Objectivity in grading is essential to a trusting, legitimate learning environment. Teachers should not show favoritism or leniency to certain students. Are tests the only truly objective assessment? Absolutely not!
Tests. What are tests? “Tests” in the traditional sense of the word consist of multiple-choice, true-false: selected response. A better term that encompasses the modern definition would be assessment. Assessment can include any type of formative or summative evaluation of student work. The key to making any assessment objective is a clear and well-defined rubric.
A rubric, which can easily be created with free online tools like Rubistar, is essential to objective assessment. Clearly defined expectations and multiple data points allow for as objective of an assessment as any type, and repetition and clarity lead to the smallest margin of error in the actual assessment.
Assessment is used daily in the world outside of the classroom. CEOs assess how their employees are performing, mechanics assess cars, insurence agents assess property values, and doctors assess patients. None of these professionals sits down with a paper and pencil test to get their results, yet they are expected to be objective. Below, you will find a video clip that demonstrates the use of objective assessment in the medical field.
Introduction to Evidence-Based Assessment: Developing an EBA Model for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder from Steve Hughes on Vimeo.
To view different types of assessments, their advantages, disadvantages, and how to incorporate technology with each, visit: http://www.wix.com/pg1936/assessment-website#!page-24/vstc2=about-purple-team