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This is a dramatic departure from simple multiple-choice questions where student can guess the best response if they are unsure of the answer. What can teachers do to prepare students for this more rigorous form of testing?
How can teachers help students pinpoint the heart of open-ended questions to give the best response? After reading a text about a baseball-loving girl and her grandmother, you look at the questions you are to answer. Here is what you see: What does Naomi learn about Grandma Ruth?
Use details from the text to support your answer. It is illustrative of a task format thousands of students will encounter when they take that assessment in the fall of These tasks, open-ended questions as well as research simulations often described as performance assessmentsrequire students to construct their own responses rather than select them from a set of given possibilities.
And, if you are a typical student, this assessment may be the first time that you have been required to respond to a task by doing little more than filling in a bubble. Needless to say, if you are a typical student, responding successfully to such a task might prove daunting.
The skills and knowledge that underlie understanding the expectations of and writing responses to higher-level questions are not simply test-taking abilities. Rather they are skills and dispositions that apply to both demonstrating achievement on the assessments and, more importantly, to effective information processing in the 21st century.
The three main goals of this article are: Applying Close Reading to Open-Ended Assessment Tasks As of earlymost American students are not accustomed to writing extended responses for assessment questions. They might write answers to some questions in core reading materials.
In many classrooms, students do little writing in response to their reading. Most often, they construct responses, usually orally, for an immediate audience e. If a response misses the point of a text, the student gets immediate clarification and correction from the teacher or a peer.
And, whereas students in a classroom setting get a second chance for a correct response as the teacher repeats a question in a class discussion or asks for greater clarification on a written report or essay, there is no such fallback for students who miss the intent of an open-ended test task.
The lack of immediate feedback and guidance creates a major impediment to the ability of students to write responses that demonstrate what they comprehend from the text and provide support from the text for these responses. In addition, when one examines student responses to open-ended tasks, it becomes apparent that many students also do not read the questions carefully, and their responses are off target or not sufficient.
Consider this example of a constructed-response question and what specifically it requires students to do: Provide two pieces of evidence from the text that support your conclusion. Mistakes students are likely to make in answering this question have nothing to do with their comprehension of the stimulus text.
Often these mistakes reflect lack of attention to the specifics of the task and lack of completeness in responding. Common mistakes that students make in their responses include the following: They provide only one piece of evidence from the text. They provide their own ideas, but no evidence from the text.
They provide adequate evidence but no clearly stated conclusion. They fail to pay attention to the verbs in the questions. They do not make a clear connection between their conclusion and the evidence. They respond in an incomplete matter that is often difficult to understand. The first three problems indicate that close reading is a skill applicable not only to how students must read the stimulus text, but also to how they must read a question and think about what it requires them to do.
Another mistake students often make as they read assessment tasks is the failure to pay attention to the verbs in the questions.Conversations about the content of the writing pieces as well as the strategies used to produce them can provide students with crucial insights into the unique genre of open-ended question responses.
Another way teachers can help students to develop fluency in writing responses is the use of response logs for literature and learning logs with.
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The Basics of Open-ended Questions. So what are open-ended questions? Open-ended questions ask respondents to provide answers in their own words and are designed to elicit more information than is possible in a multiple choice or other closed-ended format..
Writing a good open-ended question is a tricky balancing act: It should prompt the respondents to provide useful information, but also.