Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Early Childhood Education


College of Education


Assessment is defined as "almost any form of measurement and appraisal of what students know and can do." These forms can include, but are not limited to: tests, reports, observations, and questioning. There are two main subgroups used when describing assessment: trasitional and alternative. The term traditional assessment refers to a paper and pencil based test used to determine what a student knows and can recall, i.e. the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT). The term alternative assessment refers to "almost any type of assessment other than standardized tests." (McAfee & Leong, 2-3) This subgroup can be divided into various types of alternative assessments. Alternative assessment includes, but is not limited to, observations, checklists, student portfolios, and self-evaluations. The type focused on throughout this paper is authentic assessment, with the purpose of determining whether authentic assessment requires higher-order thinking skills than traditional assessment. The main focus of the paper is to determine which test shows more about what the student knows about the intended topic.