According to the cognitive and constructivist assessment, it is essential to pay attention to the quality of learning and to the paths of thought indicated in essays.
It is of importance that the student constructs a personal product, and does not repeat the discourses of the textbook or the teacher (Newmann 1992, 52-53).
The essay is, however, always more than the sum of the parts it consists of.
It is defined here as the conceptual construction which the student composes from his/her knowledge and ideas about the topic.
An essay answer is a multilayered construction, and for the teacher and researcher, it is a rich source of information of students knowledge and learning (cf. Examining essays can thus be compared to peeling onions.
Typical History Essay Questions
On the one hand this assignment presupposes accurate information, on the other it challenges the student to elaborate on his or her thoughts, so the student has to be able to implement the store of information.As text- types, part of the student essays were expository, but as explaining the background of the bank crisis, most students applied narrative structures.Introduction Essays or essay-type answers in which the student expresses his or her knowledge and thoughts as a longer written product constitute a traditional instrument of assessment in various domains of knowledge, in schools (particularly for more advanced students) as well as in higher education.whether the answer contains pieces of information as short statements or whether the student is trying to explain or elaborate personal arguments.Students learning strategies, and also the coherence of the discourse structure, can also be indicated in essays (Quellmalz 1990, 510).They have been widely used, despite the fact that the proponents of objective testing methodology have criticized them due to the risks of subjectivity in scoring written responses.Today there are strong tendencies to substitute objective or standardized tests for authentic and performance-based assessments.The best answers sometimes remarkably exceed the normal level of student essays, resembling to some extent expert level discussion. The Collapse of the Soviet Union: A Case Study in Causal Reasoning. excellent level: Tendency towrds harmonising economic policy, e.g. New mechanisms for preventing economic instability, e.g. Significance of own currency for the Finnish national identity.Example 1 in the appendix represents this answer category very clearly. Essay-type assignments do not directly represent these new trends, but they can be very useful in this framework of approaching student learning that emphasizes higher-order thinking, depth, and cognitive complexity as targets of teaching and evaluation.In the assessment of learning content, such as social studies, essay-type questions are useful because learning depends to a great extent on knowledge mediated and adopted in verbal form and learning outcomes are also mainly manifested in verbal form.