Good Practice of Assessing Students Learning

GOOD PRACTICE OF ASSESSING STUDENTS LEARNING

  1. The assessment of student learning begins with educational ethics. Assessment is not an end in itself but an instrument for educational improvement. Its effective practice, then, begins with and enacts a concept of the kinds of learning we most value for students and strive to help them achieved. Educational ethics should drive not only what we choose to assess but also how we do so.
  2. Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multi-dimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time.Learning is a complex process. It involves not only what students know but what they can do with what they know; it involves not only knowledge and abilities but values, attitudes, and habits of mind that affect both academic success and performance beyond the classroom. Assessment should reflect these understandings by employing a varied collection of methods, including those that call for actual performance, using them over time so as to reveal change, growth, and increasing degrees of integration. Such an approach aims for a more complete and accurate picture of learning, and therefore safer bases for improving our students’ educational experience.
  3. Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated purposes. Assessment is a goal-oriented process. It requires comparing educational performance with educational objectives and expectations — those derived from the institution’s mission, from faculty intentions in program and curriculum design, and from knowledge of students’ own goals. Where program purposes lack distinctive or agreement, assessment as a process pushes a site toward clarity about where to aim and what standards to apply; assessment also prompts attention to where and how program goals will be taught and learned.
  4. Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes. Information about outcomes is of high importance; where students “end up” matters importantly. But to improve outcomes, we need to know about student experience along the way about the curricula, teaching, and kind of student effort that lead to particular outcomes. Assessment can help us understand which students learn best under what conditions; with such knowledge comes the capacity to improve the whole of their learning.
  5. Assessment works best when it is on-going not erratic.Assessment is a process whose power is cumulative. Though isolated, “one-shot” assessment can be better than none, improvement is best fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time. This may mean tracking the process of individual students, or of cohorts of students; it may mean collecting the same examples of student performance or using the same instrument semester after semester. The point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement. Along the way, the assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights.
  6. Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from across the educational community are involved.Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility, and assessment is a way of enacting that responsibility. Thus, while assessment efforts may start small, the aim over time is to involve people from across the educational community. Educators play an especially important role, but assessment’s questions can’t be fully addressed without participation by student-affairs educators, librarians, administrators, and students. Assessment may also involve individuals from beyond the campus (alumni/ae, trustees, employers) whose experience can enrich the sense of appropriate aims and standards for learning. Thus understood, assessment is not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity; its aim is wider, better-informed attention to student learning by all parties with a stake in its improvement.
  7. Assessment makes a difference when it begins with issues of use and brightens questions that people really care about. Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement. But to be useful, information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care about. This implies assessment approaches that produce evidence that relevant parties will find reliable, suggestive, and applicable to decisions that need to be made. It means thinking in advance about how the information will be used, and by whom. The point of assessment is not to gather data and return results; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data, and that informs and helps guide continuous improvement.
  8. Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of a larger set of conditions that promote change.Assessment alone changes little. Its greatest contribution comes on areas where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and worked at. On such areas, the push to improve educational performance is a visible and primary goal of leadership; improving the quality of undergraduate education is central to the institution’s planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions.
  9. Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to the public.There is a compelling public stake in education. As educators, we have a responsibility to the public that support or depend on us to provide information about the ways in which our students meet goals and expectations. But that responsibility goes beyond the reporting of such information; our deeper obligation to ourselves, our students, and society is to improve.

 

References:

https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html

http://www.tvdsb.ca/webpages/takahashid/techdia.cfm?subpage=128207

http://www.curriculum.org/k-12/en/projects/rethinking-classroom-assessment-with-purpose-in-mind

Importance of Assessment

Assessment is important because….

 “Asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter is critical to the learning process; it is essential to evaluate whether the educational goals and standards of the lessons are being met.”

“Nothing we do to, or for our students is more important than our assessment of their work and the feedback we give them on it. The results of our assessment influence students for the rest of their lives…”

Assessment and its associated feedback are essential to student learning. However, you may find that more of your time is taken up with the areas of assessment associated with quality assurance, rather than its potential to support students’ learning.  It is an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. The effect of assessment is a key component of learning because it helps students learn. When the students are able to see how they are doing in class, they are able to determine whether or not they understand course materials. It helps to motivate the students

 

 

References:

https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-importance

https://www.education.com/reference/article/why-assessment-important/

My Understanding of Classroom Assessment

“The systematic assessment of student learning outcomes is essential to monitoring quality and providing the information that leads to improvement.”  -Middle States Standard XIV

STUDENTS & CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT

Framework of assessment is an educator’s task of assessing the students learning from all aspects from direct methods to indirect methods. We assessed our students through the results of the exams and converted into grades, and sometimes, we fail to acknowledge the factors that affect the results of the assessment. In assessment, it is the teacher’s diagnosis for the students. It is a process of coming to understand the student’s current learning needs well enough to plan for the best possible instructional processes and outcomes for each learner whose academic welfare is the teacher’s full responsibility. Unfortunately, teachers often do prescribe without a diagnosis. To start with our classroom management, it is important to think about the assessment as an instrumental element of a classroom practice.

