Multi-Dimensional Learning and Assessment

math test

Two major concerns I have with Mathematics teaching are:

1.  Too much time is spent in Maths classrooms on skills practice.

2.  Assessment is too heavily dependant on written, end of topic tests.

Fortunately, these concerns are well addressed in my holiday reading:

Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom: Yearbook 2011, Association of Mathematics Educators


Chapter 2 outlines the S.P.U.R. approach. The first example given is:


The 4 questions illustrate the 4 elements:



3.  USES


I quote from the text: “We suggest that each of the previous questions is an appropriate assessment item for teachers to use when students are studying decimals. Each provides different insight into what students know about the concept. Together, they provide a more robust view of students’ depth of understanding than would be obtained from an individual item”.

My new years resolution is to use a wide range of teaching and assessment methods this year. Hence I am looking forward to reading these chapters:

Chap 2:  Using a Multi-Dimensional Approach to Understanding to Assess Students’ Mathematical Knowledge

Chap 3:  Assessing Problem Solving in the Mathematics Curriculum: A New Approach

Chap 4:  Assessing Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics with Concept Mapping

Chap 5:  Using Journal Writing to Empower Learning

Chap 6:  Implementing Alternative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom

Chap 7:  Open-Ended Tasks and Assessment: The Nettle or the Rose

Chap 8:  Using ICT to Improve Assessment

Chap 13:  Implementing Self-Assessment to Develop Reflective Teaching and Learning in Mathematics

I recommend this text to you as a practical, up to date guide to assessment in the Mathematics classroom.

Also see the NSW Board of Studies website which outlines 3 main approaches to assessment:


I welcome any comments regarding how you assess students in your classes!


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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