30 January, 2016
Assessment in education is inevitable.
Importance of Assessment
‘Nothing we do to, or for our students is more important than our evaluation of their work and the feedback we give them on it. The results of it influence students for the rest of their lives…’
Its related feedback are essential to student education. However, you may find that more of your time is taken up its areas associated with quality assurance, rather than its potential to support students’ learning. Well-designed evaluation has numerous advantages aside from the obvious one of providing a measure of students’ progress as it can be a means to engage students with their learning. Ideally then, you should aim to support active learning rather than Assessment of Learning to ensure that the assessment process is an integral part of your students’ education.
It is for Learning
It focuses on the opportunities to develop students’ ability to evaluate themselves, to make judgments about their own performance and improve upon it. It makes use of authentic assessment methods and offers lots of opportunities for students to develop their skills through formative assessment using summative assessment sparingly.
It is the machine that drives student learning
A student doing any form of study will be subject to it in one form or another. Similarly, any member of teaching staff will be engaged at some point in assessment-related work. For some of you, assessment takes up a considerable proportion of your workload, and for students it can be a significant determinant of what, when and how they learn. Getting it ‘right’ is therefore important, both for the students and for teachers.
‘Good’ assessment is beneficial for student learning as well as staff
A well-designed one can encourage active learning especially when its delivery is innovative and engaging. Peer and self-assessment, for instance, can foster a number of skills, such as reflection, critical thinking and self-awareness – as well as giving students insight into the assessment process. Discussing the ways in which you’re assessing with your students can also help to ensure that the aims and goals of your assessments are clear. Implementing it that makes use of technology, such as the use of online discussion forums or electronic submission of work, can teach students and perhaps other teachers new skills. If you design your assessments well they can also help to deter plagiarism by reducing the ways in which students can collect and report information. At the end of the day, taking some time to think about why, what and how you’re going to assess students is a worthwhile investment of time. It can help ensure teachers are assessing the skills and knowledge that they intended and it could open up new possibilities for different ways to assess students, some of which may be more efficient and effective than the current methods being using.