Friday, May 15, 2009

Assessment in the Affective Domain

Assessment in the Affective Domain

The affective domain is a part of a system that was published in 1965 for identifying understanding and addressing how people learn.This describes learning objectives that emphasize a feeling tone, an emotion, or a degree of acceptance or rejection.It is far more difficult domain to objectively analyze and assess since affective objectives vary from simple attention to selected phenomena to complex but internally consistent qualities of character and conscience. Nevertheless, much of the educative process needs to deal with assessment and measurement of students’ abilities in this domain.

For instance, it is often heard that certain people are “schooled” but not “educated.” This simply refers to the fact that much of the processes in education today are aimed at developing the cognitive aspects of development and very little or no time is spent on the development of the affective domain.

The Taxonomy in the Affective Domain
The taxonomy in the affective domain contains a large number of objectives in the literature expresses as interests, attitudes, appreciation, values, and emotional sets or biases.The descriptions of step in the taxonomy was culled from Kratwohl’s Taxonomy of Affective Domain:

1. Receiving is being aware of or sensitive to the existence of certain ideas, material, pr phenomena and being willing to tolerate them. Examples: To differentiate, To accept, To listen, To respond to.

2. Responding is committed in some small measure to the ideas, materials, or phenomena involved by actively responding to them. Examples: to comply with, to follow, to commend, to volunteer, to spend leisure time in, to acclaim

3. valuing is willing to be perceived by others as valuing certain ideas, materials, or phenomena. Examples: to increase measured proficiency in, to relinquish, to subsidize, to support, to debate

4. organization is to relate the value to those already held and bring into a harmonious and internally consistent philosophy.Examples: To discuss, To theorize, To formulate, To balance, To examine

5. characterization by value or value set is to act consistently in accordance with the values he or she has internalized.Examples: To revise, To require, To be rated high in the value, To avoid, To resist, To manage, To resolve

Affective Learning Competencies
Affective learning competencies are often stated in the form of instructional objectives
Instructional objectives are specific, measurable, short-term, observable student behaviors. Objectives are the foundation upon which you can build lessons and assessments that you can prove meet your over-all course or lesson goals. Think of objectives as tools used to make sure you reach your goals; arrows you shoot towards your target (goal). The purpose of objectives is to ensure that learning is focused clearly enough that both students ad teachers know what is going on, and so learning can be objectively measured.Learning in the affective domain is assessed and measured in schools but not used as grade of students in this domain.

The Taxonomy in the Affective Domain
Behavioral objectives focus on observable behaviors which can then be easily translated in quantitative terms:
1. Receiving - Accept, Attend, Develop, Recognize
2. Responding - Complete, Comply, Cooperate, Discuss, Examine, Obey, Respond
3. Valuing - Accept, Defend, Devote, Pursue, seek
4. Organization - Codify, Discriminate, Display, Order, Organize, Systematize, Weight
5. Characterization - Internalize, Verify

In the affective domain, and in particular,, when we consider learning competencies, we also consider the following focal concepts:

Attitudes are defined as a mental predisposition to act that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor.Individuals generally have attitudes that focus on objects, people or institutions. Attitudes are also attached to mental categories. Mental orientations towards concepts are generally referred to as values Attitudes are comprised of four components:
1. Cognitions – beliefs, theories, expectations, cause-and-effect beliefs, perceptions relative to the focal point; statement of beliefs and expectations which vary from one individual to the next
2. Affect – refers to feelings with respect to the focal object – fear, liking, anger; color blue refers to loneliness); others as calm or peace
3. Behavioral intentions – our goals, aspirations, and our expected responses to the attitude object
4. Evaluation – central component of attitudes; imputations of some degree of goodness or badness to an attitude object; positive or negative attitude toward an object; functions of cognitive, affect and behavioral intentions of the object; stored in memory

Attitudes influence the way person acts and think in a social communities we belong. They can function as frameworks and references for forming conclusions and interpreting or acting for or against an individual, a concept or an idea.It influence behavior. People will behave in ways consistent with their attitudes.

Motivation is a reason or set of reasons fore engaging in a particular behavior. The reasons include basic needs, object, goal, state of being, ideal that is desirable. Motivation also refers to initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of human behavior.

There are many theories that explain human motivation. The need theory is one of these theories. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs theory is the most widely discussed theory of motivation. The theory can be summarized as thus:
- human needs have wants and desires which influence behavior: only unsatisfied needs can influence behavior, satisfied needs cannot.
- needs are arranged in order of importance, from basic to complex. (physiological, safety and security, social, self s esteem, self actualization
- the person advances to the next level of needs only after the lower need is at least minimally satisfied.
- the further the progress up the hierarchy, the more individuality, humanness and psychological health a person will show.

Frederick Herzberg presents another need theory : the two factor theory, the “Motivation-Hygiene Theory”. It concludes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction, while others do not, but if absent lead to dissatisfaction. Herzberg distinguished between:
o Motivators – challenging work, recognition, responsibility, which give positive satisfaction
o Hygiene factors – status, job security, salary and fringe benefits – do not motivate if present, but if absent will result in demotivation

Like hygiene, the presence of it will make one healthier, but absence cause health deterioration

Clayton Aldefer expanded Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He formulated the ERG Theory (existence, relatedness and growth). The existence category (physiological and safety) are lower order needs, followed by the relatedness category ( love and self-esteem) as middle order needs, and the growth category ( self actualization and self esteem ) as higher order needs

Motivation in education can have several effects on how students learn and their behavior towards subject matter. It can direct behavior toward particular goals
- lead to increase effort and energy; increase initiation of, and persistence in activities; enhance cognitive processing; determine what consequences are reinforcing; lead to improve performance;

There are two kinds of motivation: Intrinsic motivation brings brings pleasure, or make feel people feel what they are learning is morally significant and Extrinsic motivation which comes when a student compelled to do something because of factors external to him

Self-efficacy is an impression that one is capable of performing in a certain manner or attaining certain goals.It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations. It is also a belief (whether or not accurate) that one has the power to produce that effect.

