Too many assessments to chose from!

This blog post is rather difficult for me to answer only because there are so many different assessments out there and utilized in dental hygiene school. Some work well for some students, while others seem to be even more beneficial for others. Not to mention, some assessments are more easily measurable. Overall assessments help us analyze if the students have met the program/course/weekly objectives.  I personally like multiple choice questions, short answers and psycho motor hands on skills. I think multiple choice questions are a standard assessment used starting in elementary school all way into graduate school. They are utilized in the majority of dental hygiene courses, National Board Exams, ADEX written exam,and even the Local Anesthesia written exam. It is a consistent format that the student is able to eliminate the options that are not correct and then use some critical thinking to choose the best answer.  When there are “distractions” I believe that this actually helps the students utilize critical thinking which is a CODA standard. Although I personally find short answer and essay questions difficult,  I think they are a fantastic way to evaluate if the student truly understands material. To me, true/false, matching/ multiple choice can often give the student the ability to just “guess” and get the answer correct. However, short answer and essay questions only state the question without listing the answer. Students must provide an answer and construct it them self without having to just choose the correct answer. Grading these are more difficult and take longer but as long as the questions are written with concise directions and follow a format they can be measurable.  Lastly, in dental hygiene it is important to have hands on skill evaluation assessments. Some students are “book smart” however they struggle with hand eye coordination skills. With that, they often struggle with the clinical portion of dental hygiene. It is almost impossible to be a successful dental hygienist if there are no successful clinical skills.  Although alot of evaluation tools in the clinical setting leave room for interpretation and instructor judgement, it is an integral part of dental hygiene ( GALO 308) Clinical skills are evaluated by photos and descriptions for the National Board exam and also play an important part in the ADEX clinical exam.  Grading and evaluating clinical skills involves having faculty calibration is an ongoing process.No matter what assessment is used it needs be clearly measurable and have reliability. According to GALO, classroom tests are designed so that teachers can make decisions so that teachers can make decisions about a students achievement.  Reliability and validity form the basis for all assessments.

3 thoughts on “Too many assessments to chose from!

  1. I agree that this was a difficult topic to pick which assessments are best for dental hygiene programs. You did a great job summarizing why the assessments are good and what they are good for measuring. I do agree that written/essay questions are great for establishing actual knowledge and not allowing for guessing to occur. Yes, they are difficult and time consuming to grade, but the amount of knowledge a student puts into the writing will either be there or it won’t.

  2. You bring up an excellent point-that there just can’t be one type of assessment. You can’t always assess your dental hygiene students by multiple choice exams, or written papers, or clinical skills tests. It takes a combination of different types of assessments. To really be an excellent dental hygienist it takes a multitude of complex processes. So you are right, it is hard to choose because you need so many. You are exactly right!

  3. I love how you end your paragraph with “Reliability and validity form the basis for all assessments.” Because you are exactly right!!! Like Mrs. Henry mentioned earlier, there is not one correct assessment, and a variety is needed to help the teacher see if the student understands the information given. I like the positives you give towards essay questions. Yes, we know they are more time consuming to grade, but it is some of the best evaluating the students knowledge of the course content. It helps spark the “critical thinking” mode and must answer the question with information they need to come up with! Good job =)

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