Assessment<br />“Assessment is the measure of student learning...the process of obtaining information about how much the student knows...[and] using that information to form judgements which in turn are to be used in decision making” <br />(Reece & Walker 2007 p35)<br />Assessment “is an integral component of the teaching and learning system [it] may be used explicitly to guide students in their study. But also, student perceptions of what is rewarded and what is ignored...will have a substantial impact on their learning behaviour”<br />(Wakeford 1999 p58)<br />
Summative Assessment<br />“Summative assessment is used to indicate the extent of a learner's success in meeting the assessment criteria used to gauge the intended learning outcomes of a module or programme.”<br /> (UK QAA 2006)<br />“Any assessment activity which results in a mark or grade which is subsequently used as a judgement on student performance. Ultimately judgements using summative assessment marks will be used to determine the classification of award at the end of a course or programme.” <br />(Irons 2008 p7)<br />
Purpose<br />“Assessment is fundamentally about helping students to learn and teachers to learn about how best to teach them.” <br />(Ramsden 2003 p177)<br />“What is assessed? The simple answer to this question should be learning – of the student, the teacher and the institution.”<br />(Merricks 2002 p167)<br />Why assess?<br />To classify students – are they worthy of the award?<br />To diagnose students – do they need help?<br />To encourage and support learning - individually and generally.<br />(Ellis 2001 p38)<br />
Purpose<br />Students expect it and are motivated by it! <br />To diagnose learning<br />To certificate learning<br />To provide feedback<br />To help remedy mistakes<br />To help with option choice and selection<br />To help diagnose faults<br />To provide performance indicators for students and enable final award grading<br />To ensure the learning outcomes for different awards and programmes are met<br />To provide performance indicator for staff<br />To provide performance indicator for course and institution<br />We have always done it <br />(Merricks 2002)<br />
Impacts<br />“Assessment activities shape students idea of curriculum – what do I need to learn?” <br />(Ramsden 2003)<br />“Assessment is an integral component of the teaching and learning system...explicitly to guide students in their study...student perceptions of what is rewarded and what is ignored...will have a substantial impact on their learning behaviour”<br />(Wakeford 1999)<br />
Impacts<br />Curriculum and teaching<br />Teaching to test (at expense of curriculum content; distorted teaching techniques; time consuming – does not directly improve learning; encourages didactic transmission style.<br />Effects on motivation<br />On lower / higher achieving students; anxiety; does motivate some students; promotes extrinsic, no intrinsic motivation;<br />
How its used<br />“Assessment often seen as an addition to teaching rather than an integral part of it. Questions such as ‘how do I write a multiple choice item? Become more important than ‘what effect does multiple choice questioning have on the learning outcomes of my students?’”<br />“Assessment is something that follows learning , so there is no need to consider its function as a means of helping students to learn through diagnosing their errors and misconceptions and reinforcing their correct understanding”<br />(Ramsden 2003).<br />
How it should be used<br />“The teacher with a developed understanding of assessment will strive to connect his or her goals for learning firmly with the assessment strategies he or she uses...This teacher will also be thinking carefully about the related need to assess students values and commitments to the subject area. These...are too rarely addressed.”<br />(Ramsden 2003)<br />“What the forms [of assessment] have in common is that they should be designed as a coherent part of the curriculum. They should each be designed to test specific learning outcomes, and all learning outcomes of the course...should be assessed”<br />(Merricks 2002)<br />“Just as we should inform our choice of teaching methods by the nature of the subject matter we are teaching, so in our choice of assessment methods we should consider our goals for student learning. It is particularly important to match the whole experience of assessment with what the programme is trying to achieve and the culture it is trying to create. This will require innovation and a wider variety of modes than we currently employ.”<br />(Light & Cox 2001)<br />
“To be effective, assessment will need to reflect programme content and be valid, reliable and fair.” <br />(Wakeford1999)<br />
