Posted in Graduate Studies

Objective Assessments


Are tests the only objective assessment of student learning?

“If assessment is to be a positive force in education, it must be implemented properly. It cannot be used to merely sort students or to criticize education. Its goals must be to improve education. Rather than ‘teach to the test,’ we must ‘test what we teach.'” -Lockwood and McLean defines objective as: “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased” and assessment as “the act of assessing; appraisal; evaluation.”

My test taking sense causes me to immediately respond in the negative to the question that opens this post. Are tests the ONLY objective assessment of student learning? No. There are many other forms to objectively assess student learning.

For example, students can be assessed without bias and based on facts by completing performance tasks, creating and maintaining portfolios (electronic or otherwise), creating and presenting demonstrations, and via teacher observation.

While reading and reflecting on this topic, I encountered this wonderful infographic on Edudemic:


So again, are tests the ONLY objective assessment of student learning? No.  They are one of many different types of assessment and are designed in a plethora of ways with and without technology. I believe in order for any assessment to be objective and without bias that they should be more than your typical standardized test. I am glad to see the shift away from our massive state standardized test and toward the current computerized SBAC assessment (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium). I have only seen it once with my last class because it is new, but it is more than your typical “test” and is made up of a variety of question types, ranging from multiple choice, to free response, to performance task. While tests are often the assessment used to assess student learning, they are not the ONLY objective way to evaluate student learning.

(GCU TEC 538 – Reflective Blog Post #4)


Wife, mother, National Board Certified Teacher, doctoral student researching the learner centered teaching practices of fully online K-12 teachers, Elementary Assistant Principal and dog lover. Passionate about educational technology, academic innovation, and redesigning the American educational system.

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