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Dynamic Multiple Assessment: An Instructional Method That Captures The Symbiosis Of Assessment And Instruction

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.239.1 - 5.239.12



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Paper Authors

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Tamara Balac

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Daniel M. Gaines

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Session 2793

Dynamic Multiple Assessment: An Instructional Method that Captures the Symbiosis of Assessment and Instruction

Tamara Balac, Daniel M. Gaines Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department Vanderbilt University


Standard instruction does not typically make effective use of assessment to improve instruction. Assessment is generally used only to assign grades to students, and no feedback is used to inform instruction. As a consequence, students may develop multiple misconceptions and receive no deep understanding of the domain. Furthermore, even when there is some assessment of the instructional methods provided by the teacher, it is separate from the curriculum. Our approach to using computers and multimedia in education addresses these issues by providing a symbiosis of assessment and instruction. We use a dynamic kind of assessment to assess the whole instructional process (not only the student, like most assessments do) and to inform instruction. We also use instruction to inform our assessment tools, hence the mutual codependence (or symbiosis) of assessment and instruction. We call the approach Dynamic Multiple Assessment (DMA) method because it dynamically assesses the student, the domain, and the instructional tools (or the teacher, indirectly). DMA adapts instruction not only to the student’s level of domain knowledge, but also to their understanding of the domain, and their individual learning characteristics and preferences. DMA also gathers important information about the domain concepts, misconception harmfulness and removability, as well as the effectiveness of the instructional tools used in instruction. We implement DMA as a multimedia environment that consists of a palette of assessment and instructional tools organized to support DMA. We use multiple instructional techniques to teach concepts and promote transfer, and assess these techniques as a part of the curriculum. Furthermore, the environment serves as a powerful teacher’s assistant, organizer and communicator of knowledge, as well as an interactive platform for our approach. In this paper we illustrate the DMA method by describing a suite of multimedia assessment and instructional tools designed to teach AC (Alternating Current) concepts.

1 Introduction

Computer technology and multimedia have the potential for increasing the quality of education. However, in order to be effective, these tools must be used appropriately. One of the major challenges is to develop instructional methods that can adapt to students' learning characteristics. This has been a limitation in many Computer-Aided Instructional (CAI) tools, other forms of computer resources (e.g. CD-ROM

Balac, T., & Gaines, D. M. (2000, June), Dynamic Multiple Assessment: An Instructional Method That Captures The Symbiosis Of Assessment And Instruction Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8318

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