Assessment Definition and Other Concepts
Learning and effective students’ knowledge assessment is crucial in any education system for it’s the only sure way to prove that learning and exchange of knowledge have occurred between the teacher and the learners. It makes it possible to evaluate whether the learners are developing, in addition to ensuring that the goals of learning are being achieved. This article sets out to expound on the above assertion, but first, we have to define the following key concepts to be used in this essay; knowledge, assessment learning, and evaluation.
Knowledge is awareness, familiarity, ideas, or understanding possessed by someone of facts, information, descriptions, or skills. It is obtained through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. Elsewhere, learning can be understood as the process of acquiring skills, knowledge, values, preferences, or behavior. Assessment is the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data or information on programs for education, aiming to improve learning and development of a student. Evaluation is a process which determines whether or not programs, strategies, and objectives of learning and education are worthy, significant or merited.
From the assessment definition, it is evident that it is both a process and a product of an event whose objective is to improve education and learning programs. Learners or students are at the center of assessment activities and knowledge assessment.
Understanding Assessment Strategies
Having understood the essence of assessment and planning as an important process in the learning and development of students, we need to look at the various assessment strategies used in a learning set-up. From the instructors’ and teachers’ end, assessments evaluate learners through multiple tools across multiple realms of knowledge, character, and performance.
The following can be used assessment strategies;
But how different are the above strategies from assessment activities? The enlisted assessment strategies also may qualify as assessment activities. For example, peer instruction is a method of assessment for learning where an instructor checks whether a concept or lesson has been understood by picking a student to explain what has been (or is being) taught to the rest of the class. If the student manages to perform well this task, then the teacher may be satisfied that some understanding of the lesson is taking place.
In higher learning institutions, one of the most common assessment strategies and assessment activities used in classrooms is the Socratic session. Basically, students ask one another questions about the topic of the day or the selected reading. The questions generate a dialogue which is followed by various responses and follow-up questions. Students are at the center of raising questions and responses that address issues leading to new learning and understanding.
Effective students’ assessment strategies are dependent on a host of factors such as age level, class size, among others. It is noteworthy that any knowledge assessment and planning strategy ought to address itself to the following questions;
The end goal of teaching is that learners are able to understand. Therefore, for instructors, knowledge assessment strategies, or effective students’ assessment activities need to focus on the above questions. The same would apply to school administrators conducting assessment analysis.
How About Assessment for Learning?
Assessment for learning is the process of using assessment information. Teachers need this process to adjust their strategies of imparting knowledge. The learners would use the assessment information to adjust their strategies of learning. Clearly, for students, assessment for learning enables them to obtain information that can help them manage and plan the best cause of action in their learning, which means that through this process, learners are able to take stock of what they have learned and be guided on what next to be learned.
For teachers, assessment for learning is important because the information gathered is necessary for the following; firstly, to adequately plan and revise teaching programs for students, either individual students or the entire class. Secondly, to locate the strength of students in order for both the instructor and the learner to work on it. The other importance is that the information provides the teacher with the ability to identify the learning needs of the student(s) in a practical way so they can be tackled. Finally, it provides an opportunity to bring on board other important players in the students’ life, such as parents.
Assessment for learning can also adopt the earlier enlisted assessment strategies. In addition, some assessment activities and tools that can help in this process would include structured interview questions, written items or items improvised by the teacher. The emphasis here is on the information gathered and how it is utilized to improve or develop the learning process.
The capability of assessment of the student is improved through assessment for learning. Their active engagement in the learning process empowers them to identify what they are good at and what they need to improve on. This monitoring of learning progress is founded on the understanding of how to self-assess, what good performance and quality work are, and how it is determined.
Motivation is a key ingredient in learning. The student ought to have the will to make an effort and engage actively in the learning process even when it is not easy. A good assessment for learning is hopeful in the way it encourages students’ knowledge acquisition by putting emphasis on progress and success. This motivates the learners for they are encouraged to own their learning and to recognize that outcomes of their learning are determined by factors within their influence.
About the importance of gathering assessment information for adequate planning and revision of teaching programs, content knowledge is critical. The teacher or instructor must understand well the curriculum and methods of delivery, which means that a qualified teacher must have a deeper knowledge of concepts, how to facilitate learning and response of students. Furthermore, they must be able to interpret what they see and effectively act on the interpretation to enrich learning. This is what assessment for learning depends on.
