Assessment is carried out to see, to what extent the objectives of learning have been attained; it should encompass the three domains of learning namely cognitive, psychosomatic and affective, so as to make teaching and learning process more efficacious. ‘Assessment should reflect and communicate teaching and learning expectations (curriculum-based assessment) and provide a fair opportunity to all students to show and how they have learnt (performance-based curriculum).
In these way teachers, parents and students will be aware of the progress of the teaching and learning taken place throughout the whole academic year’.
1 As such, we distinguish three main orientations. 1) We are moving away from summarize to formative assessment: Continuous Assessment is the first step taken to gear the primary educational system towards formative assessment. Consequently, the primary schooling is divided into three main stages. Stage 1: Assessment in Standard I and Standard II is based on baseline cognitive profiling and communicative synchrony alongside examinations.
Information about the competencies and aptitudes of the learners are recorded in the Student Record Card (ISRC) and behaviors are evaluated during dyadic interaction between teacher and student.
2 1 – Pig 145, the NC. – Pig 165, 166, the NC. Stage 2 and Stage 3: There is the introduction of Continuous Assessment which carries a weighted of 30% and National Achievement which carries 70%. 3 The Continuous Assessment is formative and will be carried out at various times as part of the instructions or following a topic.
It provides feedback on progress and achievement thereof backing it up with remedial actions. However, the National Achievement Test is more summarize as it occurs at the end of the academic year. One very important measure which needs to be highlighted is the redesigning of the C. P. E. ‘The C. P. E will no longer be based exclusively on a one year off end of year written exam, but also on the basis of continuous assessment. ‘4 2) Holistic Evaluation: ‘All the domains of education (cognitive, psychosomatic and affective) have to be assessed in order to make the teaching and learning process effective. 5 In this way, we are not focusing on assessment of knowledge only but we are also emphasizing on the development of skills and competencies. The NC also adds that as from standard Ill, assessment of Life Skills will be carried out by the teacher. ‘At the end of Standard Ill, there will be a competency-based evaluation/ est. in Mathematics, Languages and Basic Science. Other Life skills: Values, Arts, Movement Education, Music, Body Awareness will be assessed through Portfolio. At the end of standard IV, a national test in Languages, Mathematics, Basic Science, History & Geography will be administered.
Assessment of Life skills through portfolios will be carried out by the teacher. ‘ 6 The assessment of behaviors by communicative synchrony is an evidence of holistic evaluation where the development of the students in the affective domain (personality traits) is catered at the beginning of the primary schooling. Moreover, Continuous Assessment will be applied to subjects like Arts and Health and Physical Education as from stage 1. 3- pig 160, the NC. 4- Pigs 158, the NC. 5- Pig 144, the NCR 5- pig 144, the NC. 6- Pig 157, the NC. ) Implementation of Continuous Assessment In line, to the statement above, the NC has come up with a framework for Curriculum-based Continuous Assessment in which both formal and informal assessments will be carried out on regular and continuous basis. Teachers can use Continuous Assessment for both formative and summarize purposes. I found that it has many advantages but it also has some drawbacks. ) Advantages of Continuous Assessment: * It provides regular information about teaching, learning and the achievement of learning objectives and competencies. * It allows teacher to spot learning difficulties. It helps teachers to assess performance-based activities that cannot or are difficult to assess during examinations. * It provides constructive feedback to learners following the assessments as such it promotes learning and the development of skills. * It allows teachers to use alternative forms of assessment which will suit the different types of learners and learning styles. The learners are given opportunity to perform better as their achievement will no longer be based 100% on end of year examination. But the progress will also be accountable throughout the learning process. It provides remedial works for learners where they can overcome their weaknesses. * It gives teachers the opportunity to reflect on their teaching and to redirect their teaching for the betterment of the students ‘learning. * It alleviates stress laid on students. * It will gradually eradicate the unhealthy competitive mindset which has long existed in our education system. B) Drawbacks of Continuous Assessment: The implementation of remedial works and activities are not always feasible for teachers who are in a rush to complete the syllabus.
Therefore, they would rarely propose remedial works during the school hours. Many of them would be tempted to provide the remedial works after school hours, during private tuition. * As mentioned in the NC, moderation is the keeping of records following Continuous Assessment. 7 These records are in the forms of portfolios, Students Record Cards (ISRC), checklists, anecdotal notes and other work evidences. The problem with the keeping of record is that it will take up a lot of spaces and it old not be that realistic for teachers to always note down their observations for each students in every subject.
