Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessments in the College Classroom
This last semester, I started a new part-time teaching job at a community college near my house. It’s been a semester of discovery. I’ve taught at a small state school before, and for the last five and a half years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching at a private denominational college. A community college is not the same thing at all. I won’t delve into all the reasons, but one of the biggest is the diverse set of needs and abilities that are present in my classroom. I asked my adjunct faculty dean for some advice, and he recommended this book. If you are an instructor or have one in your life, I’d also like to put this book in your hands.
Beyond Tests and Quizzes explores assessment, not merely as a theory, but as a practice across all disciplines and ability levels. There are many chapters that provide exemplary kinds of assessment that would work in several fields. There are charts and samples, so that you can model your assessment on the authors’. And they provide a bibliography that could help you with your own research if you’re looking to keep reading.
I liked this book, because it was practical and theoretical at the same time. Because I needed some refreshing on the theory of assessment–that is, what it is and what it does–it was good practice to have that background. And because I am looking to to change up my pedagogical practice, I was glad to have other professors walk me through their modes of testing/assessment/final exams. I implemented a final exam portfolio which was fairly successful, but I believe I can hone the proficiency even further throughout the semester.