Exploring the Possibilities of Scenario-based Assessment: An Introduction

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Jorge Beltrán
Rongchan Lin


The field of language assessment has steadily been evolving over the years, with new approaches to construct definition and test design emerging as developments in research and technology arise. Different fields have helped inform theory and practice, and one approach, which began as part of K-12 assessment, seems particularly promising–the approach of Scenario-based Assessment (SBA). SBA was initially developed as part of the Cognitively Based Assessment of, for and as Learning (CBAL), an initiative that aimed to use findings from cognitive and behavioral sciences to inform the development of innovative assessments, such as those to be designed in alignment to the Common Core State Standards (Sabatini, Bennet, & Deane, 2011). In this way, SBA has been used to explore the assessment of mathematical skills (Bennet, 2011; Harris & Bauer, 2009), reading proficiency (O’Reily & Sheehan, 2009; Sabatini & O’Reily, 2013), and writing skills (Deane, Sabatini, & Fowles, 2012).

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