Grade conscious while having fun… This is how I describe myself during my time as a student. From my elementary years, to high school, up to college, I was always particular with the grades that I aimed to have. Having this attitude, there were advantages and disadvantages that occurred. During the process, I tried to enjoy but there was always a feeling of nervousness. I always wanted to be in the honor roll. Luckily, I was able to maintain my grades. I always wanted my parents to be proud of me. That was just my main reason. It was not right. But that was my reason. So, after all, it was not all pure fun. I was after high grades and not to really learn every single lesson. To prepare for every assessment, I did a lot of reading and memorization. If you ask me now if I still remember my lessons, my answer would be NO. maybe some, but most, I won’t. With that kind of preparation, I practiced in my younger years, I would always enjoy the definition, identification and enumeration kind of assessment – it’s all because I did a lot of memorization. Not learning by heart – lessons are easier to forget. I was always threatened to get an assessment with application and experimentation. Now, do I consider myself as an effective learner when I was younger? Definitely not.
As an aspiring teacher, I believe I have the power to change the ways and mentality of my future students. I can make them become effective learners, exactly different from how I was as a student before. This can only happen if I practice proper assessment. Obviously, I would refrain from repeatedly giving tests in a traditional way. This is to prevent my students from just guessing answers and knowing exactly what kind of test they will see in their exam paper. I will make sure that they will think outside the box – experience and perform themselves the lessons that they have acquired. As a teacher, I will not be the only one sharing knowledge but I will be giving my students opportunities to have high involvement in every activity the will occur.
Non- traditional assessment is an assessment where performance of what the students have learned is an important thing. Students tend to think outside the box and become creative since assessments given would normally require critical thinking plus showing and performing their learning. Students become interested and exert more effort when attending classes. High involvement in every activity happens. This assessment can be both threatening and at the same time, fun and enjoyable for the students. It is threatening because too much effort is required. Shyness or not enough confidence can sometimes be felt by some students. They sometimes feel threatened that their performances could go wrong or unsuccessful. However, this is also where the teacher’s role come in – to build and enhance the confidence of each student in order to learn, experience and perform.
In this Module, significance of non-traditional assessment is emphasized wherein I have learned the importance of encouraging the students to be creative thinkers. Personally, the difference and implication of teacher-centered learning and the student-centered learning is an eye-opener to me as a would-be teacher. I have learned that when you teach, your ways must be student-centered.
The following are some of the reasons and points why student-centered way is much more effective in learning process:
- Students construct knowledge through gathering and synthesizing information and integrating it with the general skills of inquiry, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and so on.
- Students are actively involved.
- Emphasis is on using and communicating knowledge effectively to address enduring and emerging issues and problems in real-life contexts.
- Professor’s role is to coach and facilitate Professor and students evaluate learning together.
It simply shows that being student-centered have a lot of benefits to both teacher and learner in order to have productive and better learning process. This made me realize that I can be an effective teacher if I always put the needs of students in the class first.
So, for me to produce effective students (not like me who was only grade-conscious), I have to be very careful in giving assessments, making sure that the students do not just memorize, but they must fully understand. My role will be to prepare my students to comprehend the lesson, make them ready for the assessments by being creative thinkers, always ready to perform and share their experienced learning.
I can and I will.
Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses by Huba and Freed 2000