Although alternative literacy assessments have been part of the educational system for many years, it is only recently that these forms of assessment have been associated with an assessment reform movement. Central to this movement is the belief that these assessments will provide better opportunities to measure complex tasks in a contextualized setting, provide teachers with knowledge about students’ literacy strengths and weaknesses that can be used to guide instruction, and encourage greater educational equity for all students. This article reviews classroom-based studies on alternative literacy assessment with respect to these purported benefits. Findings from the review suggest that alternative assessments in some cases tapped elements of the reading process that are more difficult to assess through traditional testing practices and created an impetus for some teachers to explore certain instructional issues. Although the findings on reading process and instruction are encouraging, there is little information on the impact of alternative assessments on culturally and linguistically diverse students.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (miscellaneous)