Now it’s time to assess this course and what it has contributed to my knowledge as a practicing educator. There are many ways to define meaningful assessment. For me, it’s not just a set of numbers anymore. The best assessments are those that bring out the best sort of work out of our students. The world has been wallowing in the traditional form of assessments for so long and it is time to follow the more fluid testing types.
Wearing blinders for the sake of following a particular structure should not be the case anymore. For as long as the testing format brings out the real-world skills that the students have garnered, then one can say that a meaningful assessment is made.
This does not mean letting go of requirements, though. Assessments should have value and not just the need for certain items to be answered solely because they are included in the test.
As educators, we need to think about the impact that learning can have on our students and how this learning can help make the world a better place. Assessments must also put emphasis on the skills that students need to have in order to survive economically, psychologically, physically, etc.
Tests should assess skills and not just theoretical contents as well as the students’ capacity to communicate their learning.
There are certain criteria to meet for assessments to be considered meaningful. First, are students allowed to inquire? This means that the learners must not be encased in a box where there are fixed answers that do not foster independence.
Also, are problem solving skills practiced? There is also a need for the students to convey their know-how through writing. There must also be various media upon which the project or final assignment can be submitted. This can be oral, written, visual, etc.
The Value of Assessments
As teachers, it is also our duty to tell our students why the assessment that they are going to take has value. We are no longer at a time when students are just supposed to nod at what we spoonfeed them.
Kids, these days, are getting smarter and smarter, thanks to the advent of the Internet. While this is so, teachers still have a moral obligation to align the learners’ skills for future use. We can do this by using the tests that truly matter.
I am not biased to high-stakes assessments, though. These can still be meaningful if they are able to bring out the learners’ abilities. These must also be conducted occasionally insomuch that it can step down to an achievement-based assessment tool.
It also pays to assess regularly but not in a quiz or written exam sort of way. We can make our assessments more engaging by conducting informal tests. Our students need to interact with their exams. They need to become more creative so that they can be given credit for their learning.
Students also need to collaborate so that we can assess their thoughts and the way they feedback their peers. This way, they can develop critical thinking and be able to communicate more deeply. And what better way is there to assess students than to ask them what they think. A simple survey can say a lot of things regarding a major course or unit.
The feedback rubrics provided can also be a give-and-take tool that our students can fill out. This should give us a quick feedback on how truly meaningful the students thought the assessments were. Through their feedback, we can make adjustments for future learners’ needs.
All in all, have I changed after taking EDS 113?
Oh, absolutely! My learnings in this course have helped me interact more meaningfully with my students. I used to love giving surprise quizzes but now, I utilize games, essays, special projects, even videos and group assignments in order to see how far along my students are going in terms of learning.
As a result, we now have more fun and laughter without sacrificing the quality of our assignment and essay submissions. My students have also become more participative as varying activities and assessment formats were used in gauging their learning.