Assessment and evaluation are integral parts ofthe total teaching and learning process
What is the difference between ‘assessment’ and‘evaluation’?
The terms ‘assessment’ and ‘evaluation’ are often used interchangeably by teachers, but assessment really refers to the process of collecting information from learners (e.g., obtaining test scores, work samples) while evaluation means looking at that information and making some decisions in relation to instruction.
DifferencesDimension of Difference Assessment EvaluationTiming Formative Summativepurpose ongoing, to improve to gauge quality learningFocus of Measurement Process ProductFindings Diagnostic JudgmentalRelation Cooperative Competitive
Purposes of assessment The main functions of assessment are: ◗ to enable a teacher to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching program and then to make any necessary modifications to method of delivery, learning activities or resources; ◗ to identify any students who are having difficulties mastering the course content, and thus need additional help; ◗ to provide information if a student is to be transferred to another school or referred for special education; ◗ to be accountable to parents by providing them with evidence of their child’s learning;
Five Assessment Principles To improve their teaching, The best assessment faculty must define derives from teachers’ learning outcomes and questions about their own measure their attainment. teaching. Systematic assessment can To improve their learning, be an intellectually students must learn how to challenging source of use feedback to assess faculty satisfaction. their own progress (= Assessment provides an “self-assessment”). impetus for active student involvement, a proven “best practice”.
There are many methods other than testing for obtaining information on students’ progress. Teachers may even use some of these methods as a lesson takes place. This ongoing type of assessment is referred to as ‘formative’, and can be contrasted with ‘summative’ assessment that comes at the end of a course of study. Formative assessment is particularly valuable because it allows a teacher to make immediate adjustments to the program of instruction when necessary . Summative assessment comes too late to influence the current teaching cycle.
Formative assessment The most common ways of conducting formative assessments are by: ◗ observation of students at work ◗ appraising work samples, homework and portfolios ◗ interviewing students ◗ quizzes and informal testing.
Observation Planned observation represents a very important and natural means of classroom assessment. Observations are often more useful than formal testing because they can be carried out unobtrusively and they yield information that more formal testing instruments cannot obtain.
Observation may be carried out informally, or may be made more formal by adhering to a specified set of procedures or a checklist. Observation checklists are often based on a task analysis of the component skills needed for carrying out a particular process. For example, the assessment of a child’s handwriting skill might involve the detailed observation of the child’s pencil grasp, sitting position, position of the paper, movement of fingers ..etc
Appraising students’ work samples, homework and portfolios Assessment of a student should include perusal of his or her exercise books each week to determine the amount of work the student typically produces in a lesson or for homework, the accuracy and quality of the work, and the consistency day by day.
Encouraging students to collate and store work samples over time for later evaluation purposes is often termed portfolio assessment The portfolio approach is particularly recommended in subject areas such as language arts, the expressive arts, and social studies where samples of written work may be used by students and teachers together as a focus when looking back, reflecting upon, and discussing previous efforts.
one potential weakness in assessing portfolios (particularly if they also contain homework) is that one may not know just how much help a student has received in the preparation of a particular piece of work. Does the work represent the student’s unaided effort? Or has the student copied a draft that had been carefully corrected by a parent?
Quizzes and informal tests Often teachers use a quick quiz or short test as one way of motivating students and revising work that has been taught. While it is not always possible to monitor closely each and every student’s responses in a quiz, teachers can select certain students’ papers to check and evaluate.
Testing Test is a set of standardized questions, problems, or tasks designed to elicit responses for use in measuring the traits, capacities, or achievements of an individual.
Diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests are designed to allow teachers or psychologists to explore a student’s existing knowledge and skills in detail, and to detect any gaps or The items are sequenced in complexity to enable the teacher to detect the exact point at which a student becomes confused and makes errors. The construction of such diagnostic tests is based upon a careful task analysis of the particular concept, skill or process.
When applying diagnostic tests the teacher is actually trying to find answers to the following five key questions ◗ What can the student already do without help? ◗ What skills and strategies has the student developed? ◗ What can the student do if given a little guidance or prompting? ◗ What gaps exist in the student’s prior learning? ◗ What does the student need to be taught next in order to make progress?