Alternative Forms of Assessment
Alternative assessment can include any type of assessment that students create
a response to a question rather than choose a response from a given list (e.g.,
multiplechoice, true/false, or matching). Alternative assessments can include
short answer questions, essays, performances, oral presentations,
demonstrations, exhibitions, and portfolios.
The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM
l989, p. l9l).make the following general recommendations for changing student
assessment:
Increased Attention 
Decreased Attention 
 Assessing what students know and how they think
 Having assessment be an integral part of teaching
 Focusing on a broad range or mathematical tasks and taking a holistic
view of mathematics
 Developing problem situations that require the application of a number
of mathematical ideas
 Using multiple assessment techniques, including written, oral, and
demonstration formats
 Using calculators, computers, and manipulatives in assessment

 Assessing what students do not know about mathematics
 Having assessment to be simply counting correct answers on tests for
the sole purpose of assigning grades
 Focusing on a large number of specific and isolated skills
 Using exercises or word problems requiring only one or two skills
 Using only written tests
 Excluding calculators, computers, and manipulatives from the assessment
process

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