Student-Developed Assessment: When Students Become the Test Maker and Test Taker
Students are challenged when tasked with developing assessments. In order for students to be successful test makers, they need to know how to apply good criteria to create accurate and quality assessment tools.
How to Set Students Up For Success
Before we ask students to develop assessments, we must set them up for success. To do this well, students need to know how to develop assessment tools that meet the learning standards. One important way for students to learn how to recognize quality work is to give them different kinds of samples. Include all kinds of samples, such as scored response tests and performance assessments. The benefits from teaching students how to develop good assessment tools are endless. Students become better test makers and test takers while reinforcing the deepest understanding of expectations.
How does this work for the students?
To develop test items, students use the list of learning targets and create items they believe align to that target. They quickly see that to do this, they need to know the concept very well. To involve students in the development of performance assessments or rubrics give them weak and strong work samples and ask them to brainstorm. Have them list what makes the samples weak and strong. Students compile the list and determine the types of things that are alike. They combine the like items and then name what they think the items represent. Using the names, students create sentence descriptions revealing high, middle, and low performance. After exerting this much energy and thought, students internalize the criteria representing high quality work.