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Reflective journal unit 1.

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  • 1. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 1 The main aim of this journal is to keep a record of my thoughts, notes, reflections and questions about this subject, and some implementation activities related to this subject that I have carried out in my classes. All the information we can find in this journal is connected, however I have decided to classify them by topics.  Assessment & Evaluation: I would like to center this reflection on my personal opinion about the fact of assessing and being assessed: how people feel, if they like or not and why, etc. In my opinion the feeling people have when we are assessed changes through the years and it different depending on the kind you are. When children are at school they feel that assessment is something compulsory for them, but they do not really feel the pressure that, for example, students at high school feel because they know that they have to achieve the goals and the targets and unless they do it, they will not promote. On the other hand, we can think of assessment from the teachers’ or parents’ perspective. If we focus on parents’ perspective, assessment is something good because it facilitates them the fact of knowing that their children are working at school and if they are truly learning or not. Now, I will focus on teachers’ perspective. For teachers assessment is something great because it gives information about students and their progress in the learning process, about our own job (because we are assessed by others teachers of self-assessment) and information about the quality of the tools we use in our classes.  Formative & Summative Assessment: I would like to mention that, before studying this unit it was difficult for me to understand the difference between formative and summative assessment. However, now, I am able to distinguish them and that’s why I would like to refers on these terms in the following lines. After each explanation, I will give you some examples of how I use each of the assessments with my students. - Formative assessment provides explicit feedback to both, teacher and students, in order to improve the teaching-learning process, it means, the
  • 2. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 2 student’s achievement of intended instructional outcomes. This method focuses on continuous evaluation of the academic needs and development of the students within the class and precedes the summative assessment. There are three questions that students should answer in the formative assessment, they are as follows: “Where am I going?” “Where am I now?” and “How can I close the gap between both?”. These are the tools I usually use in order to do formative assessment: Guided reading, daily activities in the classroom, cooperative work, notebooks, participation in class, everyday homework. - Summative assessments are used to make teachers and students realized about the progress they have made. Summative assessment measures the student’s growth after instruction at the end of a unit, a trimester or a course. This kind of assessment does not provide instantaneous feedback but it is really useful in order to organize the curriculum’s information (for example). In order to do summative assessment I usually use these two tools: Tests and oral performances in which students show the knowledge they have acquire.  The Cycle of Inquiry:
  • 3. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 3 The Cycle of Inquiry is really important in order to get the change education needs. The cycle starts when someone has a question about something (in this case: education). Next step consists on searching for information related to the theme of study. Then, it is important to organize all the ideas and analyze them, reflect on them or even compare them to other issues in order to get more ideas and draw wider conclusions. Finally, that analysis and reflection yields the action, the results. It is relevant to mention that the cycle does not need to follow this order. If we related this cycle of inquiry to the teachers’ practice, we could say that our work would be better if we focused on this cycle or process because whether we make ourselves questions about what our students need, then we start planning from that needs, we share the information with our mates, we reflect on that information and think about how to improve it by getting students’ involvement and then we put all of this into practice; we could enrich our classes, and make students be more effective and successful. If we take into account this cycle and all the steps, we are centering our job in the students’ needs and we are assessing the way we work in order to make it better. Moreover, when groups of teachers work and collaborate together in the work of inquiry, they do change the education their students receive, because they go ahead through the important questions and they are able to explore and manage more data in order to facilitate their students’ learning process.  The 5 keys to Quality Assessment: The aim of the following task is to connect the 5 keys to Quality Assessment to my own experiences as a teacher and as a student. Clear Purpose As teachers, it is important to have clear purposes in order to facilitate our student’s understanding. If we do not have a clear idea about what students have to work on, they will not have it neither and it will mean that they are not going to understand why they are working on that thing. Having clear purposes means let students have a clear idea about these aspects: - What information they will be taught.
  • 4. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 4 - How they are going to use the information. When I started teaching (I have just finished my degree and I only have some months of experience) I did not use to let my students know what they were going to do and why they were going to do it, so they got lost, they did not pay attention to me and I felt frustrated and unmotivated. However, a month ago I realized that it would be a good idea if I made a list (on the blackboard) of everything that was going to be taught in each class and by the way we did it we removed it from the list. It really worked. Now my students know what they are going to do from the beginning of the class and they pay attention to me and carry out all the activities because they want to be able to finish everything I prepare for each day. Since that moment in which I starting doing the list, I feel my students are more enthusiastic and they really feel they are part of the class. As a student, I feel we sometimes have enough, even too much, information about the purpose but sometimes we have no information. From the student’s perspective, I can say that when teachers do not have a clear purpose students feel lost and we do not know what to do, even you do not give importance to the classes because you feel that you are not going to learn anything. On the other hand, when the purpose of the subject is clear we feel more relaxed and we enjoy the subject and learn more things. Clear Targets Having clear targets means that, as teachers, we really know what kind of achievements we want our students to get and, therefore, we are going to take into account in the assessment.
