|The Education for All Teacher-Training Package - Volume 1 (UNDP - UNESCO, 1995, 162 p.)|
|Topic 3 - Focusing on Learning|
Reflect on your last school year. Think about the number and variety of ways in which you were assessed. List them. Now write a short commentary on each of them. Use the following questions to help you:
· How did you feel these assessments?
· Were they fair?
· Were you adequately prepared for them?
· Were the results used by your teacher to help you to improve your learning?
· After these tests, did you have a clearer idea of your strengths and weakness?
Now look at your reflections. Not only are final results (summative evaluation) needed, as they are often used to decide promotion from one level of the education system to another, or to the world of work, but evaluations which feed back to pupils, teachers, schools and parents what has, and has not, been learned, and why (known as formative evaluation), are also necessary. Such evaluations are diagnostic, providing information to teacher and pupils about the next stage in learning. You may also have referred to the three basic modes of assessment: classroom-based, school-based, external.
Did you write about the usefulness of assessments? Did you include that assessment is also meant to make learning more effective? Was that your experience?
How assessment can be used to make learning more effective.
For assessment to be effective it must be seen as part of the teaching/learning process. Teachers need to use assessment as a way of monitoring their pupils' progress - to find out what has been understood, what has not been, and why. Based on this information, they then plan strategies to correct the situation. They should inform individual pupils about their strengths and weaknesses, indicating clearly to them how they can improve. Teachers should also note that they will have to modify their own approach based on what their assessment of their pupils has shown. Teachers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that it is only their pupils who will need to make changes in order for improvement to take place.
Some of the basic premises upon which assessment activities should be based are:
1. They should result in increased pupil motivation.
2. They should focus on the most important topics of learning.
3. They should measure higher-order learning skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and reasoning.
4. They should be appropriate to the level of difficulty of the curriculum and to the reality of the classroom.
5. They should test the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain. They should include pupils' ability to transfer and relate knowledge to the world outside the classroom.
6. They should provide prompt, relevant and useful feedback.
1. Select two assessment activities, either from a grade 5 primary textbook or from observation of a primary-school class. You may if you prefer choose a national examination. Examine these in light of the above premises.
2. Design an assessment activities, either from a grade and topic of your choice. Remember to pay particular attention to items 3, 4 and 5 of the basic premises, above. Discuss how you would use the activities to motivate your students.
3. In the Philippines, and some other countries, honesty, co-operation and other values and forms of behaviour. Are evaluated and scored. Is this so in your country?
Discuss means of evaluating affective behaviour. List items that would be included for evaluating, for example, politeness, respect for others and honesty, and state how these would be evaluated and scored.
You need to take special note that for assessment to be of significant value to learning the teacher has to pay greater attention to the use of the results. She or he has to look at why the results occurred and not just record them.