And sometimes they are biased when they fill the ISRC as I have observed during my SOB that teachers do not refer to any of the criteria. So I do not think moderation ascertain fairness, validity and reliability as it is being claimed in the NC. 8 *The NC has not provided any framework about how the progress of the students in their learning and the teaching should be made available to parents. We are still using the end of term report books to convey the progress of students. Do not agree with the weighted allocated to Continuous Assessment (it carries only 30%) as it does not reflect any fairness. * The Continuous Assessment at stage 2 and 3 is still paper-pencil type of assessment. * We are doing Continuous Assessments in the class but we still do not cater for the slow learners. For example, in a class of 40 pupils in a star school, the teacher will not bother about the only few slow learners in the class. His focus remains on the high flyers. C) Proposals: * We should decrease the teacher: pupil ratio to be able to implement moderation. The MESS (Mauritius Examination Syndicate) should have reposed standardized criteria for each level at primary from which teachers could refer themselves so that every student in Mauritius are evaluated on the same footing. Moderation should be carried out by external moderators to improve validity and fairness. 7 – pig 154, the NC 8- Pig 154, the NC. * We should have proposed open days at primary schools presented on an official calendar where the works of students WOUld be exposed and where parents could meet teachers at face to face meetings to have feedback on their wards’ progress. The weighted of Continuous Assessment should be in a Asia of 4060 with respect to National Achievements. As such we are caring for both the slow learners and the high flyers. We need a dose of competition to keep our elites. * We should care for the developmental stage of the young learners who are not mature enough to undergo examination under stressful conditions as it is actually the case. We should remove end of term examinations at stage 1 . Assessment should only be formative, where more remedial works should be proposed. Since we are having National Achievement Assessment which is an end of year written examination representing the summarize assessment, then why should we not propose Continuous Assessment in other forms for example, role-play and sports can be forms of Continuous Assessment where performance of students are well demonstrated. In other words, if we are promoting a competency-based curriculum, we should also propose an assorted means of assessment for the different competencies we want the learners to acquire.
To conclude, I have found that our educational system still promotes Norm Referenced Tests which are standardized tests that compare students’ performance. Though they are considered meritocracy, they mismatch with the auricular, only superficial knowledge is tested based on recall and it tends to label poor students reducing their self efficacy. However it is a simple and fairly accurate filtering system for higher education and commonly used and encouraged by government. To my opinion it is the root of the competitive mindset prevailing in our society.
But with the introduction and implementation of the Continuous Assessment we are moving towards Criterion Referenced Tests which are standardized tests where the class teachers will set criteria for the assessment. The tests would be tailored made for the learners bearing in mind heir abilities and learning styles. However, the implementation of Continuous Assessment as such is not in favor of the high flyers because we are thinking only about average and slow learners. Maybe the whole curriculum needs to be reviewed to tally with the needs of the emerging nation.
Unfortunately, the whole education system in Mauritius is geared towards political gains and has nothing to do with education in the right sense of the word. We are civil servants unfortunately and we don’t really have the power to change things. 2. Discuss the importance of Assessment for Learning (FALL). Assessment for learning can be described as a process by which assessment data is used by teachers to adjust their teaching strategies, and by students to adjust their way of learning. Assessment, teaching and learning are imperatively linked, as each informs the others.
It is a powerful process that can either optimism or inhibit learning, depending on its application. Assessment for learning occurs at all stages of the learning process. The purpose of classroom assessment is to support student learning and to communicate that learning to others. In order to support student learning, classroom assessment needs to involve students apple in the assessment process, provide specific, descriptive feedback during the learning, and include evaluative feedback as required to communicate and report progress over time.
This helps build a shared language that everyone can use to describe growth and learning. Assessment for learning, also referred as formative assessment, is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures (for example, the monitoring of children’s writing development, anecdotal records, and observations) undertaken by teachers in the classroom as an integral part of the normal teaching and learning process in order to modify and enhance learning and understanding during the lesson. Feedback is the central function of formative assessment.
It typically involves a focus on the detailed content of what is being learnt, rather than how far a student is falling short of the expected standard. The importance of FALL for teachers: Summarize assessments or high stakes tests are what the eagle eye of our profession is fixated on right now, so teachers often find themselves in the tough position of racing through curriculum. However, the implementation of FALL reduces stress of teachers and provides them with valuable information to improve their teaching skills and to promote high quality education through the following means: 1 .
Teachers are able to determine what standards students already know and to what degree. 2. Teachers can decide what minor modifications or major changes in instruction they need to makes so that all students can succeed in upcoming instruction and on subsequent assessments. 3. Teachers can create appropriate lessons and activities for groups of learners or individual students. 4. Teachers can inform students about their current progress in order to help them to set goals for improvement. 5. Teachers can repaper remedial sessions for students who need help.
As such, FALL promotes effective teaching where teachers will no more focus only on what the students have to learn but they now cater about how the students are going to learn. This is reflected in the design of the lesson plans where a student-centered approach is most likely favored. The importance of FALL for students: Summarize assessment is carried out at the end of lesson. It focuses on how much the students have learned. The purposes of summarize assessment are to assign grades, certification, ranking and promotion.
