The Effects of Hands-On Experience On Students' Preferences for Assessment Methods

January/February 2008

Source:  Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 1, 69-88 (2008)

This study investigates the effects of student teachers' hands-on experience with evaluation on their preferences for assessment methods. A course on child development within the 1st year of the elementary teacher education program provides the quasi-experimental learning/teaching setting. Five research conditions are linked to four assessment modes, namely, portfolio, case-based, peer assessment, and multiple-choice evaluations.

Data collection was obtained by questionnaires, adopting a longitudinal design that involves three moments of measurement. Results show initially negative responses to unknown assessment methods. As familiarity with the assessment tool grew, student teachers' preferences changed positively. Although the extent differs, every assessment method benefited significantly from the teacher candidates' experience with the format during the course. Moreover, student teachers' perceptions of the appropriateness of the assessment method for evaluation purposes are congruent with their preferences.

Consequently, to change student teachers' preferences for unknown assessment methods, hands-on experiences are fundamental and need to be positive. Results are particularly encouraging for teacher education instructors who use a variety of assessment modes.

Updated: Jan. 22, 2008