Purposes of Assessment
For the most part in my past experience as a learner, I knew I was assessed using the two natures of assessment which are supplemented by the term; Assessment FOR learning and Assessment OF learning. A term Assessment is used to mean a set of actions undertaken by the teacher and student to gather information.
During my elementary days, at the beginning of the period, we were given a PRE-TEST. The score in this test is important for the teachers to determine at what level of knowledge we already have (and doesn’t have). This could also be the pre-requisite guide in planning what to teach in order to achieve learning objectives. With this experience, I have learned that the assessment FOR learning is used in making decisions that affect teaching and learning in the short-term future. The stage where this can be usefully considered in getting information for instruction is conducted before learning stage.
At the end of the last period, here comes the summative test. This is the time where the Assessment OF learning is for decisions regarding determination and assignment of grades. This also includes reporting on ways students are assessed, reporting and interpreting assessment results. The test usually happens on the last grading period where we were given a POST-TEST. This test is to measure and evaluate student learning at the end of periodical periods and compare against the score we got from the pre-test.
Assessment is essential in education to better appreciate the need to learn and understand assessment principles. Teachers need to take an active role in making decisions about the purpose of assessment and the content that is being assessed. They spend a lot of time doing assessment for students to be able to know not only the basic reading and arithmetic skill that will allow them to face a world that is continually changing. I have learned that students exert much effort when they are being assessed because it is needed to improve their learning. I am a living proof of it.
In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt I strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do – Dorothea Dix. I like this thought. I know I am learning every day. I believe that we are born to learn. But we learn in different ways through life experiences. In this module, I have learned that the primary purpose of assessment is to improve performance of a learner. This will become effective when it reflects the fact that learning is a complex process that is multi-dimensional, integrated and revealed in persons’ performance over time.
After studying this module, I found myself saying YES! I like to see myself changing my approach on assessment over time. I would like to have my own design of assessment in the future. And as a future educator, I want to educate not only the student’s minds, but their hearts as well through life experiences.
Alignment in Assessment
Why do I need to learn assessment and alignment?
In this module, I gained another knowledge that learning assessment is more than testing students and assigning grade. It is a system that provides feedback about student learning. Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is the approach in assessment that can be used to align course objectives, activities and assessment with each other.
Alignment is the connection between learning objectives, instructional activities and assessment as illustrated below:
Proper alignment keeps the educator going in the right direction. If objectives, activities and assessment are not in alignment, consequences are:
- The course may be fragmented and ineffective.
- The students spend on activities that do not lead to intended goals.
- An educator may over-estimate or under-estimate the effectiveness of instruction
- The students received mixed messages about what they should learn.
We know that alignment is important and one way is to use a learning taxonomy, as what I’ve mention a while ago. To present you, the diagram shows below is the illustration of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Here, we recognize the cognitive domains in Bloom’s pyramid, which illustrates that thinking occurs at different levels of complexity. This revised Bloom’s Taxonomy serves as a matrix with types and levels of knowledge and helps the teacher to plot a good combination of course objectives, planning instruction and choosing assessment.
Alignment may seem simple, but it is more difficult when activities are gradually happens along the way. Yes, it can be a challenge to choose what learning activities that effectively accomplish learning objectives. But what is more important is that the student have learned.