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Practical work at the upper high school level: the evaluation of a new model of assessment

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JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
DatePublished - Jan 2001
Issue number1
Volume23
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)97-110
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper reports on a research study into the assessment of practical work at the upper high school level in Ireland. The principal aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a new assessment model for practical work, which involved the use of a visiting examiner. Data were gathered by three means: a comparative analysis of the marks obtained on the written questions and performance in the practical assessment of over 350 students in each of chemistry and physics in 30 schools; an analysis using Bloom's Taxonomy of both the existing and the new models for assessing practical abilities; and the use of questionnaires with teachers and examiners involved in the study. The main finding was that the new model provided a reliable and valid assessment of a range of practical abilities, which was also economical of time and resources. Additionally, there was evidence of benefits to the examiners and teachers involved in terms of their own professional development.

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