Schottenbauer Publishing

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Using Graphs in Assessment

As assessment tools, graphs can facilitate the evaluation of both academic and cognitive skills, including higher-order cognitive skills. The most basic test questions using graphs pertain to the concrete skills of reading a graph, while the more advanced and nuanced skills to be tested include those such as writing an equation, selecting graphs to answer a particular problem, comparing and contrasting graphs, and writing a scientific paper. 

The list below identifies ideas for using graphs as assessment tools:

Graph-Reading Skills
  • Identify the variables described in the graph.
  • Identify the minimum and maximum values in the graph.
  • Identify the shape of the graph.

Mathematical Skills
  • Write a mathematical function describing the graph.

Writing Skills
  • Write a meaningful description about a graph.
  • Write a meaningful article about a set of graphs.

Critical Thinking Skills
  • Compare and contrast two graphs.
  • Compare a graph to a known theory.

Concept Formation
  • What principles can be gleaned from a graph or set of graphs?
  • Out of a group of graphs, is there an unexpected outcome? Is this an exception, or an error?

Over 8,000 graphs from Schottenbauer Publishing provide real-life topics for student learning, including sports, transportation, construction, environment, music, entertainment/toys, and general physics.