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Gifted Students and Alternative Assessment (May 2000)

Our school system wants to use alternative assessment along with standardized tests to assess our students. What is alternative assessment and how does it differ from other concepts such as portfolio assessment?

The following list of ERIC definitions for concepts related to alternative assessment is from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation . These terms may be used as descriptors or identifiers when searching the ERIC database. Additional information on alternative assessments is available from The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, which conducts research on important topics related to K-12 educational testing.

  • Alternative Assessment (ERIC descriptor) is any form of measuring what students know and are able to do other than traditional standardized tests. Alternative forms of assessment include portfolios that are collections of students' work over time, performance-based assessments, and other means of testing students such as open-ended essays with no single correct answer, and project work that involves collaboration with peers.

  • Authentic Assessment (ERIC Identifier). Student assessment in which knowledges and skills are measured using the real world environment, rather than standardized tests.

  • Informal Assessment (ERIC Descriptor). Appraisal of an individual or group's status or growth by means other than standardized instruments. (Term dates officially to 1977.)

  • Performance Based Evaluation. No official working definition in ERIC; however, the best definition that we can locate is from the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress (1992): Performance Assessment is testing that requires a student to create an answer or a product that demonstrates his or her knowledge or skills.

  • Portfolio Assessment (ERIC Descriptor). Systematic collection of a student's work samples, records of observation, test results, etc., over a period of time for the purpose of evaluating student growth and achievement - used occasionally with populations other than students. (Term dates officially from 1994.)

  • Portfolios (Background Materials) (ERIC Descriptor). Collections of records, letters of reference, work samples, etc., documenting skills, capabilities, and past experiences. (Term dates officially from 1978.)

Following are links to related Internet resources and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used



student evaluation


performance based assessment OR portfolio assessment OR alternative assessment OR authentic assessment

EJ561011 EC618317
Assessment: Shifting the Responsibility.
Carter, Claudia R.
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; v9 n2 p68-75 Win 1997-1998
Publication Type: 080; 141
Language: English
This paper describes Test Analysis, an alternative assessment method which shifts the responsibility for learning and grading to the student. Students perform a written analysis of their corrected tests, especially errors, prior to receiving a final grade. Improvements in student attitudes toward tests and performance on them are reported from using Test Analysis with gifted high school students in a calculus class.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement; *Academically Gifted; Calculus; Error Patterns; *Grading; High Schools; *Self Evaluation (Individuals); Student Attitudes; *Student Evaluation; *Student Responsibility; *Test Interpretation
Identifiers: *Alternative Assessment

EJ579550 EC620634
Will the Real Gifted Students Please Stand Up?
Fischetti, Barbara; Emanuelson, Karen; Shames, Ann
Roeper Review; v21 n2 p161-62 Dec 1998
Publication Type: 080; 141
Language: English
Eric Issue: CIJSEP1999
This article describes the gifted identification process of the Westport, Connecticut, school system. The process uses information obtained through six components: a referral form, student rating questionnaire, examples of classroom performance, parent assessment questionnaire, Otis-Lenon School Ability Tests, and performance-based assessment.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Criteria; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Intelligence Tests; *Parent Participation; *Performance Based Assessment; Questionnaires; Referral; *Student Evaluation
Identifiers: *Connecticut (Westport)

ED410736 EC305796
Reducing Disproportionate Representation of Culturally Diverse Students in Special and Gifted Education.
Artiles, Alfredo J.; Zamora-Duran, Grace (Eds.)
Council for Exceptional Children, Reston, VA. 1997
ISBN: 0-86586-297-4
104p.; Available From: Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1589.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC05 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: BOOK (010); COLLECTION (020); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Virginia
Journal Announcement: RIEJAN98
Target Audience: Practitioners
This book discusses the disproportionate representation of students from minority backgrounds in special education and gifted classes, and presents strategies that practitioners can use to better address the educational needs of all students. One chapter, "Disproportionate Representation in Gifted Programs: Best Practices for Meeting This Challenge" (James M. Patton), discusses the under representation of children from minority backgrounds in gifted education and presents alternative assessment procedures.
Descriptors: Access to Education; Classroom Communication; Cultural Differences; *Cultural Influences; *Disabilities; *Disability Identification; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Interpersonal Communication; *Minority Group Children; Performance Based Assessment; Portfolio Assessment; Special Education; Student Behavior; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; *Talent Identification
Identifiers: *Disproportionate Representation (Spec Educ)

