Reflection: Checks for Understanding Magnetic Energy Matters - Section 6: Evaluate/Homework


Using an Open Response Question as a Form of Assessment

An open response question is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept by applying what they have learned content wise to a written response.  It is an opportunity for them to express the depth of their thinking and apply critical thinking skills. In addition, open response types of questions can vary in design and complexity. Open response questions can require students to compare, analyze, infer, synthesize, or problem solve.  The benefit to these kinds of questions is the depth of knowledge students can show or misconceptions about their understanding.  Teachers can analyze the student’s thinking process and provide pertinent feedback to them. In all, it is a more authentic way of assessing students thinking and check for understanding.

Open response questions can be designed in a variety of ways. It is dependent upon the content or standard a teacher is assessing.  One element to consider is the standard being assessed. Sometimes standards can be so complex that creating one question to address it is impractical; therefore, pinpointing a specific concept within a standard is more practical.  Once you determine what you are assessing. Another piece to consider is the depth of knowledge you are looking for in the response and tailoring the question that requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding.  The application of knowledge is significant in order to assess students’ thinking process.

In this lesson, I assigned an open response question related to the electromagnet activity we did in class. This question is typically on our state standardized tests, which is why I selected it.  This question asks students to apply what they learned about making an electromagnet work.  I found most of my students responses were related to the activity they performed during the lesson as they wrote about needing electricity for the electromagnet to work and described how to get the magnet to work.  Their responses reflected their understanding about electromagnets and how to create one.  

  Checks for Understanding: Open Response
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Magnetic Energy Matters

Unit 2: Structure, Function, and Properties of Matter
Lesson 19 of 19

Objective: SWBAT determine properties of materials that attract magnets.

Big Idea: Students will use electricity and a magnet to create an electromagnetic device.

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