Concluding Entry

As I end up my entry in this course,
I will work on to be a teacher that will  design
a better and unique assessment that will improve
my students’ learning and my personal instructional approach.
I look forward of meeting practicing teachers
that are diligent in crafting reliable assessment to bring out the
best knowledge, ability, and skill of a learner.
 
child prays
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Think Differently

Why Bother Assessment ttest2o be Authentic?

  • Ask students to demonstrate understanding by performing a more complex task usually representative of more meaningful application in lieu of a typical a,b,c or d, true or false by simply selecting the right answer.
  • Often ask students to analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner, and students create new meaning in the process as well, instead of a simple recall or memorization of knowledge.
  • Allow more student choice and construction in determining what is presented as evidence of proficiency. Even when students cannot choose their own topics or formats, there are usually multiple acceptable routes towards constructing a product or performance.
  • Offer more direct evidence of application and construction of knowledge.
  • Ask to demonstrate proficiency by doing something.

Teaching to the test

Assessment whether it be traditional or authentic creates a different perspective in teaching to the test. In TA, teachers are discouraged from teaching to the test for it usually assesses a sample of students’ knowledge and understanding, and assumes that students’ performance on that sample.  It became the representative of their knowledge of all the relevant material and if teacher focuses on the sample to be tested during instruction, then good performance on that sample does not necessarily reflect knowledge of all the material.  So, teachers hide the test so that the sample is not known beforehauthenticand, and teachers are admonished not to teach to the test.

In AA, teachers are encouraged to teach to the test so that students will learn how to perform well on the tasks. During the process it is shown to them the models of good (and not so good) performance so that they would be able to see the task rubric ahead of time. There is no cheating in this case for there is no correct answer to copy but simply presenting what would be the possible good answer among the choices. By knowing what good performance looks like, and by knowing what specific characteristics make up good performance, students can better develop the skills and understanding necessary to perform well on these tasks.

Strategic moves

Written tests, oral exams, projects, homework, and recitation had been part of education in the life of both the teacher and student. All forms of assessment have greatly influenced my learning. It pushes me to read, research, memorize, analyze, solve, and think to answers the tests correctly. In my early years, I consider tests as simply compliance to pass the subject but as I matured, I realized that it is not simply for grading purposes but also utilized to improve teaching and learning. Assessment no matter how it is crafted has its lying objective which is to transfer knowledge to learners. chess

Tests vitalize student to be prepared by browsing and reviewing the book or notes. As a teacher and a learner, I consider assessments as a battle of mind in which both players have to  be strategic to win the fight. It may have negative, devastating, and undermining effects to some students but assessment is inevitable that a learner should work on to avoid these depressing results. Teachers are called for to think of tests that will improve, encourage, and reinforce learners to enable a fun and more exciting journey of learning.

Know Thyself

Assessment as learning involves the active participation of students to reflect by themselves how knowledge and skills be improved. It simply allows student to self edit their own potentials to have quality learning. Assessment as learning which is also knows as self assessment is defined as “the process by which the student gathers information about and reflects on his or her own learning … [it] is the student’s own assessment of personal progress in knowledge, skills, processes, or attitudes. Self-assessment leads a student to a greater awareness and understanding of himself or herself as a learner” (Ministry of Education, 2002, p. 3).

To assess the learning progress, students should ask themselves: “Where I am now? Where am I trying to go? What do I need to get there? How will I know I have accomplished what I set out to do?” Through these guiding questions it would enable learners to track where he needs to focus in studying and to ensure that he would be able to struggle more to learn. To practice self assessment, the following points need to be considered:

stud1To help students determine where they are now, teachers can …

ensure that students understand the criteria for quality work, so that they are able to assess themselves as fairly and accurately as possible help students gradually assume more responsibility for their own learning, as they practise using self-assessment tools such as checklists, rubrics and student-led conferencing forms provide students with opportunities to discuss their self-assessments in light of peer and teacher assessments ensure that all stakeholders provide specifi c anecdotal feedback rather than scores or grades to identify explicit next steps for student learning

 To help students determine where they intend to go, teachers can …

develop with students clearly articulated learning targets and provide concrete exemplars of student work; students need to understand what they’re “aiming for” defi ne good work using language that is meaningful for the learners; ideally, involve students in determining the language that is used establish what language or symbols will be used for the purposes of reflection and self-assessment, depending on age level and development model goal-setting for students monitor the goals that students set for themselves (i.e., that they are meaningful and manageable) ensure that goals are recorded for future reference

 st3To help students determine what they need to do to get there, teachers can …

collaboratively identify strengths and gaps in student learning through the analysis of a variety of data help students to develop realistic action plans that are practical and directly linked to the goals that have been selected monitor students’ progress as they implement action plans

 To help students determine whether they have accomplished what they had set out to do, teachers can

have students revisit long-term goals periodically to reflect on their relevance and to make any necessary adjustments talk with each student about his/her goal(s) have students write a specific reflection about their goal(s) and what they did to achieve them – students may need guidance to identify their strengths and areas for improvement

The ability to self-assess effectively develops over time and with experience (Cassidy, 2007). Thus, a teacher needs to select tools and strategies that would be helpful in assessing students and letting students assess by them as well.

