New Models of Assessment
Our projects on assessment are exploring new ways to capture compelling forms of learning that are missed by current methods of assessment.
Informal learning can provide a host of intuitively compelling experiences. However, many of the cognitive or socio-emotional impacts of informal learning cannot be easily quantified, and most current assessments are a mismatch for the designed intent of these experiences. Filling out a survey or taking a test is not fun.
We are developing and testing new methods of assessment that are fun (hopefully) to complete and that capture whether informal experiences, such as games, after-school programs, and museum experiences, are preparing students for future learning. For youth, we take it that a major goal of informal experiences is to ignite interests and develop experiential knowledge or learning skills that can cash out later when opportunities arise. Our assessments aim to detect whether informal experiences are accomplishing these goals and thereby provide designers and developers a behaviorally-based form of feedback for improvement.
- Arena, D. A., & Schwartz, D. L. (2013). Experience and explanation: Using videogames to prepare students for formal instruction in statistics. Journal of Science Education and Technology.