Assessment Plan “The Ear: An Amazing Sound Machine”


Assessment Plan “The Ear: An Amazing Sound Machine”

 The purpose of this lesson plan is to introduce students to the basic structures and terminology of the human ear.  Students will learn how sound travels through the ear and how different structures work together to produce sound.  Students will also be introduced to the different ways animals use their ears to hear.  The student will learn how the shape and size of the ear determine how an animal uses their ears to adapt to their environment.  Upon completion of this lesson the student will be able perform the following learning outcomes by answering each of the five questions provided:

Learning OutcomePoint to five different structures of the ear.

Test Question:Upon completion of instruction and given a model of the ear, the student will be able to point to each of the following structures of the ear:  eardrum, cochlea, hammer, anvil and stirrup.

Learning Outcome:  The student will explain what part of the ear helps a person to hear and explain why.

Test QuestionExplain in a minimum of two paragraphs what part of the ear helps a person to hear.  Provide an explanation of why?

Learning OutcomeExplain how sound is transmitted through the ear.

Test QuestionExplain in a minimum of three paragraphs how sound is transmitted through the ear.

Learning Outcome:  Explain how animals use their ears to survive.

Test QuestionExplain in a minimum of three paragraphs how animals use their ears to survive.

Learning Outcome:  Correctly identify which vibrates first, the eardrum or the tiny bones in the middle.

Test Question: Identify which vibrates first, the eardrum or the tiny bones in the middle ear?

The context of this assessment is to measure student understanding after a brief lesson about the ear.  This is not a cumulative test but rather a check point assessment to measure student understanding of the material covered as the instruction is given.  This is the first of several assessments that will be taken prior to the cumulative test that will include everything measured in each check point review.  The short five question assessment will provide insight for the instructor as well as the student by offering  short assessments along the way.   The instructor has the ability to see if what they are teaching is reciprocated effectively while at the same time providing a way to review topics that the student(s) may have not grasped.    The student an  the content covered by explaining through short essay formatted questions the student’s ability to summarize what they have learned throughout the lesson.

The holistic rubric for this assessment will assign a single numerical value that will represent a specific category of completion.  The rubric will provide defensible and efficient feedback of student understanding.  The scoring system will demonstrate areas of competency as well as discriminate areas where the student may need further review.  The following rubric is based on a five scores that measure five criterion’s of knowledge.  The assessment will measure the student’s ability to understand and remember information. The scores apply as followed: 1 = element is missing, 2 = minimally satisfies, 3 = partially satisfying, 4 =mostly satisfies and 5 = fully satisfies.  The student can earn a maximum of 25 points with each question being worth five points each.  Limiting the number of points the assessment is worth makes an assessment easy to use and reliably discriminating.  The rubric also provides  percentage results by taking the score and dividing it by the maximum number of points the student can earn.  Grades are determined through percentage rank.  Although percentages are an extremely limited measurement tool to evaluate overall student achievement, they work well for this assessment by providing a quick overview of student progress.

The testing constraints will be limited to a time of approximately 30 minutes to answer five questions that include objective and performance assessments.  Students will be given clear instruction at the beginning of the lesson that an assessment will follow a review of the material covered.   A complete and thorough review of the questions covered in the assessment will be discussed prior the student taking the test.   The student will have an understanding of where the structures of the ear are located on the 3D model and have an opportunity to perform what the assessment is asking the student to by working with the 3D model prior to taking the assessment.  This assessment is measuring student comprehension and application of knowledge and the results will be used to determine areas of student proficiency and areas where more review is needed.  The assessment provides a preventative measure to ensure that the student does not fall behind as the lessons continue, providing the student with an excellent opportunity to master skills prior to taking the cumulative test.

In conclusion, the assessment will provide valuable information on what the student is learning before deficiencies in learning begin.  By providing short assessments along the way, the test giver will ensure consistent results that demonstrate whether learning is taking place.

