding of a specific concept (e.g. fractions). In the present study, school students (N = 197) sat open-ended tests sampling a range of concepts, and their responses were comparatively judged. Analysis supported the validity of the approach for assessing general achievement. We conclude that comparative judgement could help improve the assessment of mathematics.