Another good idea when developing assessment questions is to make them “authentic to not just the world, but to the students, as well,” said McTighe.
One example can be seen in this question developed for mathematics:
One rubric, developed by McTighe, can help with developing process-focused questions, as it reminds teachers to develop multiple evaluation and communication methods:
Advice to remember
“Something I always tell educators to remember are the three stages of universal backward design (ubd),” noted McTighe, “and those are: 1. Identify desired results; 2. Determine acceptable evidence; and 3. Plan learning experiences and instruction.”
One way to test your assessment is to measure the desired results by creating a ubd planning template, he said. To create the template, outline the goal of the assessment and on a separate piece of paper outline the performance tasks student will complete to reach the goal of the assessment.
Next, mix up the pieces of paper with the performance tasks and try to identify the goal of the tasks simply by reading the tasks.
“If you can’t identify which goal the tasks are trying to accomplish, the tasks are not appropriate and the assessment probably won’t work,” said McTighe. “This is called checking your assessment alignment.”
Another piece of advice from McTighe is for teachers to list only the concepts they plan to directly teach and assess.
“Don’t list all the possible outcomes and all the possible assessments. Keep your goals focused and the assessments will be easier and the desired outcome more attainable.”
McTighe concluded by recognizing that not every assessment can be as complex and time-consuming as teachers would like, due to various concerns, such as preparing for state tests and meeting AYP demands.
“You definitely can’t ignore these concerns; however, practice tests shouldn’t always be multiple-choice all the time,” he said. “They should be more performance-based. And if you need a reason to spend time on these kinds of formative tests, just think: Most of the questions students end up getting wrong on standardized tests are comprehension-based/process-based and ask students to solve complex problems.”
He continued, “Developing process-based formative assessments now will help meet those school and state demands in the future.”
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