Assessments: Is it just about evaluating students?

Assessments have always been a part of the school system.  Well, some might say that this is just a rebranding of examination.  However, it is more than that.

Since we follow a system in which every unit is assessed with a summative task, it is just proper to plan relevant assessment methods.  Relatively, this could help students develop skills necessary to meet the objectives of the unit through the assessment task.

Needless to say, it is important to have clear goals to measure one’s success.  By looking at these learning objectives, a teacher could be sure that relevant tasks measure students’ knowledge and skills.

Planning assessments

To be more specific, here are some guiding questions a lot of teachers consider in choosing and planning formative assessment methods for their students:

Does this reflect students’ understanding of the content and the concept?  Will my students find it interesting? Does this meet the set objectives of the unit? Are my directions easy to follow considering the level of my students? Does this contribute to the development of knowledge and skills necessary for the summative assessment?

With these questions in mind and with the thought of the capabilities of students, the next step is to draft an assessment plan suitable to students’ needs.

Post-assessment

In order to support the learners’ progress, this assessment has to be continuously and consistently monitored.

For example, in a language class, teachers usually follow the writing process. Through this writing process,  students get to plan their work then draft their essays.

After that, teachers may ask students to engage in peer and teacher evaluation prior to submission of their final work. This process enables teachers to gauge whether the students are developing skills essential to the completion of the task.

Since this is a formative task, teachers ought to give opportunities for our students to learn from their work through an effective exchange of feedback in the form of comments, written or oral, and the use of rubrics.

Both teachers and students should look at assessments as learning tools instead of merely tools for evaluation. It is through this perspective that real learning takes place–learning that goes beyond marks and letter grades.

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