Valid...or appropriate<br />Face validity – appropriateness of the content of a test for the audience and level used.<br />Construct validity – nature of broader constructs tested e.g. Recall of knowledge, demonstration of teamwork skills i.e. Are you testing what has been taught. <br />Impact validity – what impact the assessment has on the behaviour of learners, is it shaped to what is being assessed. <br />(Wakeford1999)<br />
Reliable...or accurate & consistent<br />“To what extent would the same results have been achieved with a similar, parallel form of the same test?”<br />(Wakeford1999)<br />e.g.’s of unreliability:<br />Inadequate test length<br />Inconsistency of individual examiners<br />Inconsistency across examiners<br />Inadequacy of test for subject<br />
Fair<br />Fairness – to all individuals and groups of individuals (possible differences based on gender, learning needs etc.) <br />Wakeford 1999)<br />Assessments needs to be accurate...it is pointless and unfair to students otherwise. <br />Consider the use of multiple assessment methods to counter possible bias associated with individual methods.<br />
Good practice<br />QAA reviews 1998-2000 asked:<br />How effective are the assessment design and practice in terms of:<br /><ul><li>Clarity and students understanding of assessment criteria and assignments;
Promoting learning (including the quality of feedback to students);
Measuring attainment of the intended learning outcomes;
Appropriateness to the student profile, level and mode of study;
Evidence of internal moderation and scrutiny by external examiners?
They have since been expanded upon and detailed within ‘code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education’ section 6 – assessment of students (2006)</li></li></ul><li>Types<br />Different methods of assessment may be appropriate for the evaluation of different parts of the subject matter. (Ramsden 2003)<br />There will rarely be one method that satisfies all educational objectives. (Light & Cox 2001)<br />Unseen examination in controlled conditions (e.g. 3 questions in 3 hours)<br />Seen exam paper in controlled conditions (as above, but you know the question(s) in advance) <br />Open Book or Take-Away exam <br />Multiple Choice Test in controlled conditions (paper-based) <br />In-class test <br />Essay or report (e.g. on an individual or group project)<br />Portfolio<br />Dissertation<br />Presentation (may be peer-assessed and/or tutor-assessed)<br />Performance (e.g. musical or dramatic) <br />Oral examination (e.g. foreign language speaking skills)<br />Attendance<br />Participation in lectures and/or seminars/online discussion boards, or group work (may be peer-assessed and/or tutor-assessed) <br />Creation / production of physical (or virtual) artefact<br />
Making summative assessment effective<br />Certain principles can inform the effective use of summative assessment of coursework. These principles are seen as ways of encouraging skills and attitudes for lifelong learning.<br />“Intrinsic” interest in tasks can be encouraged<br />Pupil awareness of learning goals rather than test performance goals can be developed<br />A wide range of types of understanding can be included in summative assessment<br />Some formative assessment evidence may be included in summative reports<br />Peer- and self-assessment could be included in summative records<br />Tests don’t need to be formal written assessments<br />The comparison of individual pupils on the basis of scores can be avoided<br />Summative tests can be placed before the end of a teaching block so that there is some opportunity for follow-up based on the results, and even reassessment<br />
Making summative assessment effective<br />Summative judgements can be made on the basis of a variety of tests (varied both in form and content)<br />Pupils could carry forward lessons from assessments even into the next school session (eg in the form of a copy of their school report)<br />Feedback can be given to pupils in terms of the learning goals rather than just a test mark<br />Tests might be devised to assess separate elements of the course separately<br />In practising for summative assessment, pupils can make up and answer their own questions. (Research has shown this to be an effective strategy)<br />Tests can be timed according to pupil readiness rather than leaving them to the end of the block of work<br />Summative assessment can be presented to pupils realistically, as being limited<br />Tests can provide evidence for evaluating courses and teaching approaches<br />Whole-school discussion of such assessment principles can be helpful<br />
Conclusion<br />“...the more you can bring teaching, learning, and assessment together; the more successful you and your students will become in knowing how and to what extent meaningful progress is being made (Ellis 2001 p38).”<br />
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