 Classroom assessment is the process of collecting, synthesizing, and interpreting information in a classroom for the purpose of aiding a teacher’s decision making. It includes a broad range of information that helps teachers understand their students, monitor teaching and learning, and build an effective classroom community. Teachers use assessment to do the following: diagnose student problems, make judgments about student academic performance, form student work groups, develop instructional plans, and effectively lead and manage a classroom. There are essentially two kinds of classroom assessments: formative and summative. Formative assessment is sometimes called on-going assessment. It is a process used to guide, mentor, direct, and encourage student growth. Teachers use on-going or formative assessment to consistently monitor students’ developing knowledge, understanding, and skill related to the topic at hand in order to know how to proceed with instruction in a way that maximizes the opportunity for student growth and success with key content. An assessment can be considered formative if a teacher gathers evidence about student performance, interprets the evidence, and uses the evidence to make decisions about next steps in instruction that are likely to be better focused or informed than the decisions would have been without the evidence. Formative assessment implies a pragmatic intent—to improve the precision of instructional plans; and an immediacy—to improve those plans in the very term. While, summative assessment has a different tone and purpose than formative assessment. Whereas the intent of formative assessment is to help teachers and students change course when warranted to improve instructional outcomes, summative assessment is intended to measure and evaluate student outcomes. Thus whereas formative assessment should rarely be graded, summative assessment suggests that a grade will be given and a student’s performance will be evaluated based, to some degree, on the information produced.

Effective distinction requires teachers to assess student status before a unit of study begins. A diagnostic assessment helps determine a student’s starting point with learning targets as well as with prerequisite knowledge, understandings, and skills that are essential to continued progress in a content sequence. Pre-assessment is also useful in developing awareness about students’ interests and learning preferences. Formative assessment lets teachers closely monitor a student’s evolving knowledge, understanding, and skills—including any misunderstandings a student may have or develop about key content. As with diagnostic, formative assessment also plays a role in revealing students’ various interests and approaches to learning. Summative assessment evaluates a student’s status with the learning targets at designated endpoints or checkpoints in a unit of study. Assessment in an effectively differentiated classroom will be both informal and formal. Informal assessments include things like talking with students as they enter and leave the room, observing students as they work on a task or in groups, watching students on the playground or at lunch, asking students to use hand signals to indicate their degree of confidence with a skill they have just practiced, or making note of informative comments made by parents at a back-to-school night. Informal assessments are useful in giving a teacher a sense of what makes a student tick, providing a big-picture look at how the class as a whole seems to be doing at a given moment, and amassing a growing sense of how specific students work in particular contexts.

Students vary in at least three ways that affect learning: readiness, interest, and learning profile. Readiness has to do with a student’s current proximity to current learning targets; interest has to do with topics, ideas, or skills that attract a student, generate enthusiasm, or align with a student’s passion; and learning profile relates to a preferred mode of learning or learning preference. Teachers can better focus their planning if they understand their students’ differences in these areas; therefore, teachers should assess all three. Of the three, understanding student readiness calls for more persistent assessment and analysis of assessment information in order to plan curriculum and instruction that moves each student forward from his current point of record.

Assessment of instruction is summative and is especially useful in determining the degree to which a student has mastered an extended body of content at a concluding point in a sequence of learning. Summative assessments result in grades that should reveal that degree of mastery. It emphasizes a teacher’s use of information derived from assessments to do instructional planning that can effectively and efficiently move students ahead from their current points of knowledge, understanding, and skill. It can also be useful in understanding and addressing students’ interests and approaches to learning. Assessment for learning should rarely be graded and feedback that helps students clearly understand areas of proficiency and areas that need additional attention is generally more useful than grading because students are still practicing and refining competencies, and untimely grading or judgment creates an environment that feels unsafe for students to engage in learning.

An effective classroom management demonstrates important connections between assessment and learning environment, and between assessment and classroom leadership. When teachers regularly use assessment to help students develop competence and a sense of independence rather than to judge them, the environment feels harmless and more predictable to students. When teachers help students understand that differentiated tasks often branch from assessment information, students come to understand that the teacher’s goal is to help each learner take the next appropriate step in learning, with clear and dynamic learning goals, student progress monitored by persistent formative assessment, and instruction tailored to extend the likelihood that each student will develop proficiency necessary for growth, a student’s prospects for success are greatly enhanced when the summative or more judgmental aspects of assessment are in show.

