Assess LearningMay 15, 2022 2022-06-15 7:17
Assessment is the systematic process of acquiring information to make inferences about teaching and learning, with the purpose of increasing student’s learning and development and making a decision. There’s a lot of different ways to assess students. It can be formal testing, creating rubrics, or even through assignments. Assignments are a task or academic work assigned to students in an effort to gain valuable information about what students have learned, how well they learned, what challenges they faced, and how can ‘we’, as an educator, do it better?
Using assignments as an assessment method helps students demonstrate the integration and application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and also provides teachers evidence of the student’s learning and achievement of learning goals. To evaluate the output products, teachers can use various methods depending on the focus of the assignments, for instance teachers can use sensory perceptions like observing, reading or touching to evaluate student’s outputs, from the quality of produced products to group/individual’s performance or skills. To use assignment for assessment purposes, teachers must make sure that the given assignments are aligned with the learning outcomes and teaching activities. Defining criteria and rubrics can help students see what is valued, what key aspects of performance they are expected to master, and to what level or standard of that particular performance/product.
Types of Assignments – Examples:
- Essay – this type of assignment has a clear and logical structure. Its components consist of title, introduction, main paragraph, and conclusion. It’s usually either analytical or argumentative.
- Oral presentation – A form of assignment that requires students to use spoken word to present the research they have done, express the understanding of the set topic, and demonstrate their transferable skills.
- Projects – The students are brought to real life context and technology to the curriculum through this assignment. They can exercise their skills to the full extent, especially research skills, management skills, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking skills. This type of authentic assessment allows teachers, as a hands-on learning facilitator, to systematically document student progress, engagement, and development.
- Interview – This assessment requires students to not only improve their oral communication, but also to think and react appropriately to what other people say. When students try to really listen and understand what the other person is coming from, it’s an exercise in empathy and how to connect.
- Case studies – It offers one way to create a sense of relevance in terms of content and skills to students. The problems presented must be challenging and complex enough to yield many solutions with many layers, requiring students to demonstrate a set of combination skills to search for answers.
- Group Assignment – When assignments focus on a process as an output, group work surely worth some merit, especially cognitive restructuring and social and emotional learning. This type of assignment allows students to work together to solve the problem, learn to tackle the problem from new perspectives, overcome the conflict, and practice communication and people skills.
Related MUIC workshop
- Workshop 6: Introduction to Collaborative Digital Writing & Text Analysis Apps, and Managing Online Learning & Assessment
- Workshop 8: Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) Design Sprint Collaborative brainstorming to empower learners of all levels, and MBP: Multimedia Book-review Projects: A Project-Based Learning model for Literature
Assessment is the critical aspect in teaching and learning. It’s one of the most powerful forms of accountability held by education providers. Assessment offers useful feedback to both teacher and students about to which level students’ performance is successfully meeting up with the course learning objectives. It provides the evidence to validate and document that learning and achievement do actually happen in the class, and reflect the development of rationale for teaching practices.
There are generally two forms of assessments; formative and summative assessment. The first one is regarded as a tool to evaluate student learning over the course time. Its purpose aims at better students’ performance and giving action-oriented feedback during the learning process, so that students have an opportunity to change behavior and re-learn. It helps the learners to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can improve themselves to meet the desired outcomes. The teachers are also provided an opportunity to early detect students’ struggling and identify the areas needed for both teaching and learning development. The second form involves the evaluation of students at the end of the study course. The strength of summative assessment lies in the critical information it provides about students’ overall performance and future areas teaching and learning could be developed in order to make further improvement.
Methods of assessments – Examples:
- Projects – usually being carried out individually or in group, students are working under the guidance and direction of a teacher. They not only produce the single outcome, but are encouraged to connect diverse knowledge from prior learning and experience beyond the classroom. Teachers can use authentic assessment during the project-development process to assess how the students come up with ideas and solve the challenges faced. Plus, as a facilitator, teachers can also assess the skills-level that students used for each solutions’ strategy.
- Skills demonstration – involves students demonstrating skills and other abilities, basically providing evidence that they’ve learned and mastered the skills to the certain level designated by course learning outcomes.
- Role play – involves students being given a scenario, and act out an imaginary situation. Teachers can use this method to assess students’ skills such as communication, creativity, problem solving, their understanding and perspectives towards the given characters and situations, including assessing their engagement and involvement during the play.
- Observation – provides an opportunity for the teacher to monitor, record, and report the evidence of students’ learning. It can be used in any domain, to gauge and determine if the students are performing according to desired expectation, or achieving at what level.