Assessment Rubric

Criterion Score, from 1-5:1= element is missing2= minimally satisfies3=partially satisfies4=mostly satisfies5= fully satisfies
1. Does the student point to five different parts of the ear?
2. Does the student clearly explain what part of the ear helps a person to hear and why?
3. Does the student clearly explain how sound is transmitted through the ear?
4. Does the student clearly explain how animals use their ears to survive?
5. Does the student correctly identify the structure in the ear that vibrates first?

Total (maximum 25)_________

Grade (Total score divided by 25,  maximum= 100%)


Test and Essay Items


Test and Essay Items

Test and assessments are valuable tools that measure a student’s level of understanding using written objectives to evaluate proficiency of skill and achievement of learning outcomes. There are many useful formats that a teacher can use to evaluate levels of learning depending upon the taxonomy of learning the teacher is trying to measure.
Indirect formats of evaluation are among the most commonly used test in the classroom and may include multiple-choice, true-false items, matching items, and completion item test. Test such as these are favored over more complex test because they are less time-consuming for the test taker and test scorer. Test formats that use these kinds of items are generally used to measure memorization of facts including knowledge and comprehension taxonomies of learning; however questions can be formulated to measure higher level thinking skills through the use of good test constructs.
Essay items use direct formats of evaluation and are best used when a teacher is trying evaluate higher levels of cognitive thinking, synthesis and evaluation taxonomies of learning. Test such as these include include extended and restricted response questions, knowledge organization, open-book exams and dialectical journals. Restricted response questions are the most commonly used essay items in the classroom but there use requires more time to test and grade.  They also require that the teacher to have a good handle on test construct and scoring. Rubrics can reduce errors in validity construct when grading essay items.
Performance assessments are used to enhance  instruction in combination with other forms of assessments (paper and pencil methods & essay items) and measure complex cognitive leaning, attitudes and social skills of the student (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2010). They can be used alone when direct measures are needed such as those that require observation including  dance performances, scientific experiments etc. Performance assessments can also be used to identify and observe patterns of behavior that aid in helping the teacher identify behaviors that are not easily tested such as habits of the mind (cooperation, sharing, and negotiation etc.). Details of performance assessments can provide better insight into a student’s cognitive abilities and the way their brain process information. According to Kubiszyn & Borich (2010), “performance test allow teachers to draw different conclusions about a learner’s problem solving ability than do higher –order multiple-choice test or restricted response essay test that ask learner to analyze, interpret, and evaluate information”. Performance assessments can be used as instruction along with the assessment, making learning richer and deeper. They allow teachers to observe learning as it is happening and may include group presentations, oral presentations and exhibits. Performance assessments are vital in order to have to a complete understanding of student abilities and behaviors that might otherwise go unnoticed using other measures of assessment. Performance assessments add validity to the entire assessment process.
Portfolio assessments are the icing on the cake sort to say. They celebrate student’s successes by providing a visual and written journal of the students work across a span of time. There are many advantages to portfolio’s including teacher, student and parent participation. The portfolio is a collection of student achievements and can include paper &pencil test, essay items and performance assessments (poems, art projects). It is important that teachers ensure content validity by including items that are representative and reflective of the students work. Teachers should include “at least eight products or tasks over different topic areas that reflect reliable estimates of performance from portfolios” (Kubiszyn & Borich 2010). It is also helpful for the teacher to have a rubric to ensure fair scoring and validity of the items that are chosen to go into the students portfolio.

Kubiszyn, T. & Borich, G. (2010). Educational testing & measurement: Classroom application and practice (9th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. Pgs. (185, 194, 209).

The Ear is an Amazing Sound Machine


The Ear is an Amazing Sound Machine

(Second grade)

  • Learning Outcome:  Point to five different parts of the ear.
  • Test Question: Upon completion of instruction, given a model of the ear, the student will be able to point to each of the following parts of the ear:  eardrum, cochlea, hammer, anvil and stirrup.


  • Learning Outcome:  Explain how sound is transmitted through the ear.
  • Test Question:  Explain in a minimum of three paragraphs how sound is transmitted through the ear.


  • Learning Outcome:  Explain how animals use their ears to survive.
  • Test Question: Explain in a minimum of three paragraphs how animals use their ears to survive.