When I was a student back in Elementary, High School and College, I must admit that sometimes I was ‘grade conscious’. I felt the joy of getting high grades to give my parents something to be proud of. Being grade conscious unconsciously made me unhappy too. There were moments of pleasure that I missed like hanging out with friends or just enjoying the learning process, because my main concern was to get good grades.
However, was I assessed correctly by my previous teachers? Did my understanding and way of aiming high grades make me learn? Did I improve? Did I enjoy the learning process? Was my learning journey effective and developed me? I am asking these questions to myself now that I am having a lot of eye-opener from our course ‘Principles and Methods of Assessments’.
To answer myself, I would say: No, I was not properly assessed – although there were very few times that I was. No, the aim and the principles of assessment were not always met during my time.
My experiences and observations can be compared to my present realizations on how assessment should work. My experiences are now telling me that I basically was always being evaluated – not assessed.
Upon studying the modules provided for us, I understand how wide and significant an assessment is. It is not just a basic concept that I used to think. It has framework that is set as “guide to suggest priorities and possibilities with an eye toward communicating meaningful information about student learning that will be useful to various audiences.”
And the most important thing about this framework for Assessment of student learning is that it can improve practice particularly in the current and future sphere of activities.
Now that I am knowledgeable about all of these, this erudition can help me in becoming an effective teacher in the future, particularly in giving proper Assessment to my students.
One of the things that enlightened me in this module is that Assessment is a cycle. Like what I said before, I was evaluated in school, not assessed, when they gave my final feedback and grades right after end of semester or grading period. It was always summative, not cynical.
Assessment should be able to give chances and opportunities for the students to go back, improve, realize and correct mistakes during the learning process itself – not just be graded right at the end.
Like what Westminster College website published: “Good assessment follows an intentional and reflective process of design, implementation, evaluation, and revision. The Assessment Cycle relies on four simple but dynamic words to represent this process: Plan-Do-Check-Act.” In the cycle, there are opportunities for teachers to PLAN about the lesson, DO the teaching, explanations, example and elaborations, CHECK the student’s progress and ACT to give the students’ chances to revise and reflect if they have truly learned, experienced effective teaching and able to practice in actual the acquired learnings.
When it is my time to give my own students assessments, I will make sure that they will not ask the same questions I have enumerated at the start of this blog. I will make sure my way of assessment is cynical and not linear. As an effective teacher, I will assess them following the framework in order for them to learn and enjoy the whole process. It may be easier said than done, however I have confidence now because I am well-informed and guided.