This paper is from Session 5A: Assessing progress and performance with authentic and alternative assessment techniques
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 5: Assessment in statistics education

(Monday 12th, 11:00-12:30)

Contrasting cases: the “B versus C” assessment tool for activating transfer



This paper focuses on an assessment method that has been employed on exams given to education students in an applied graduate-level statistics course, but could be incorporated as a class activity or given as homework in undergraduate or graduate courses in other fields. Students review the work of two presumably competent statistical consultants labeled “B” and “C”, who have each attempted to address the same research hypothesis using the same data. After contrasting the cases, the students write letters to either consultant (or to both) who they think is in error, explaining the nature of the mistakes. Sample “B vs. C” problems are presented including descriptions of the consultants’ work and key features upon which the scoring of student answers focus. In addition to identifying theoretical underpinnings (especially Bransford & Schwartz, 1999), student reactions to this assessment method are shared.