Final Entry

I’m glad I took this course! I’ve realized how much nursing and teaching are alike – both professions have assessment, goal setting, planning, intervention and evaluation. I never thought teaching can be so meticulous! What I particularly like about the course is the module on the different types of assessment. It made me so curious that lately I’ve been reading about articles, studies, books, etc. about it.

 

This course made me realize that effective assessment means much more than just giving out test and assigning grades. It made me realize that assessment is an ongoing process. It occurs before, during and after a unit/lesson. EDS113 made me aware of my philosophy on assessment. I believe that the purpose of assessment is to determine the level of understanding of the student, to gauge what skills are needed, to define what prior knowledge is available, to work towards achieving a higher understanding, to assess if the student has reached a particular standard, to monitor growth and also a means to reflect on what can be done with the knowledge gained.

 

This course also made me realize how teaching and assessment are purposefully related together. I strongly believe that assessment is an effective tool in achieving the purpose of education. Assessment should enhance performances, not simply measure it. By giving meaningful feedbacks and allowing students to be part of the assessment process, the student will be able to improve and reflect on what can be done. It allows them to be in control of their learning by enabling them to reflect and analyze what patterns work and what skills are needed. I realize that for every feedback, learning takes place.

 

EDS113 made me stop and reflect on how I assess my student. I was able to apply the things I’ve learned and make assessment more fruitful. It made me realize that quality matters more than quantity. You can have a billion tests on plant cycle but if the purpose of the test is not defined and nothing is done with the results then the entire test was done in vain.

 

My first year in teaching was a struggle for me, especially in assessment. I’m used to the traditional style of grading and coming to a school where it is completely done differently was really challenging for me.  This course has forced me to consider other variety in assessing my students. I plan to use new tasks to match the learning styles and needs of different types of learners. I also plan to focus more and put extra effort in motivating the students to do self-assessment by showing them how to identify their strengths and weakness and how to take responsibility for their own learning. I need to learn to stop coaching the students every step of the way – I’ve recognized that after communicating the criteria for high performance, I should allow the student to be flexible and take charge of constructing their own interpretation.

 

I am grateful for having Teacher Malou as my teacher in EDS113! I was surprised last year when she would still accept late work. It was through EDS113 that it started to make sense – the quality of work is graded and the not the speed of time it was accomplished. Thank you for motivating us and consistently showing compassion!!! I wish you all the best!

References

REFERENCES

https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/criteria-higher-quality-assessment_2.pdf

http://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/teaching-and-learning/assessment/assessment-criteria

Anita Woolfolk (2004). Educational Psychology. 9th ed. United States: Pearson. 514, 515, 567.

http://testprep.about.com/od/tipsfortesting/f/Grading_Curve.htm

http://www.k12academics.com/education-assessment-evaluation/standards-based-assessment

http://www.k12academics.com/education-assessment-evaluation/standards-based-assessment#.UpwmPpHXOKE

http://www.deakin.edu.au/itl/assets/resources/pd/tl-modules/scholarly/studyguides/criterion-ref-assessment.pdf

http://prezi.com/9wofs7re4bhh/copy-of-norm-referenced-tests-criterion-referenced-tests/

http://www-tc.pbs.org/teacherline/courses/inst325/docs/inst325_stiggins.pdf

http://www.slideshare.net/freshious/authentic-vs-traditional-assessment

http://www.cssvt.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Traditional-vs-Authentic-Assessment.pdf

 

 

Is being traditional bad?

Is being traditional bad?

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As I was going through modules 8-9 Traditional Assessments, Planning and Construction, I started to wonder is being traditional bad? Surely the educational system has improved over the years but is it right to completely abandon the old and trust what’s new? I’m a product of traditional assessment. I’ve survived right minus wrong grading, tricky true or false questions, mind popping multiple choice test, fill in the blanks, matching types, sentence completions and many more. I can confidently say that yes I’ve learned something, was it anywhere near fun? Definitely no but I did learn a lot.

 

I think that traditional assessment still provides valuable information regarding the students learning. I also think that as a teacher the focus should be the quality of assessment – what is the purpose of the assessment? What are you trying to extract from the student? What do you plan to do with the assessment?

 

The world is constantly changing and we do need to prepare our students for the unknown but we shouldn’t also forget about the past. By taking consideration the good strategies we learned from traditional assessment and incorporating assessment and new studies, we will be able to make assessment more fruitful for our students.

