Assessment of Learning
Assessment of Learning
Assessment of Learning
Assessment is an essential part of the learning process. It takes into consideration the styles of learning, student strengths, weaknesses and overall needs. In addition, it is an appropriate and flexible means of reflection of the achievements of students against the set out criteria for learning as opposed to comparison against another student. An effective assessment strategy is executed over time and may vary in terms of approach used. Effective assessment of learning is not teacher centered and largely focuses on the needs and strengths of the students. Assessment assumes an important part of learning given that it is an ongoing daily activity. The assessment tool was developed for Grade 1 General Curriculum Outcome.
The assessment is developed as a means to enable data gathering on student learning as means of informing student instruction. The creation of the provided number patterns is aimed at evaluating the strengths and understanding of the students with respect to the use of sequence events in mathematical activities (Bresciani, Gardner, & Hickmott, 2009). Using tests and examinations is an effective means of informing the students on their learning processes. Informing the students on their learning progress and activities is done effectively using formative assessment strategies.
The importance of the assessment of learning influences learning of students through the reinforcement of the connections development of the assessment and the instruction processes. From the tests, one is able to derive information that is essential for developing daily classroom instruction activities and strategies as well as the learning processes for the students. In addition, the indication of the efficacy of an assessment tool is usually responsive to the needs, strengths and learning objectives of the student.
The unambiguous criteria for the learning goals and targets are visible in the classroom in the form of techniques used to record the grades of students in report cards. It also includes unit tests and final examinations to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. Some of the assessments utilized include the use of written tests, student groupings as a means of enhancing student learning, individual oral presentations, mathematical journals and the evaluations by tutors within the classroom setting.
An effective assessment tool such as the one developed meets the criteria to be termed as an effective tool given that it has clear and set out goals and objectives. The need to focus on individual needs of students at the same time enhancing efforts towards achievement of the Specific Curriculum Outcome (SCO) that is in the form of mathematical skills and knowledge. In addition, enhancing the outcomes of student learning using other instructional strategies such as games may yield high results in terms of student achievement.
In addition, an effective tool usually has clear and defined goals and set targets for both the student and teachers. In this assessment, enhancing the mathematical skills of students with respect to the topics that are relative to SCO C2 and C3 was essential towards enhancing overall student participation and achievement in the classroom. In addition, the need to highlight the respective capacities of individual student with respect to the specific curriculum outcomes expectations in mathematics enhances the appropriateness of this tool.
The assessment techniques applied namely tests, student group discussions and evaluations, oral presentations, instructor evaluations on individual student performance and oral presentations can be termed as highly effective. They provide varied benefits that enhance the overall efficacy of instruction and student learning. This integrates the individual needs of the students with the specific curriculum outcomes towards overall enhanced student achievement. Engagement of students through group activities is relatively important given that it provides them with the avenues for even active participation in classroom-based activities.
The assessment is categorized in terms of student ability in a rubric. The use of sequences is categorized in three sections namely mastered. Progressing and struggling. This is vital in developing appropriate strategies with respect to individual needs of each student. The three categories that were used in the assessment to indicate student achievement in line with the specific curriculum outcomes include mastered, progressing and struggling. Mastered skills indicated a high level of skill using and developing number patterns and sequential events as per instructions from the teacher.
The next level of achievement based on the assessment rubric is the progressing level. This relates to the acquisition of commendable skills in developing sequence events and number patterns as per the expectations of the tests, group activities or examinations. The third level is the lowest level and is provided as the struggling phase. This relates to the inability to develop sequential events and number patterns as per instructions due to a variety of individual limitations. Using the three rubric categories it becomes relatively easy for the instructor to develop accurate evaluations on student abilities with respect to classroom based activities (Berry, 2008).
This amounts to understanding both weaknesses and strengths possessed by the students on an individual basis, aiding the teacher to make informed decisions in developing classroom based content. It also informs the strategies to be adopted by the teacher to cater for the needs of the students based on the three categories of achievement relative to the specific curriculum content. Using diverse strategies such as learning games could be an effective means of enhancing student achievement. It enables the cultivation of interest among the students towards achieving relatively high levels of student engagement through leaning activities that they may find enjoyable. Cultivating student interests is essential in enabling them to achieve high results in their learning activities (Harlen, 2007).
Tests, examinations, group activities and teacher observations provide avenues for collection of evidence of student performance and abilities. This informs the possible avenues or strategies that can be used to enhance student achievement with respect to the identified Specific Curriculum Outcome (SCO) (Gardner, 2012). To ensure that all student needs are met, it is essential to make adaptations of the content to meet the Specific Curriculum Outcome (SCO). Students should also be provided with avenues to take proactive roles in their learning. Essentially effective assessment is not restricted to content but also involves the use of responsive and affective assessment strategies that contribute to student achievement and engagement.
Given that assessment of students is a daily activity, responsive assessment should be incorporated in daily teaching plans. The learning targets and goals of the specific curriculum outcomes inform the strategies to be used by the teacher. The need to develop the skills of the students to master development of sequential events and number patterns informs the strategies to be used in instruction of the students. The evolving and diverse needs of the students demands constant evaluations and adaptation of the content towards the needs and strengths of individual students (Harlen, 2007).
Using a diagnostic assessment approach provides a means of discovering the depth of knowledge of the students and their respective skills. It determines the entry point for the teacher towards focus on the individual needs of each student within the classroom. An individualized instruction approach provides a means of ensuring the highest level of quality instruction. In addition enabling the students to own the assessment process enhances the success of the assessment process towards the achievement of the specific curriculum outcomes.
Bresciani, M. J., Gardner, M. M., & Hickmott, J. (2009). Demonstrating student success: A practical guide to outcomes-based assessment of learning and development in student affairs. Sterling, Va: Stylus.
Berry, R. (2008). Assessment for learning. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Gardner, J. (2012). Assessment and learning. London: SAGE.
Harlen, W. (2007). Assessment of learning. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
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