Continuous assessment as a relevant tool to quality products of learners in education


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Continuous assessment as a relevant tool to quality products of learners in education

  1. 1. Continuous Assessment as Relevant Tool to Quality Products or Learners in Education Presented by William M. Kapambwe at the National Curriculum Symposium-Mulungushi International Conference Centre 1 st to 3 rd June, 2009 <ul><li>Presentation Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction: Assessment influence and congruency </li></ul><ul><li>What is the curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>What is assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship between Learning and Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Assessment and Purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum Planning Models and Their Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Principles of the Process Model and the Relevance of CA as a Tool to Quality Products or Learners in Education </li></ul><ul><li>Observed Impact of Using CA From the Implementation of the CA Pilot Programme (2006 to 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: ‘Avoiding curriculum distortion by matching curriculum and assessment changes’. </li></ul>
  2. 2. 1.0 Introduction <ul><li>Assessment inextricably linked to curriculum and can have either positive or negative influence on the curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Educational goals or objectives can be achieved when choice of assessment model is matched with curriculum model. </li></ul><ul><li>Mismatched models of assessment lead to curriculum distortion and examples abound, e.g. curriculum to produce critical thinkers but assessed based on low level skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Chosen assessment model reinforces the received curriculum. </li></ul>
  3. 3. 2.0 Definition of the Curriculum <ul><li>Idea of curriculum differentiated across wide range of meanings (Toombs & Tierney,1937:177). </li></ul><ul><li>Basic View : ‘Curriculum is what is taught ’(Squires,1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow View : ‘Body of courses that present knowledge, principles, values, and skills that are intended consequences of formal education’ (Levine,1981) </li></ul><ul><li>Broad view : ‘Curriculum …will have to be conceived as the name for the total active life of each person in college’ (Taylor,1950). </li></ul><ul><li>MOE(2000) considers curriculum as the specification of the desired knowledge, competencies, skills, values, and attitudes which school children in Zambia need to acquire. Includes overall plan of how schools can achieve the goals, syllabuses, timetables, recommended textbooks, exam requirements and other MOE directives affecting teaching and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum =Total instructional experience as detailed in written curriculum, delivered in the taught curriculum and measured in the learned and assessed curriculum. Focus on development of whole personality. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 3.0 Definition of Assessment <ul><li>Teachers make a wide variety of decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment is the process by which teachers gather and organise information to help them make the different decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Various experts’ definitions of assessment reveal the following Principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should be holistic by using a variety of assessment procedures ; multiple assessment (Black and Atkin,1996;Linn & Gronlund,1995:6;Hyland,1998). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should be conducted on an ongoing basis and be school-based. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should be valid and reliable (Johnstone,2003;McGinn,1934). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful classroom assessment should be integrated with the curriculum through teacher-based & alternative assessments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should promote learning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process of assigning a value to specific tasks or creating a cumulative score for performance (Weatherly,1995). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should provide a framework in which educational objectives, targets, criteria and standards might be set. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment should facilitate dialogue between teachers, learners, parents and other stakeholders concerning improvements. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 4.0 Relationship Between Learning and Assessment D ifferent philosophical and psychological theories of learning determine the use of different assessment procedures depending on the purposes for which teaching and learning processes are provided. 4.1 Philosophical Foundations of Learning and Assessment Educational Philosophy Curriculum Organization & Emphasis Teaching & Learning Strategies Assessment Strategies Traditional (Perennialism & Essentialism) Philosophical Base: Realism & Idealism ) <ul><li>Knowledge and information in terms of subject content </li></ul><ul><li>Compartmentalized subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Excellence and high standards </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher-centred </li></ul><ul><li>Textbooks and work-books </li></ul><ul><li>Whole class learning </li></ul><ul><li>Pupils’ passive involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Uniform class experiences & instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Formal and standardized procedures to monitor pupils’ progress in terms of passing courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of pupils’ mastery of concepts </li></ul>Contemporary (Progressivism & Reconstruction) Philosophical Base: Pragmatism <ul><li>Integrated subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Resolving problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Functioning in social environment </li></ul><ul><li>Varied instructional materials </li></ul><ul><li>Learning through problem solving. Teacher-adviser. </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of ways teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Child-centred as Learners actively involved in seeking information to be used. </li></ul><ul><li>Informal assessment assessment procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory as learners are engaged in discovering what they know and can do. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 4.0 Relationship Between Learning and Assessment 4.2 Psychological Theories of Learning and Assessment The three major psychological theories of learning influence the type of assessment used based on the way they view learning: Psychological Theory on Learning Behaviourist or Association <ul><li>Conceptualization of Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Habit formation and as connecting more habits into a complex structure </li></ul><ul><li>Subject mastery </li></ul><ul><li>Learning involves recombining discrete parts </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment Procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of pupils’ acquisition of discrete skills & knowledge in a given domain </li></ul><ul><li>Large scale assessment </li></ul>Cognitive/Ration-alist <ul><li>Structural processing of information that enables learners to understand concepts and acquire abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to transfer what is learned to other tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions that assess students’ understandings of general concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Assesses the use of strategies to solve problems and make inferences. </li></ul>Situative & Socio-historic (Constructionist) <ul><li>Participatory activity in socially organized practices like formulating & evaluating questions & inferences. