From the Archives: Assessment Practice

This webspace got its start in large part as a place to host instructional and other materials–a sort of online portfolio, really, as well as a resource for the various kinds work that I was doing at the time. I don’t do quite the same variety of tasks anymore that I did then, clearly, but I do still keep a hand in on a fair number of things. I still put out some literary and similar research from time to time, in addition to maintaining one or two longer-term projects. And I do still work in instructional capacities, whether as a tutor or as a writer of instructional materials.

Yep, this is what I’m talking about.
Photo by Andy Barbour on

The thing is, a lot of the instructional materials I’ve written have been contract work, sold to others and therefore not really something I can post as evidence or examples of my work. Fortunately, I do have some tutoring materials I developed for a client a few years back who was working to adapt to testing culture after having lived outside it. (I envy the client that.) As with previous posts of this sort (such as this, this, and this), there is some light adaptation to the present medium from previous incarnations.

For each of the questions below, select the best or most accurate answer from among those provided.

For questions 1 through 8, read the following passage:

1A good academic office has to do a number of things to qualify as “good.”  2The most important of them is to facilitate the work an academic must do. 3People who teach at colleges and universities are expected to design assignments and to assess them. 4Doing both requires space and access to resources; an office that provides such begins to mark itself off as a good one. 5Additionally, designing and assessing assignments requires privacy, the former because of information security, the latter because of legal obligations; good academic offices tend to be held by individuals, so they are able to offer solitude. 6The work of an academic does not inhere in making and marking assignments alone, however; professors must do more to generate new knowledge than to disseminate it. 7Through its many features, a good office will conduce to that end, making it easier for academics to conduct research and to get it ready to share with the world, in the classroom and elsewhere.

In sentence 1, “academic” is which part of speech?
A. Adjective
B. Adverb
C. Noun
D. Verb

In sentence 2, “to facilitate” means
A. To make easy
B. To make hard
C. To make silly
D. To make up

In sentence 5, “solitude” means
A. Being alone
B. Being at work
C. Being awake
D. Being with people

In sentence 6, “an academic” is
A. A business owner
B. A college professor
C. A high school student
D. A stadium janitor

In sentence 7, the word “conduce” means
A. Follow after
B. Lead up
C. Pitch in
D. Strike out

The sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph is sentence
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

A sentence beginning with an overt transitional device is
A. 2
B. 3
C. 4
D. 5

In sentence 6, “however” serves to mark
A. Addition
B. Causation
C. Deviation
D. Negation

(Answers: 1, A; 2, A; 3, A; 4, B; 5, B; 6, A; 7, D; 8, C.)

I know that a lot of people are concerned about navigating the kind of high-stakes testing that has become all too commonplace. I’m happy to draft practice materials and to work with people to learn how to address them well. If you’d like to avail yourself of such services, reach out via the contact form below!

If you’d simply like to send some support, that’d be appreciated, too!


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