Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Initiatives in Assessment 2

Dr Yeap surprised us today by bringing the lesson outside the four walls. He presented us with a task of calculating the height of a pillar. We were presented with some tools we could use to help us in arriving at the solution. So there we were, in the cool wind after the rain, looking up at the pillar and wondering how we could find the height of the pillar.

After we tried several ways to calculate the height of the pillar, we proceeded back into the tutorial room. We reflected on the several ways we had tried to see which way made most sense.

I realised later on, how cleverly Dr Yeap had presented us with an authentic performance task. As I reflected on the several ways we tried to measure the height of the pillar, I found out on hindsight that throughout the task, we were asking ourselves questions. We discussed ideas on how to measure the pillar and discussed to see if it was logical and feasible.

In some ways, we were already assessing ourselves when we discussed and bounced back ideas on the best possible way to measure the height of the pillar. I guess, that was what performance tasks aim to bring out.

There was no teaching done. We were simply presented with the task and given tools to help us. The ideas solely came from us with some scaffolding and guiding questions from Dr Yeap to set us thinking about different ways of measuring the height of the pillar. We worked with our prior knowledge and what we knew.

I truly enjoyed the lesson. It gave me an insight to how performance tasks are actually a form of assessment itself, even without any rubrics.

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