Isn’t a great feeling when you get a nice feedback about a work or task you accomplished? I don’t know about you but it makes me happy and I feel that everything I exerted effort into has value when someone notices it, gives comments about it – may it be a positive comment or a criticism. I would always believe that at least someone has taken time to give my work some time and attention.
I get this feeling whenever I do my school work, tasks, projects, writing, assignment and exams. For me, a teacher gives an effective assessment when he / she gives the students a feedback about every certain work.
As a student, from my younger years up to college, receiving feedback from my teachers is always an issue to me. I always thought I was unappreciated when I work hard for a school task and just get a low grade, without knowing why and how. It’s always a perfect time for me to sing Pink’s “just give me a reason, just a little bit’s enough ♪♪”
A relief and joy is felt when I get a positive feedback. And when criticisms arise, I still like it as I know there is a chance for improvement and that I can do better next time.
Teachers, during my time as a student, and until this very moment, find it hard to provide feedback when assessing their students. This is an issue that needs attention and solution.
In our lesson in Module 6, giving feedback is the subject I would like to focus on. It is very important because the students need to know the reasons behind the grades or ratings they have been receiving.
As teachers, it is part of our mission to make sure that our students are learning and improving. Meaning, when we teach them the lessons then give assessment afterwards (without feedback), the mission of letting them improve becomes unclear. If that is how we do it, we do not give them room for improvement. That is why I strongly believe that giving feedback is very important in students’ learning process.
Why am I saying that feedback is significant for the students to progress? What are its benefits? For me, they are the following:
1. Students feel good that they did well when a grade with positive feedback is given.
2. Students know that their work is well attended and noticed.
3. Students realize their mistakes and can have basis for improvement.
4. Students will strive even harder for better work in the future.
5. Learning occurs because opportunity of adjustment for students’ performances is provided.
Feedback must not be neglected. Teaching does not end when lesson is taught and test is given. Teaching is a cycle for improvement, for never-ending learning and always for the better.
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.