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes students’ participation in authentic inquiry activities & success on tasks in non-academic settings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 5.0 Types of Assessment <ul><li>Assessment involves collecting information required for different decisions. Different modes of assessment are required for different purposes. The following are some of the modes and are applicable to Continuous Assessment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal and Formal assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal and External assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formative and Summative Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Norm-referenced and Criterion Referenced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low Stakes and High Stakes Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coursework Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process-Based Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous and Terminal Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Although all the modes apply to CA, the weighting is skewed to informal, internal, formative, criterion-referenced, low-stakes, coursework, process-based and assessment for learning modes . </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 6.0 Curriculum Planning Models and their Appropriate Assessment Models T yler’s four fundamental questions to be answered in developing any curriculum have alerted us to a possibility of classifying three models of curriculum planning(Tyler,1949). The three models provide us with the context within which Continuous Assessment can be deemed to be relevant. <ul><li>The Aims and Objectives Model : Educational purpose of the curriculum are primary; Content in relation to objectives; Organization based on objectives. Assessment is aimed at assessing the extent to which the objectives have been achieved . </li></ul><ul><li>The Content-Based Curriculum Model: Curriculum content is central; acquisition of content is central; organisation is a matter solely of effectiveness of ‘delivery’. Assessment is focused on the degree of attainment achieved by the pupils . </li></ul><ul><li>The Process or Developmental Model: Emphasis on the organisation of the educational experiences; Education as series of developmental processes which the curriculum should be designed to promote; Selection of content and methods subordinated to the promotion of developmental processes. Assessment focuses on the development of competencies ; outcomes-based assessment ; Continuous Assessment is the relevant assessment owing to its use of a variety of assessment procedures. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 7.0 Principles of the Curriculum Process Model and the Relevance of Continuous Assessment <ul><li>The Process Model reflects some of the following main principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The rejection of the knowledge base for curriculum planning (Kelly,1999:49). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education planning must be based on clear statements of its underlying principles or of the processes it seeks to promote rather than the goals it is concerned to attain(Stenhouse,1975). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education should be seen as a process of development of the child; fundamental values of education are to be found in the nature of human development and its potentialities (Blenkin,1998;Blenkin and Kelly,1996). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Views society as democratic and human beings as individuals entitled to freedom and equality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education to be designed to empower individuals for active and productive life within a democratic social context. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>CA emphasizes the developmental or progressive aspect of learning since it is on-going and the records reveal progress through records of pupils’ performance. </li></ul><ul><li>CA is well integrated with the teaching and learning processes. </li></ul><ul><li>CA makes the learning outcomes explicit to the learners. </li></ul><ul><li>CA makes use of authentic assessment procedures which contribute to the development of the learners (Real-life & child-centred). </li></ul><ul><li>CA promotes the democratic principle of the Process Model as it is participatory and cooperative. </li></ul><ul><li>CA enhances fairness in assessment by providing for a wide range of assessment possibilities over a period of time (Holistic assessment). </li></ul><ul><li>CA promotes the development of understanding rather than the acquisition of knowledge (assessment of high level skills). </li></ul><ul><li>CA adopts criterion-referenced assessment focusing own individual’s own progress in learning (Child-centred assessment). </li></ul><ul><li>CA uses both formative and summative assessment and rejects the overdependence on testing and examinations. </li></ul><ul><li>CA promotes ‘assessment for learning’ through self and peer assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>CA focuses on assessing learning outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>CA engenders validity and reliability in assessment. </li></ul>7.0 Principles of the Process Model and the Relevance of the Continuous Assessment
  11. 11. 8.0 Observed Impact of Using CA From the Implementation of the CA Pilot Programme (2006 to 2009). <ul><li>Teachers’ skills in assessment were enhanced as they changed from using continuous testing to using continuous assessment, with a variety of assessment procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers’ professional work was enhanced as they were able to integrate assessment and teaching as well as adhere to the syllabus and desisting from ‘examinations-oriented’ teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>CA stimulated the teaching and assessment of the practical learning outcomes; a visit to CA pilot schools shows this work. </li></ul><ul><li>CA enhanced the teachers’ systematic and regular maintenance of pupil performance records which provided feedback for remedial interventions. </li></ul><ul><li>CA’s engagement of pupils in assessment stimulated their interest in learning. </li></ul><ul><li>CA’s regular homework which required the parents checking the work attracted their participation. Parents volunteered to teach. </li></ul><ul><li>Owing to the increased interest in learning, there was a marked reduction in pupil absenteism. </li></ul><ul><li>The CA work enabled the teachers to collaborate in assessment and teaching work. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 9.0 Conclusion <ul><li>The MOE’s goal is to provide the type of education that can prepare and empower individuals for active and productive life within a democratic social context. </li></ul><ul><li>Aspiration is in tandem with the Curriculum Process Model and enunciated in various policy documents. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem is , exam-oriented teaching still predominates. </li></ul><ul><li>Passing exams is not a reflection for deep understanding of concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>CA is relevant to 2030 oriented curriculum as it reinforces understanding, is authentic, learner-centred, participatory (democratic) and more valid and reliable. </li></ul><ul><li>Weakness is CA’s success rests on quality of teachers, paradoxically, its strength is the promotion of teacher professional development. (Objectives model aims at improving teaching as instruction & pupil performance without improving teachers’ personal and professional quality). </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in curriculum should be carefully matched with changes in assessment so as to succeed with curriculum goals. </li></ul>