Multiple Intelligences and Assessment: A Collection of Articles
Torff, Bruce (Ed.)
219p.; 1997
Availability: IRI Skylight Training and Publishing, Inc., 2626 S. Clearbrook Drive, Arlington Heights, IL 60005-5310; toll free telephone: 800-348-4474; e-mail: info@iriskylight.com.
Document Type: COLLECTED WORKS-GENERAL (020); BOOKS (010)
This anthology reports on the current state of teaching based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI), beginning with an introductory chapter by Bruce Torff. The first section reviews MI theory and describes alternative assessment research being done at Gardner's "Project Zero" center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Section 2 examines portfolios and other classroom projects. Section 3 describes various models.
Descriptors: *Gifted ; *Intelligence ; *Intelligence Tests; *Portfolio Assessment; *Performance Based Assessment; Elementary Secondary Education; Intelligence Differences; Educational Diagnosis; Child Psychology; Student Evaluation; Teaching Methods; Educational Psychology
Identifiers: *Multiple Intelligences; Gardner Howard

EJ549072 EC616868
The Validity of Portfolios in Predicting Performances in a Gifted Program.
Johnsen, Susan K.; Ryser, Gail R.
Journal for the Education of the Gifted, v20 n3 p253-67 Spr 1997
ISSN: 0162-3532
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJAN98
Target Audience: Researchers
This study examined the degree to which samples collected in product portfolios from 216 kindergarten through second-grade students were able to predict their successful performance in a gifted program four years later. Students whose product portfolios were in the top quarter performed significantly better on later math and reading achievement subtests, but their classroom performance was not significantly better.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Elementary Education; *Gifted; Mathematics Achievement; *Portfolio Assessment; *Prediction; Primary Education; Reading Achievement

EJ532401 EC614684
What Are Alternative Assessments?
Johnsen, Susan
Gifted Child Today Magazine, v19 n4 p12-13,49-50 Jul-Aug 1996
ISSN: 1076-2175
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJMAR97
Target Audience: Parents
This article attempts to introduce parents of gifted students to the basics of performance-based assessment, authentic assessment, and portfolio assessment. A list of suggested questions is provided for parents to ask educators in the areas of alternative assessment measures, evaluation criteria, grading guidelines, and other problematic issues.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; *Grading; *Performance Based Assessment; *Portfolio Assessment; *Student Evaluation; Student Records
Identifiers: *Alternative Assessment; Authentic Assessment

EJ527602 EC614059
Wherefore Art Thou, Multiple Intelligences? Alternative Assessments for Identifying Talent in Ethnically Diverse and Low Income Students.
Plucker, Jonathan A.; And Others
Gifted Child Quarterly, v40 n2 p81-92 Spr 1996
Special issue: World Class Standards, Alternative Assessment and Extraordinary Performance.
ISSN: 0016-9862
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC96
Target Audience: Researchers
This study evaluated the reliability and validity of a battery of instruments based on Multiple Intelligences theory, including teacher checklists and performance-based assessment activities developed for the identification of talent in culturally diverse and/or low-income kindergarten and first-grade students. Acceptable reliability but questionable validity were found.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; Check Lists; Cultural Differences; *Ethnic Groups; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted Disadvantaged; Low Income Groups; Minority Groups; *Performance Based Assessment; Primary Education; Student Evaluation; Talent Identification; *Test Reliability; *Test Validity; Theories
Identifiers: Alternative Assessment; *Multiple Intelligences

EJ527600 EC614057
Anchoring Assessment with Exemplars: Why Students and Teachers Need Models.
Wiggins, Grant
Gifted Child Quarterly, v40 n2 p66-69 Spr 1996
Special issue: World Class Standards, Alternative Assessment and Extraordinary Performance.
ISSN: 0016-9862
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC96
This essay argues for the use of examples that set a clear standard for student performance and calibration of local standards to exemplars. Four types of performance criteria are proposed: impact, process, form, and content. Examples of assessment initiatives grounded in models of excellent performance are summarized.
Descriptors: *Academic Standards; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Criteria; *Models; *Performance Based Assessment; *Student Evaluation
Identifiers: *Exemplars of Excellence

