Module 1: Assesments Basics

As a new student taking up an education units, this subject (Principles and Methods of Assessment) was just new to me. Before, what I understand about assessment is just merely an evaluation that is graded and measured by giving systematic tools such as an examination or Tests.

Another kind of Assessment I know and have been through but turned out to be meaningless to me, was when I was assessed by a Canadian Expert in applying for a working VISA. Sadly, my credentials did not meet the requirements, so I guess it’s the reason why the result was an application for a student VISA only.

A lot of resources was given by Teacher Malou. As part of my learning, I even posted my notes in one of the categories here entitled “Basic Terminologies used in Assessment” which can also be found at On that page you’ll see all the Definition of Terms.

I’d like to share from the compilation of definition in Eric Soulsby assessment notes, wherein it was noted that assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning & development. This one has been closely similar to the one I thought was the meaning of assessment.

By reading the entire resources provided, I realized that words and terms were often used interchangeably. Obviously, each term was distinct from the others. I cited an example to clarify the distinctions from the suggested resources of our dear FIC. Below is some of it:

 Assessment VS.  Evaluation

Distinctions Assessment Evaluation
Process Assessment of a process means we are understanding the state or the condition of a process through objective measurements and observations Evaluation is determining the value of something.
Timing More of an ongoing process. It is formative. More of a final process. It is summative.
Focus of Measurement Known as process-oriented. That means it focuses on improving the process Known as product-oriented. That means it focuses on the quality of the process
Administrator and Recipient The relationship administrator and recipient share in assessment is reflective. There are internally defined goals. The relationship administrator and recipient share in evaluation is prescriptive as there are standards that are externally imposed
Findings For identifying areas that need improvement. Judgmental in evaluation as they come to an overall score
Modifiability of Criteria Criteria are flexible in assessment as they can be changed Criteria are fixed in evaluation to punish the failures and reward the success.
Relationship between the students The students are trying to learn from each other The students are trying to defeat one another.
Standards of Measurements Standards are set to reach ideal outcomes Standards are set to separate better and worse.

The best part I understand about the difference of assessment from evaluation is the table that shows comparison of characteristics. It is the dimension and distinction in each other. Below shows the table I mentioned a while ago:

Comparison of Characteristics
Assessment vs Evaluation

Assessment Evaluation
Cyclical – ongoing to improve learning
final to gauge quality
How learning is going
What’s been learned
Internally defined criteria/goals
Externally imposed standards
Identify areas for improvement
Arrive at an overall grade/score
Flexible –
Adjust as problems are clarified
Fixed –
Determine success or failure in reaching desired outcome

Assessment in education is done in order to improve the process. The assessment pays attention to learning, teaching, as well as the outcomes.

A good example of the distinction from assessment to evaluation is when it comes to the TIMING. An assessment can be a small paper given to the students by the lecturer. Some give the test at the beginning of the course to find out what the students know already about the subject. During my elementary days, it was called Pre-test. ( I finally realized now why there are rumors about the test that you should at least have a lower grade from pre-test and a higher grade from the Post-test). Either way, it is not only for the benefit of the students but also to the lecturer to have a general idea on how to arrange the course content to suit the needs of the student.

On the other hand, evaluation when it comes to TIMING, is the final process that is determined to understand the quality of the process and this is graded. This type of test was called Post-test (again, this was the term used in my time in elementary days).

To sum it all according to my learning, Assessment, in relation to educational and instructional concept is a continuous systematic process of gathering , analyzing and interpreting of evidences done to identify areas that needs improvement in students with regards to what they have learnt. These are set to achieve ideal outcomes as well. Assessment in education should be precise and accurate using correct measurement called Direct measures such as exams/tests, papers, projects, presentations, portfolios, performances, etc.

Thank you for reading!

Kindly post your replies, comments or suggestions if you have. All will be highly appreciated.

Happy learning!






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