- Reflective journal – serves as a personal record of students’ learning. It encourages self-directed learning, and allows students to reflect critically on their learning process and make a connection between what they’ve learned in the classroom and what they’ve experienced when those theories come into practice.
- Oral presentation – can be used in various settings. Usually accompanied by rubrics or certain criteria, presenters will be assessed on how effectively they address, communicate, or educate the particular topic to the audience. Besides expressing understanding or personal perspectives on the subject, it can be delivered with the purpose of entertainment or argumentation.
- Self-assessment – Students are responsible for realistically judging their performance or outcome product in relation to the criteria set, in order to further improve learning, which is a skill required for professional development and life-long learning.
- Peer-assessment – involves a range of activities that include students in evaluating and providing feedback to their peers.
- Exhibition – a powerful demonstration of a student’s mastery in the discipline, often physical or virtual presentations to the public outside everyday classroom. Teachers can assess both the building up process to the exhibition, or the exhibition itself as a final product. This method of assessment reflects student’s learning, understanding, and creating which is the highest level of skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Field Report – an observational report of phenomena, behavior, process, …, that integrates the theoretical knowledge from the classroom with the real setting, together with an analysis element.
Further Reading on Assess Learning:
Online Supporting Tools
To deliver feedback, there are several online tools and platforms that allow teachers to directly communicate with students and offer prompt and acute feedback of their performance. Some tools are specially designed for these kinds of tasks: Exam.net, Testimate, …, or well-known tools like Kahoot, Socrative, Google Forms, Survey, …, while others provide an all-in-one platform where teachers can manage all teaching and learning , including assessing in one place; Moodle, Edmodo, …, or basically every Learning Management Systems (LMS).
Online Tools – Examples:
A new digital tool that allows teachers to visually and audibly monitor the students during the examination. It can be used within the classroom where students physically present, or in the scenario where students are in remote locations. Teachers are able to create and administer the online assessment within the platform through several video conferencing services such as Meet, Hangouts, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. When used together, Exam.net monitors what the students do on the device, while the video solution monitors what happens at the student’s location. The site comes with built-in support tools such as GeoGebra and Desmos, programming/coding spell-check, drawing area, diagrams or graphs embedding function, chemistry formulas and tables add-on, calculator, and other tools that support writing mathematical expressions. In addition to math/science-oriented tools, you can also find tools such as built-in dictionaries in different languages, audio files, speech synthesis, translation, and Turnitin. During the exam the student’s device is locked to the exam environment which means the student is prevented from copy/pasting text and the teacher can monitor student’s activity log, trace back how a text has evolved, and analyze the text to check for plagiarism. After the exam, teachers can choose to either print, download as PDF or Word file, or export the student’s work to Google Drive or OneDrive. The functions to mark, grade, and provide feedback are not, however, included within the platform. Another plus point of Exam.net, besides providing a secure exam environment, is the fact that it is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant, and has taken highly security measures, for example, encrypted communication, sign-in log and protection against malware, to protect the data of users. The teachers can also choose the level of security when creating an exam, which could restrict students’ browser options and make it impossible for them to access other programs or tools on their devices during the examination.
Testimate is a full-fledged platform developed to support a remote exam. Its features cover three areas: exam creation, proctoring, and scoring report. Its exam features support various types of questions-making, simple to complex. The teachers are provided with options to use questions of single choice, multiple choice, multiple choice reason, matrix table, complex multiple choice, short answer, subjective, etc. This platform supports a number of smart devices, either Android or IOS. Its proctor feature offers flexibility as much as its exam-making functions. Testimate provides facility to capture pictures of remote exam takers using student’s live webcam feed, which helps to identify if a student is appearing for the exam without any external help. It also identifies the exam takers’ location (longitude, latitude), and IP address, to inform the proctor where they actually are. The system is working as a tracking tool for each individual, and displays their status in real-time on the proctoring dashboard. All progress data is shown in infographic/table/picture format. In addition, the scoring system is working immediately after each question has been answered. The system also comes with a prevent-cheating function which allows the proctor to check a student’s activity log, get an instant alert and flag when they do something that is not allowed in the exam i.e. switch screen to YouTube or other prohibited application. The system allows you to set the criteria (range of number that presents the level of achievement students had performed) to be used for report results. Scoring can be done automatically or manually. The answers can be exported individually or in a big chunk, together with attached files and timestamps. When analyzing the exam, the system creates two reports; audit trail and custom report. First report uses data collection from demographic and personal behavior, while the later collects data from individual and subject results to generate an analysis.
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