A Concise Guide to Assessing Skill and Knowledge

With Music Achievement as a Model

Darrel Walters

© 2010 GIA.

Item #: G-7883     Status: Available

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Series: Assessment


Imagine all teachers starting their education by learning basic principles of assessment. Maybe no other course has such a sensible argument for inclusion in the first year of the curriculum. During the next four years, while ruminating over teaching methods, techniques, objectives, lesson plans, and the other components of teacher preparation, prospective teachers would filter everything through concrete notions of how they might gauge progress—theirs and their students'.  What a strategy! One might liken it to equipping hikers with compasses before sending them into the woods.
—Darrel Walters
from the Prologue

This guide is designed to give you quantitative tools that will help you assess what and how much your students are learning—with examples taken from music achievement.  Intended primarily for use in an undergraduate or graduate music education curriculum, this book will be equally useful to university and secondary-school faculty from all disciplines (particularly those that are skill-based) as a guide to creating assessment tools.

This concise guide offers extensive information about creating, administering, scoring, and interpreting quantitative assessment measures across many formats, with emphasis on performance rating scales, multiple-choice tests, and essay tests. Included also are foundational components of quantitative assessment, key statistical tools, and a guide to basic analysis by use of Microsoft Excel®. Emphasis is on the underlying principle of using assessment tools to improve instruction, with an important component being the improvement of communication between instructor and students.

Included with this book is a CD-ROM containing 15 PowerPoint sessions for classroom use and home study, with corresponding narrations and slide-advance cues in an appendix. Also on the disc is a series of sample instrumental performances by elementary students for practice in using rating scales.

Darrel Walters is Professor Emeritus of Music Education at Temple University in Philadelphia.  For more than 20 years he taught assessment courses and served as an advisor to graduate students engaged in research. He has been the major advisor of more than 50 completed doctoral dissertations and masters theses. 

Categories: Guide Book, Skill Building

Number of Pages: 258

Format: Spiral