EJ511790 EC612253
Performance-Based Assessment: A Tool for Authentic Learning and Instructional Decision Making.
Rivera, Deborah B.; And Others
Gifted Child Today Magazine, v18 n5 p34-37,40,41 Sep-Oct 1995
ISSN: 1076-2175
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB96
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Performance-based assessment is recommended for gifted students. In this approach, the students participate in planning the assessment and establishing the criteria by which their work is judged. Guidelines for implementing performance-based assessment and classroom examples are offered.
Descriptors: Decision Making; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; *Performance; *Student Evaluation; Student Participation
Identifiers: *Performance Based Evaluation

EJ508308 EC611709
Introducing Parents to Portfolio Assessment: A Collaborative Effort toward Authentic Assessment.
Kingore, Bertie
Gifted Child Today Magazine, v18 n4 p12-13,40 Jul-Aug 1995
ISSN: 1076-2175
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC95
The use of a portfolio as a source of information about a student's attitudes, level of development, and growth over time can be a collaborative effort between the child and teacher and can increase parents' awareness of their child's abilities and needs. Selecting materials for the portfolio and different ways to use the portfolio are discussed.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; Evaluation Utilization; *Portfolio Assessment; Selection; Self Evaluation (Individuals); *Student Evaluation

EJ497608 EC610319
Developing Reliable and Valid Authentic Assessments for the Classroom: Is It Possible?
Ryser, Gail R.
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p62-66 Fall 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN95
The meanings of reliability and validity as they apply to standardized measures are used as a framework for applying the concepts of reliability and validity to authentic assessments. This article sees reliability as scorability and stability, whereas validity is seen as students' ability to use knowledge authentically in the field.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Reliability; Standardized Tests; *Student Evaluation; *Test Reliability; *Test Validity; *Validity
Identifiers: *Performance Based Assessment

EJ497607 EC610318
Assessment's Double Role for the Gifted.
Kress, Margaret
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p57-61 Fall 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN95
This article describes an authentic assessment approach used in English/language arts and mathematics with gifted students in Texas elementary and secondary schools, which focused on developing instructional experiences that challenge gifted students and documenting student progress over time. The use of portfolios was valuable for both instructional and assessment purposes. Staff development was emphasized.
Descriptors: *Diagnostic Teaching; Elementary Secondary Education; English; *Gifted; Inservice Teacher Education; Language Arts; Mathematics; *Portfolio Assessment; *Student Evaluation
Identifiers: *Performance Based Assessment; Texas

EJ497605 EC610316
Authentic Assessment: Reducing the Fear and Trembling.
Terry, C. Ann; Pantle, Tonya T.
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p44-51 Fall 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN95
This discussion of authentic assessment stresses that such assessment should be contextual (based on the context of meaning), collaborative (involves learners), and constructive (supports risk-taking). It compares tools designed for formative assessment including criteria checklists, "kidwatching," profiles, conferences, and portfolios.
Descriptors: Check Lists; Classroom Observation Techniques; Conferences; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Methods; *Formative Evaluation; Profiles; *Student Evaluation; Teacher Student Relationship
Identifiers: *Performance Based Assessment

EJ497603 EC610314
Productive Thinking: Toward Authentic Instruction and Assessment.
Treffinger, Donald J.
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p30-37 Fall 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN95
This paper discusses a multicomponent approach to assessment of productive thinking with gifted students. It presents a model of productive thinking encompassing creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Emphasis is on planning/profiling, instruction, evaluation, and documentation. Profiling, performance assessment, portfolios, and authentic instruction are seen as important assessment tools.
Descriptors: Creative Thinking; Critical Thinking; Decision Making; Elementary Secondary Education; *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Problem Solving; *Productive Thinking; *Student Evaluation; Thinking Skills
Identifiers: *Performance Based Assessment

EJ497602 EC610313
Authentic Assessment of Problem Solving and Giftedness in Secondary School Students.
Maker, C. June
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v6 n1 p19-29 Fall 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN95
This paper establishes a conceptual framework for assessing problem-solving abilities of gifted secondary students. Assessment procedures based on a continuum of problem types are described. Issues discussed include multiple types of intelligence, the use of multiple measures, sensitivity to individual differences, and assessment for the student's benefit.
Descriptors: *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Individual Differences; *Models; *Problem Solving; Secondary Education; Standards; Student Development; *Student Evaluation; Teaching Models
Identifiers: Multiple Intelligences; *Performance Based Assessment

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