ASSESSING PROBLEM SOLVING
Assessment is probably the most important component in formal education. Students know strategically that what is important is what gets assessed. Irrespective of stated goals, objectives, missions, curricula, or any other descriptor of learning outcomes, what is “on the test” is what is important to students. Their strategic knowledge is based on the assumption that what is “on the test” is what is important to teachers, professors, and trainers. Unfortunately, that is not a good assumption. What is important to teachers, professors, and trainers often has little to do with the kinds of assessments they use. They hope that their students can think critically and solve problems, but they just do not know how to design and implement quality assessments of problem solving. That is, assessment is the weakest link in learning to solve problems (as well as most other tasks and venues).