From Multiple Choices to Performance Assessment: Theory, Practice, and Strategy

Lee, Ju Ho / Ryoo, Sung-Chang / Lee, Sam-Ho

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This paper shows that heavy reliance on multiple choice questions for student assessment in Korean education has distorted human capital investment in a way that it centers only on cognitive skills that are testable through multiple choices. We conduct expert meetings with teachers and analyze performance assessment tools that are actually used by teachers to look into how and why the performance assessment, which has been implemented in Korea’s education for roughly fifteen years, has failed to take root in Korean classrooms. We found an enormous gap between institution and the classroom concerning performance assessment, which reflects the fact that policy makers, with their top-down approaches, have focused excessively on institutional changes while ignoring actual changes in classrooms. We suggest that Korea should take a bottom-up gradual approach that supports actual changes in the classroom in order to transform its assessment system from multiple choices to performance assessment.

Issue Date
KDI School of Public Policy and Management
Series Title
KDI School Working Paper 14-07
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