Alternative Assessment

  • Describe how alternative assessments align with the broader vision towards more meaningful, relevant, and globally competitive education.
  • What challenges/ obstacles face the introduction of new assessment methods into the educational system?  How do you propose to hurdle these challenges?

My current school follows alternative assessments – this includes summative and formative assessment, student portfolio, rubrics, student continuum and student lead questions. The hardest part of having all of these is not having enough time to go through it all. The practice is great but it’s really time consuming. I can say that alternative assessment aligns with the broader vision towards more meaningful, relevant, and globally competitive education by formulating lessons unique to the student. Although it is time consuming, I think the students reap a lot of benefits from the feedback that are given to them. Take for example my student named Karen (not her real name) in grade four. In her science subject, we are currently learning about soluble and insoluble. A center activity was given to the students, the task was to observe if the following materials will dissolve in water – rice, sugar, salt, chalk, chicken knorr cubes, flour, sand and coffee granules. All observations were logged in a data sheet. In the same worksheet, the following questions were asked: Based on the activity, what do you think soluble and insoluble mean? Group the 8 materials according to soluble and insoluble. What factors do you think affects the process of dissolving? Karen wasn’t able to define what soluble and insoluble mean. Since she can’t differentiate the two, she wasn’t able to answer the rest of the questions. It was like a domino effect – as soon as she missed the first one, she missed all of the rest. After checking her work, I was able to sit down with her and differentiate the lesson for her. By giving her feedback, I’ll be able to access if there is improvement in our next formative assessment. This whole process sounds easy but when you are trying to do 24 of it… it’s not a joke at all but when you see your students improving – oh what joy it brings!

 

Challenges

What challenges/ obstacles face the introduction of new assessment methods into the educational system?  How do you propose to hurdle these challenges? 

k8522810When I encountered alternative assessment, I was skeptic with the whole process. I remember asking myself, why is this better than traditional assessment? I remember my teacher in college would start the semester by explaining to the class the breakdown of grades. I never questioned why or how it was constructed. I merely nodded and continued to take down notes.

As I was given the checklist for words their way, a spelling program that the school follows, I was confused. I remember in elementary my teacher would ask us to bring a spelling booklet and every week we would have new words to spell and memorize its definition. As I was staring at the checklist, I gave out a soft sigh… more papers to check…more papers to analyze… how will I fit this in my schedule?

After a week I finally got a hold of it. The skepticism started to fade and I was starting to like the program. I guess the greatest challenge of introducing a new assessment method into an educational system is the willingness of the teachers to change. Change is uncomfortable… It is rocking a once steady boat. That’s how I felt when I first started alternative assessment. Why change something familiar? The answer is – because nothing in this world is permanent but CHANGE. What works for me in college my not work for future generations. We are preparing our students for the future, for the unknown and not for our past.

As a teacher, we need to adapt to these changes. I think the best way to beat the hurdle is to be transparent. Let the teachers understand why new changes are taking place. Enable them to be a part of the change – no one likes the feeling of someone shoving things down their throat. The administration should be clear, encouraging and forgiving – clear in giving expectation, forgiving in the sense that if someone is being defiant they are listened to and forgiven. A good administrator knows how to encourage the teachers to reach a goal.

change

Pressures to meet prescribed standards (Judgment)

In what various ways has assessment affected your perceptions and affective reactions towards learning and being assessed?  

I was never good at taking written exams. While I can express my thoughts verbally, written exams have always paralyzed me. I remember as a student I would get nervous as soon as the teacher tells us to take out a sheet of paper because we are having a test. I think one of my major setbacks in getting good grades was when I couldn’t meet the teacher’s view of answering the question. I remember in math I would get the answer right but I would still get penalized for not following the steps my teacher gave me. Showing my work in math problems was always a challenge. I knew how to answer the question but I had to do it in tally marks or in nonconventional ways.

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I was ashamed of showing my work. It reached to a point that I got so disheartened in doing my work that I couldn’t be bothered trying. In my head, what’s the point? I’ll still get a zero anyway. I also hated the right minus wrong tactics the teacher does to us when she was not happy with the class. I always felt like learning was a form of punishment. It made me feel really bad for not meeting the standards.

Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment

An article about effective grading. A must read! 🙂

http://cla.auburn.edu/cla/assets/docs/assessment/Summary%20of%20Walvoord%20and%20Anderson%20Effective%20Grading.pdf

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