 

References:

http://bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/99/stiggins_assessment.pdf

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb03/vol60/num05/How-Classroom-Assessments-Improve-Learning.aspx

Assessment Basics: The Essence of Assessment

THE ESSENCE OF ASSESSMENT

There is considerable evidence showing that assessment drives student learning. More than anything else, our assessment tools tell students what we consider to be important. They will learn what we guide them to learn through our assessments. Traditional testing methods have been limited measures of student learning, and equally important, of limited value for guiding student learning. These methods are often inconsistent with the increasing emphasis being placed on the ability of students to think analytically, to understand and communicate at both detailed and to acquire life-long skills that permit continuous adaptation to workplaces that are in constant change.

In assessing the students, the teacher must be skilled in:

  1. Choosing assessment methods appropriate for instructional decisions.
  2. Administering, scoring, and interpreting the results of both externally produced and teacher produced assessment methods.
  3. Using assessment results when making decisions about individual students, planning teaching, and developing curriculum and school improvement.

Assessment Competencies for teachers

  1. Developing valid students grading procedures that use student assessment.
  2. Communicating assessment results to students, parents, other lay audiences and other educators
  3. Recognizing unethical, illegal, and otherwise in appropriate assessment methods and uses of assessment information

PARADIGMS OF BASIC ASSESSMENT

  1. Choosing assessment methods
    1. Selection of assessment methods
    2. Standards test
  2. Developing assessment methods
    1. Teacher made assessment least measurement error
  3. Interpreting assessment results
    1. Interpret teacher made test score
    2. Interpret Grade Equivalency score
    3. Interpret percentile band scores
  1. Using Assessment result in Decision Making
    1. Standard test data most useful for classroom
    2. Basis for comparing schools test scores
    3. Explaining discrepancy between classroom and standard test scores
  1. Using assessment result in Grading
    1. Weighting test scores to give grades
    2. Reliability of tests for grading
    3. Recognizing sound grade practice
  1. Communicating Assessment result
    1. Explain basis for grade
    2. Using test for resource allocation
  2. Recognizing unethical assessment practices
    1. Display grade privacy
    2. Test as only criterion for grades
    3. Acceptable actions on standardized tests

TYPE OF ASSESSMENT

The type of assessment chosen should be related to learning outcomes and managed by decisions about its purpose, validity and relevance. In addition, as it is probably true to say that every assessment method will place some students at a disadvantage to some extent; a range of types of assessment is desirable to hopefully reduce the element of disadvantage suffered by any particular student.

  1. Essay – The object of the essay should be to test the ability to discuss, evaluate, analyse, summarize and criticize. Two dangers with essays are that they are easy to plagiarize, and that undue weight is often given to factors such as style, handwriting and grammar.
  2. Assignments – A learning task undertaken by the student allowing them to cover a fixed section of the curriculum mainly through independent study
  3. Individual project -An extended investigation carried out by an individual student into a topic agreed on by student and assessor. In many ways similar to an assignment, the main difference is the onus on the student to choose the particular focus and/or medium of presentation.
  4. Group project – Where either an assignment or project is undertaken collectively by groups of students working collaboratively. This has the pragmatic advantage of potentially reducing the tutor’s assessment workload and the educational advantage of helping to develop the students’ team working skills
  5. Dissertation – Written presentation of results of an investigation or piece of research, normally taking the form of an extended essay being less rigorous in its style and layout requirements than a thesis. The content reflects the findings of the investigation. This has similar assessment problems to an individual project.
  6. Examination – This can take a variety of different forms. The most common factors are that it is done under comparatively short, timed conditions and usually under observed conditions which ensures it is the student’s own work
  7. Self and peer assessment – There is strong evidence that involving students in the assessment process can have very definite educational benefits. Not so much a type of assessment like those already listed, this is something which can be done in conjunction with any type of assessment.

Sources:

http://www.slideshare.net/crlmgn/assessment-principles-23664446

https://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/resources/

Keep on Learning : Time is Limited

Is it correct to ask, do people learn without schooling?  Maybe some of us will say YES, and others say No, anyway, every person have their own perspective in life on why we choose to go to school.  But, the only question that addressed to our self, why we choose to continue our study at the same time working “Working student”?

In my view, the heart of learning is unique in the way that it simultaneously speaks and activates many important features of our self like thinking, memory, emotions, ethics, physical and senses. This vital situation comes from what is being learned, How it is being learned, learning environment, attention to developmental stages for physical and emotional needs.

Rapid modernization, seem like our education to exist in competing contradictions. There are external objects that need for standardization of curricula and assessments that go directly to the goal and the advancement of research and learning that tells us that the best path to high achievement in our career.

Learning is on process, knowledge is the collective learning coming from our daily experiences. As we nurture our children or students, should emphasize that learning is directly proportional with the time. Our time is equal to our life, we should make use of out of our time.