  • 5. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 5 For me, as a teacher, it is important to have clear targets because I am inexperienced so I do need to know what I want my students to learn and do in order to prepare good activities which can be helpful and useful for the students’ learning process. From my point of view, as a student, it is relevant to have clear targets because it makes teachers be clearer and more communicative in their classes which help us to understand what they want to transmit. Moreover, when targets are clear, assessment is clear so it means that having successful is easier for students. Sound Design Sound Design is connected to assessment design which can be divided into four sections: selected response, written response, personal communication and performance assessment. In my opinion, as a teacher, the assessment methods I use should match the learning targets, if not they are not appropriately and I have to change them. In my classes, I usually use assessment methods in which students have to give both written and oral responses because I want them to communicate orally but I also want them to be able to write it. By this way, I use different assessment methods that fit different students. As a student, I do not like being assessed orally because I feel nervous and I can not do my best. However, at university teachers have asked or ask me to do works or projects that must be presented orally, so I am getting used to it, even although I do not like it. From my point of view, teachers have to take into account that every student is different so their way of working and studying will be different. Because of this reason, teachers have to design different kind of assessment in order to see what their students’ have learnt.
  • 6. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 6 Effective Communication Effective communication is responsibility of both teachers and students; however teachers’ ability and effectiveness in communicating the knowledge is an important factor in education. The competence of educators in this regard is of great importance for students to be guided in the best way possible. Based on my personal experience, I may say that I am learning how to be an effective communicator. It is being difficult for me and I know it will take me longer, but I am working on it because I do consider it completely important. If I am not able to communicate effectively, or even not to communicate, my students will not be able to understand what I am telling them and as a result they are not going to learn. As a student, I need teachers who communicate effectively and who give me feedback when I do something because that is the only way to learn. On the other hand, I think that it is essential to communicate students the way they are going to be assessed and the criteria teachers are going to use in order to know if you have done it properly o not. Sometimes, my teachers have given me the grade and they did not tell me what I had wrong so I could not improve in that way or simply know what I did not do right. Student Involvement Student’s involvement makes the change. If students feel that what they are learning is worthwhile, they work harder and they are more interested in what they are learning, but if not, they do the opposite. We need to make our students feel they are an important part of the teaching-learning process. In my classes I try to make my students feel they are part of the teaching- learning process. For that, I do different things such as asking them for opinion in order to prepare different activities or asking them for participation in the class. For example, in one of my classes I am teaching English to students who are 12 years old so when I have extra time I ask them for songs they like and we learn them together. By this way
  • 7. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 7 they are learning English, they are enjoying and they are involved in the teaching- learning process. In my classes with the 8 year-old-students I usually do a game at the end of the class (hangman, bingo, guess who?, etc.), the way I get them involved is by letting them choose the game. Other times, I make them work together on the same task and then they have to present it to the rest of the class as if they were teachers, and so on. Getting involved in the teaching-learning process makes students (at least it happens to me) give importance to what they are learning and, at the same time, it makes us work harder and enjoy more the learning process.  Assessment VS Evaluation: Dimension of Difference Assessment Evaluation Timing Formative Summative Focus of Measurement Process-Oriented Product-Oriented Relationship Between Teacher and Student Reflective Prescriptive Findings and their uses Diagnostic Judgmental Criteria Flexible Fixed Standards of Measurement Absolute Comparative Relation Between Objects Cooperative Competitive Source of information: http://www2.binghamton.edu/academics/provost/documents/assessment-evaluation-straight.ppt
  • 8. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 8  Assessment Recipe: ASSESSMENT RECIPE: INGREDIENTS ♣ Diagnostic assessment. ♣ Pre-assessment. ♣ Clear goals, objectives, targets, etc. ♣ Keep the written curriculum in mind. ♣ Appropriate tools and strategies to reach the goals. ♣ Effective feedback. ♣ Assessment guidance for the students. ♣ Assessment guidance for the teachers. ♣ Formative and summative assessment. ♣ Self and peer assessment (between students and teachers). ♣ Observation. ♣ Redo activities or tasks. ♣ Active participation. ♣ Taking into account the behaviour. In the chart above your can see the recipe my classmates and me made last day during the class. Now I am going to connect these ingredients to my own teaching experience. In my classes I usually do a pre-assessment. It is not always a written test, but it consists on different activities or games that are useful for me to see the level my students have, to realize about what they know or do not know in order to go further in some contents or slower in other. On the other hand, I try to create clear purpose and targets but it is sometimes difficult for me because of the lack of experience, however I consider I am improving a lot because I can see how my students understand my instructions and they know what to do and why they do it. Of course, I can also notice it when they carry out different tasks or activities. About the different tools and strategies I use in order to achieve the goal, I think I give my students a huge variety of activities to make all of them being involved in the learning process. Sometimes when I feel a strategy is working I use it more fluently but
  • 9. Assessment & Reporting Lucía Conde Cambelo 9 when I do feel that a strategy is not working I quickly change to another because if not my students get lost and then it is more difficult to “recover” them. If I focus on formative and summative assessment and the way I carried them out in the class, I have to say that formative assessment is the assessment I use most in my classes, because I just use summative assessment at the end of the trimester or even the semester. As formative assessment I take into account these factors: daily observation, activities and tasks, active participation and their behaviour in the class. I am an extracurricular teacher and because of that in my classes the mark or the grade is not important, it is not necessary to promote, so what I really want my students to do is to learn as much as possible and be able to put into practice their knowledge in the real life. Finally, it is important to mention that I have no experience about peer assessment. However, I try to assess myself everyday I finish my classes in order to change or not the way I have worked.