Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Initiatives in Assessment 1

First lesson on the initiatives in assessment.

The lesson started proper with the class discussing what assessment is and its purpose. The class got into a meaningful discussion on assessment, something all teachers are concerned about. As we discussed, I realised that assessment has gone through numerous facelifts from the time when I was student up till now, when I am a teacher myself.

Then, the purpose of assessment was mainly to confirm if a pupil has understood what he/she has learnt throughout the year. It was a test to see if a pupil is viable to be promoted to the next academic level in a primary school system. The way assessment is carried out has also changed. Then, it used to be all pen and paper tests.

However, assessment nowadays has definitely changed. We see a transformation of assessment from just being a tool for a pupil's promotion to assessment being a tool to check for understanding, a tool for feedback and milestone checks. We see a transformation from the traditional pen & paper tests to the more sophisticated way of using rubrics, portfolios and such.

No longer is it enough to just have the traditional pen & paper tests as a form of assessment. Since the purpose of assessment has changed, so has the modes of assessment.

Take for example, portfolio assessment, a tool which my school uses as a form of alternative assessment apart from the tradition pen & paper tests. I have seen how the use of portfolio assessment has largely contributed to a pupil's learning. Portfolio assessment has allowed for the pupils to learn a concept or topic in more depth as compared to when the teacher is just teaching from the textbook. In addition to that, portfolio assessment has allowed for pupils to improve and edit their work before it is being submitted as a final product. The teacher's feedback then comes in handy and useful to the pupil.

The move from the traditional mode of assessment to the more sophisticated ones we have these days play a large part in a child's sense of achievement over his own learning. Pupils are then more motivated to learn and study. In this case, assessment plays a crucial and essential part in a child's learning.

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