Smarter Balanced Assessments 21

Portfolio assessment reality check.

I understand the interest in adding constructed response and performance task items to standardized exams, but I have wondered about the work involved in scoring those portions of the exams for huge numbers of students.  So I was interested to see the glimpse into scoring AP Studio Art portfolio assessments offered by Education Week this month.

Over the course of seven days 120 readers, with the help of 20 leaders and 170 assistants, rated 48,000 portfolios.

On average, a given portfolio will receive, collectively, about 10 minutes of time from reviewers. The time each reader spends evaluating the five original works of art shipped in by truck is about 40 seconds in all.

The prospect of scoring millions* of performance task items (and returning the results in weeks not months) is daunting to say the least.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out–mostly because I won’t be among the teachers roped into spending their professional development time scoring these assessments.

In the meantime, this series of Tweets has piqued my interest in an American Journal of Physics article entitled “Can free-response questions be approximated by multiple-choice equivalents?

*There are more than 19 million K-12 students in the Smarter Balanced member states.


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