Self efficacy relates to person’s perception of their ability to reach a goal, Research shows that over-efficaciousness negatively affected student motivation, while under-efficaciousness increased motivation to study

1. Give one example of a learning competency objective in the affective domain for each of the levels in the taxonomy of Kratwohl et. Al. Assume that you are teaching an English literature subject.
2. Describe the potential of tapping the affective domain in enhancing the learning of students.

Development of Assessment Tools/Standard Assessment Tools
Assessment tools in the affective domain are those which are used to assess attitudes, interest, motivations and self efficacy. These include:

1. Self-report. This the most common measurement tool in the affective domain. It essentially requires an individual to provide an account of his attitude or feelings toward a concept or idea or people. It is also called “written reflections” (“Why I Like or Dislike Mathematics”. The teacher ensures that the students write something which would demonstrate the various levels of the taxonomy ( receiving to characterization)

2. Rating Scales refers to a set of categories designed to elicit information about a quantitative attribute in social science. Common examples are the Likert scale and 1-10 rating scales for which a person selects the number which is considered to reflects the perceived quality of a product. The basic feature of any rating scale is that it consists of a number of categories. These are usually assigned integers.

3. Semantic Differential (SD) Scales tries to assess an individual’s reaction to specific words, ideas or concepts in terms of ratings on bipolar scales defined with contrasting adjectives at each end
Good ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Bad
3 2 1 0 1 2 3

( 3 – extreme; 2 – quite; 0 - neutral)

A number of basic considerations are involved in SD methodology.

a. Bipolar adjectives are a simple, economical means for obtaining data on people’s reactions

b. Ratings on bipolar adjective scales tend to be correlated, and three basic dimensions of response account for most of the co-variation in ratings

c. Some adjective scales are almost pure measures of the EPA dimensions: good-bad (Evaluation), powerful-powerless (Potency), and fast-slow (Activity)

d. EPA measurement are appropriate when one is interested in an effective domain responses; multi-variate approach to affect measurement; generalized approach applicable to any concept or stimulus, and thus permits comparisons of affective reactions on widely disparate things.

2. Thurstone Scale
Thurstone is considered the father of attitude measurement and addressed the issue of how favorable an individual is with regard to a given issue. He developed an attitude continuum to determine the position of favorability on the issue. Below is an example of a Thurstone scale of measurement.

Directions: Put a check mark in the blank if you agree with the item:
____ 1. Blacks should be considered the lowest class in human beings. (scale value = 0.9)
____ 2. blacks and whites must be kept apart in all social affairs where they might be taken as equals ( scale value = 3.2)
_____3. I am not interested in how blacks rate socially. (scale value = 5.4)

3. Likert Scales
In 1932, Likert developed the method of summated ratings (or Likert scale), which is widely used. This requires an individual to tick on a box to report whether they “strongly agree” “agree” “undecided”, “disagree” or “strongly disagree” in response to a large number of items concerning attitude object or stimulus. Likert scale is derived as follows:

a. pick individual items to include. Choose individual items that you know correlate highly with the total score across items
b. choose how to scale each item, or construct labels for each scale value to represent interpretation to be assigned to the number
c. ask your target audience to mark each item
d. Derive a target’s score by adding the values that target identifies on each item.

Checklists are the most common and perhaps the easiest instrument in the affective domain. It consist of simple items that the student or teacher marks as “absent” or “present” Here are the steps in the construction of a checklist:

a. enumerate all the attributes and characteristics you wish to observe
b. arrange this attributes as a “shopping list” of characteristics
c. ask students to mark those attributes which are present and to leave blank those which are not

(Reference: Assessment of Learning 2, by Dr. Rosita de Guzman-Santos)

ACTIVITY (to be included in the portfolio)

Give examples of the following tools/instruments used in assessing attitudes(Cite reference):
1. Self-Report
2. Rating Scales
3. Semantic Differential Scales
4. Thurstone Scales
5. Likert Scales

Construct a Rating Scale for each of the following situations:
1. measuring attitude towards Mathematics
2. motivation to study instrument

Construct a checklist for each of the following activities:
1. classroom observation for a practice teacher
2. checklist for behavior demonstrating good manners and right conduct


  1. thank you so much Dr. Alonsabe for this wonderful article on the affective domain.

  2. i'm about to report this whole chapter...
    in subject Assessment in Learning 2.. i want to master this whole chapter before i report it... but i'm a bit confuse about some part of it..can you help me with this? .. especially the Semantic Differential Scales, THunderstone and Likert Scale.. can you please elaborate... please reply.. :( tnk you po..

  3. this article is very helpful mam, but can you direct us to some sites containing different dimensions assessing affective domain? it would be of great help..thanks

  4. i'm still confuse with the development of assessment tools.. can u please elaborate it more..thanks

  5. especially with the semantic differential scales, thurstone and likert scales.. thanks