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Makayla CsencsitsComm 2June 14, 2020Alternative Assessments Show A Student’s Abilities Better Than Standardized TestsDiane Ravitch once said, “Sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds.” There are many other ways to check student understanding and abilities rather than using standardized testing. Some of these alternative assessments are games, one on one interviews, presentations, and portfolios. Steve Wheeler, an educator and researcher from England believes children do not learn more because of standardized testing unless there is feedback on how they can improve (2016). By using alternative assessment tools, educators can evaluate their students’ abilities more effectively. Standardized testing is used in many educational settings from inside the elementary school classroom up through college level education. Tests are primarily used for testing a student’s knowledge of a topic. These tests can vary in type from multiple-choice exams to essays. One of the biggest problems with standardized testing is that there is usually no feedback provided to the student until months later (Armstrong, 2013). Because students do not know what topics they did not understand, they can not learn from their mistakes and improve for next time. Another problem with standardized testing is that most teachers are teaching to the test, meaning they only cover information that will be on the test (Pope, 2019). Because of this, students may be missing out on interesting facts or other information that may help in their development, since there is no incentive or time to teach the information if it will not be on the
exam. This challenge can lead to another problem, boredom of students inside the classroom. Since students are being taught about topics primarily relating to the exam, many teachers do nothave the freedom to teach topics in a fun way by adding new material (Moyer & Lee, 1992). Finally, when using standardized tests, a student may have simply memorized the fact or formulato get through the test when they may not have fully understood the material at all. This provides a fallsense of understanding for the student, their parents, and the teacher. Alternative assessments allow for students to demonstrate their understanding in an open-ended way. One way to test student knowledge is to play games as a class. Games can showcase children's learning, especially in some of the core subjects such as math, science and literacy (Wheeler, 2016). Games are fun and keepsthe students engaged in learning. They also develop reasoning and problem-solving skills inside and outside the classroom. By using games, students