Open-ended assessments



Open-ended assessment encourages students to be creative and use higher-order thinking. This requires students to problem solve, organize and identify patterns.  Significant improvement in students self-confidence and willingness to share their thinking with others is a major benefit of this form of assessment. Allowing a student to take pride in their opinion and to feel a sense of accomplishment when they are able to successfully describe why and what they feel and know.


As mentioned in the article, starting to use open-ended assessment items with their students is often difficult for teachers because creating items that meet these criteria is both challenging and time-consuming. Complications with this type of assessment also includes the learners. Kathy Lawrence, one of the authors of this article, mentions getting started doesn’t begin with passing out work sheets. Open- ended items almost always ask students to explain the reasoning behind their responses. Her students had seldom been asked to explain themselves in mathematics, so at first they did not understand what explaining their thinking meant.


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