 Source:

The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat CAPACITY BUILDING SERIES.  Retrieved November 16, 2013 from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/StudentSelfAssessment.pdf

Diveresified Assessment

examConstructing an effective assessment is a challenge for every practicing teacher. As a personal observation in  institutions were I had been a student and a teacher shows, that most of the teachers seldom adopt multiple technique to assess students. Probably because of the time required to prepare for a new type of test or the difficulty in creating the same. I love teachers who design uniquely an assessment where me and my friends expressly appreciates by stating the line that, “exam na pinag isipan talaga”.

It would be more interesting to respond in a series of measure that show student’s understanding through multiple methods. A better understanding of lessons would perhaps be expected from the learner if teachers can just find ways to design assessment not by focusing on just one method for this has limitations. Opportunity for students to grow and to learn is the main goal of assessment and this can be done by trying different approaches. To experiment and try new does not mean abandoning the traditional assessment but opening avenue to keep the students learning.

Grant Wiggins (1998) used the term ‘educative assessment’ to describe techniques and issues that educators should consider when they design and use assessments. His message is that the nature of assessment influences what is learned and the degree of meaningful engagement by students in the learning process. Teachers of today must be creative in designing assessment that would drive their learners to learn.

Assessment not just impacts student’s learning and motivation but also influences the nature of instruction in the classroom. Good assessment enhances instruction that will inform teachers about what activities and assignments will be most useful, what level of teaching is most appropriate, and how summative assessments provide diagnostic information. It is not merely the student that should be learning but teachers as well must study how to craft a better and effective assessment.

Aligned vs. Unaligned

The figures  below show how does aligned course differ from unaligned course

            slide-16-728                               slide-15-728

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source:
Tcj ensuring the alignment of assessment with learning outcomes. Retrieved on October 26, 2013 from
http://www.slideshare.net/michelepinnock/tcj-ensuring-the-alignment-of-assessment-with-learning-outcomes.                                   

DO I NEED TO BE ASSESSED?

The need to assess every student cannot be denied and I as a learner want to be assessed. It supports the student to improve learning and certify that learning has occurred. Thus, it is necessary to effectively design an assessment that would be able to distinguish excellent, good, and poor levels of achievement. Preparing an effective assessment requires careful planning and must consider the proper approach in order to serve its purpose to support learning.

asssessment

The learning objectives, the type of assessments to be used, and the instructional activities must be inter related in order to arrive an effective assessment otherwise, misalignment would occur. When my elementary English teacher asks our class to watch movie, then afterward call us one by one to give the gist of the story, defeat its purpose to learn vocabulary. Our class needs to learn synonyms antonyms but it differ from what is being called for by the assessment. Assessment method must be chosen and be fundamentally based on what is most appropriate for the purpose of the assessment and the learning objectives that are to be assessed. A teacher needs not to choose a method that he/she just simply likes, or that it is easy to mark. The goal to improve and develop the learning of students must be given major consideration in crafting an effective assessment.
A systematic approach is needed for effective assessment design encompassing a planning phase, a ‘doing’ phase (what the students and academics are required to complete), followed by an evaluation and enhancement phase (reviewing and improving).

What are grades for?

To aim for high grades is not bad but to become obsessive with it sometimes leads to untoward incident. There are students who get hooked on studying finding themselves unprepared of not hitting the bull’s eye for the highest score. It often results to frustrations which has a terrible effect to behavior and character of students. There is no real learning if the goal is merely to achieve the high grades. 100g

Author Stefanie Weisman wrapped the purpose of high score and said, “As you work to become a better student, remember that learning is far more important than the numbers on your transcript. I know it can be hard sometimes to remember what you’re in school for. In some places, students go crazy over a tenth of a point – but this is an unhealthy and unsustainable way to manage your education. The real reason you’re in school is to grow as a person and fulfill your potential.”

High grades must be a motivational factor to achieve the real purpose of learning. A shining star that will guide the student to nurture the mind, develop skill, and enhance the ability to succeed.

GRADES DO MATTER

“One peso for every perfect test.” This is the motivational line I remembered from my father when I was in grade 1. At early stagebabygirlstudying of my studies, I already consider grades as important as one peso. That I need to work for a perfect score to have additional ‘baon’ in which I really enjoyed. As my time flew in school, I have this notion that grades really matter to students, teachers, and in the class. 
Grades motivate me to aim for high score and avoid failing grade. It helps me to develop a growing and persistent interest to the subject and study for the exam. This keeps me in the right pace to engaged in studying and be surprised with the grades. Excitement breathes in as I am wandering to which group I would belong – good, best, or poor student.
Grades add color and flavor in my learning that makes it fun. Every tests or assessments which helps improve my learning are grades that evaluate my performance. Grades do not measure true intelligence, but I believed it contributes on how a student would perform in every assessment. Grading is still a powerful tool for effective learning and assessment. It yields rich information to enhance a well crafted teaching and learning strategies. An important and indispensable element that makes every subject worth learning.