Assessment Vs Evaluation in the Teaching and Learning Process
It is imperative to understand assessment vs evaluation in the entire process of teaching and learning. Assessment and evaluation are two completely different processes, not only how they are carried out but also their intended objectives. Assessment is conducted to determine the performance level of a student while evaluation aims at determining the extent to which learning goals and objectives are achieved.
In assessment vs evaluation the difference in purpose is that assessment is formative and focuses on the process while evaluation is summative and product-oriented. The assessment seeks to identify areas for improvement in a student while evaluation provides and overall performance and grade. Furthermore, effective students’ assessment feedback is based on students’ performance and observation. On the other hand, evaluation feedback is dependent on the level of quality of an already set standard.
School administrators from time to time evaluate the potency of knowledge assessment strategies. They do this to achieve four objectives critical for effective students’ assessment;
On the part of teachers and school administrators, effective students’ knowledge management requires that assessment analysis is carried out to determine whether such exercise meets these objectives. This is the surest way to ensure quality systems of knowledge assessment sets the performance level to specify what is valued in the response of students and for students to be successful what is expected. In addition, such systems inform expected performance to students and also give methodical feedback on how the students are making progress toward meeting the learning outcomes that have been set.
Note that in assessment vs evaluation relationships differ between those involved. The relationship between the teacher and students in assessment is reflective, given that the method and criteria are internally defined. In evaluation, the relationship is prescriptive as measures are enacted externally.
Good strategies for assessment and plan for effective assessment for learning leads to the optimization of learning. Further, it sets standards not just for continuing students and their instructors but also to prospective students whose assessment before interview is done within the set assessment definition and method of the institution.
In assessment as learning, students play a central role in their own understanding and learning. They keep track of what they are learning, raise questions, and use multiple methods to understand a lesson. Students are able to understand their own learning gap. This is important to the teacher in the sense that they are able to adjust their teaching based on the way they do an assessment.
Certain principles characterize effective assessment as learning and assessment for learning: The teacher is called upon to have students understand learning objectives and criteria for success. The instructor, as a requirement needs to use varied knowledge assessment strategies and tools to collect information on student learning. The other principle is that the assessor uses assessment as a platform to inform teaching and enable the student to track their progress in the direction of realizing learning goals. It, therefore, follows that assessment as learning and assessment for learning seeks to obtain and provide accurate and timely feedback on student learning, thereby developing their skills.
It goes without saying that planning and communication are necessary elements for the two. The goals, methods, and assessment of learning should be interlinked. The teacher is called upon to plan for his or her lesson and should ensure that learners are informed in advance on what they will study. In addition, students ought to be informed on the method for and reason of assessment.
In their planning, teachers ought to ensure that their lesson programs are adjustable to enable accommodation of new insights and information. In the course of teaching, one may realize the need to include certain insight or perspective initially they did not have; thus, flexible programming should be considered.
Effective communication provides feedback both to the students and to the teacher. Communication is both ways as the teacher and students need to know about how they are progressing towards learning objectives. But for the student communication importantly addresses how they get feedback, what their role is assessing their learning, and how they will be assisted to develop.
Effective students’ knowledge assessment is always viewed from two perspectives. From the assessor’s point, it is meant to identify and discover what the learner knows about the lessons they have been taught. As for the student, the expectation is to reveal to the assessor what they know or what they have acquired in the learning process. An effective assessment test, therefore, must provide a space for the students to express themselves confidently while also providing the assessor with information on the students’ knowledge and confidence measures.
Therefore, assessment analysis, in as much as it would be time-consuming, helps in revealing important information about learners and the assessment strategies. Moreover, this information can be used to improve the curriculum and pedagogy. This is achieved through following the accurate analysis with feedback from assessment information.
To conclude, effective students’ knowledge assessment contributes immensely to student development. Learning process incorporates various assessment strategies, and it necessary for learners to be at the center of their acquisition of knowledge. Assessment test must, in the end, provide feedback both to students and the teacher in order to identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve in the next step. Further, assessment before interview is always conducted for prospective students.
The key aim of dispensing knowledge is for learning to take place. Being a critical component to learning, it is only fair that assessment strategies are clear to the students. Assessment for learning and assessment as learning provide necessary information for evaluation and adjustments in the delivery of knowledge.