The last time I wrote on my blog, I defined assessment as an evaluation method that are graded and measured with tools. In this module, I gained a broader understanding with regards to gathering evidences, components of assessment and the assessment cycle.
Sound evidence is a must to provide meaningful information to consider that the assessment is an effective one. As I was reading the ways of gathering evidence by UCONN, I realized that there are a lot of ways but not all were used to measure learning outcomes. By establishing learning objectives, choosing the right assessment tool is necessary. When you assess, you should select different assessment tools that fits the course program. There’s no such thing as “one size fits all”. This goes with ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve these outcomes.
I also learned about the different components that make up an assessment. In assessment of student learning, components serve as the building block that is required to complete or finish an activity or a course program. Components of student learning outcome consist of: Goal, Student Learning Outcome, Method of assessment, Performance targets, Assessment results and Use of assessment results.
Figure 1 Components of student learning outcome
Student learning outcomes, should derive from the objectives which flow from the goals and mission of the program. An Assessment Plan includes all these components and focuses on the assessment of each learning outcome and how the evaluation of the results of the assessment are used for program improvement.
After identifying the components here comes the cycle. Components are connected within a cyclical process and not in linear arrangement. Here, I understand that assessment should undergo in cyclical rather than linear progression. Why did I say that? It’s because it is repetitive with continuous improvement and development of a certain program. I also compare it with a spiral shaped or a wheel. In terms of how this is reflected in teaching and learning, it means that our learning will pass through same areas of study repeatedly over time. Learning therefore is continually deeper with every cycle you are part of.
Similarly, what is learned as we cycle around the wheel of learning is what is there for us that time around. We will come back to essentially the same lesson on the next cycle so there are no ‘beginner’s learnings’ or ‘advanced learnings’ as such. There are the learnings you get this time, and there are the learnings you will spot next time, and there are some learnings it will do you well to face more than once. If you keep going around the wheel long enough, you’ll see it all eventually.
I have been working for many years to help my family. I became their provider. After graduation I started working and haven’t been given a chance to pursue my studies. I graduated my bachelor in Business Administration and wanted to pursue it to master’s degree. But it didn’t happen. All because, what I wanted is to help my family, until I realized that I have something to do to make my future plans happen the way I wanted it to be. Good thing is, distance learning is a helpful tool to continue studies without going to school everyday and attend classes in a classroom setting. With this experience in life, I must say that I have improved something, that I had my own plan and action. I didn’t stay for what I believed before. There is always room for improvement. All you have to do is assess yourself and follow the cycle.