It is problematic for he students as it implies an unhealthy competition which generates stress condition, cheating cases, dropouts at primary schools and low self-esteem. To remedial the situation, we are now considering FALL over summarize assessment. FALL provides many advantages as follows for the students: 1. It clarifies what good performance is. There are several essential elements of the classroom assessment process that supports student learning. To ensure success for all learners, especially those who struggle, students need to know what they already know, what needs to be learned and what success looks like.
Students should possess appreciation of hat high quality work is. 2. It facilitates the development of self-assessment in learning. Students also need to learn how to guide their own learning through being involved in setting and using criteria, giving themselves feedback for learning and setting goal. They accept that their works can be improved and they critically reflect and comment on their works. 3. It provides high quality information to students about their learning. Students become more aware of their strengths, and areas needing improvement.
They can then choose to take action to close the gap between where they are in their learning and where they deed to be. 4. It encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem. Student motivation is crucial to learning. The greatest motivational beliefs will come when feedback focuses on the qualities of the student’s work, and not on comparisons with other students, specific ways in which the student’s work could be improved and on improvements that the student has made compared to his or her earlier work. Students gain the most learning value from assessment when feedback is provided without marks or grades.
Where marks are provided, they often seem to predominate in students’ thinking, and to be seen as the ell purpose of the assessment. 5. It encourages students take responsibility for their own learning. They should be aware of what to learn and how to learn. They should receive the appropriate guidance on how to take the next steps in their learning process to reach the required standards. Students develop lifelong learning skills where knowledge is internalized as compare to summarize assessment students just learn to pass examinations without really acquiring any knowledge. 6.
It has positive impacts on student’s achievements. Formative assessment is particularly effective for students who have not one well in school, thus narrowing the gap between low and high achievers while raising overall achievement. Since FALL uses a wide range of assessment procedures, it therefore suits all types of learners and it gives fair opportunities to them to succeed. FALL provides more advantages to both teachers and students compared to summarize assessment. It is a more student-centered type assessment as it caters as far as possible for all abilities and all learning styles of students.
It also promotes good teaching and learning practices in the classroom. How does it matter to parents? The view that improves the communication of goals to students and parents increases students’ productive work. Therefore teachers need to communicate the benefits of formative assessment to parents and others with interests in students’ learning as well, and use the information it provides to improve communication between parents and schools. Parents and others concerned with schools should know the potential that formative assessment has for improving academic achievement.
It also generates rich information for parents, who will receive regular reports of progress from their children as well as from their children’s teachers The importance of Assessment for Learning for the School Keeping records of each learner allows the teacher to share the class progress during a staff meeting with other colleagues and administration. Also, the school management can make further analysis to how the school is progressing and making efforts to achieve some level of competencies or it can make appeals for remedial actions to ensure a smooth running of it from the ministry.
Zone ; Ministry From the different appeals the schools make to the zone directorate, the ministry can thereon plan its own budget on how to help those schools in difficulty, whether to make accessible a remedial teacher, a school psychologist or any other resource person required. In a nutshell, FALL provides more advantages to both teachers and students compare to summarize assessment. It is a more student-centered type assessment as it caters as far as possible for all abilities and all learning styles of students. It also promotes good teaching and learning practices in the classroom. Section B 1 . Select any topic/theme from the Standard Ill curriculum and design a test blueprint thereon. Test Topic: Plants Level: Standard Ill Overall Marking: 30 Marks Table of Test Blue-print: 1. Sub-topic: Names of Plants Learning Objectives I Type of Objective/Kind: Level I Total Marks Allocated I Number of questions I Type of Question and Marks I List 5 fruit Plants I Cognitive/Knowledge: Lower order | 5 21 3 Multiple Choice x 1 mark* 3 marks 2 True/False 1 mark= 2 marks I List 5 flower plants I List 5 herbs I 2.
Sub-topic: Parts of Plants Number of questions I Type of Question and Marks I Identify 6 parts of the plant I Cognitive /Unknowing: Lower order 1 81 21 5 Matching x 1 mark= 5 marks 1 Drawing x 3 marks= 3 marks I Draw and name fruits I Psychosomatic/ Analysis: Higher order I 3. Sub -topic: Use of Plants Number of questions I Types of Questions and Marks I State 3 uses of plants I Affective ; Cognitive/Knowledge: Lower order. 1 71 3 | 2 True/False x 1 mark= 2 marks Multiple Choice x 1 mark= 1 mark Short Answer Question x 2 marks= 4 marks I Classify food plants into vegetables, fruits and cereals I Cognitive/Analysis: Higher order.
I I I I Associate 5 animals to parts of plants they eat I Cognitive/Analysis: Higher order. I 4. Sub-topic: Seed Number of questions I Type of Question and Marks I Name 3 fruits with small seeds I Cognitive/ Knowledge: Lower order | 10 1 31 2 True/False x 1 mark = 2 arks Multiple Choice x 1 mare 2 marks Short Answer Question x 2 marks- 6 marks I Name 3 fruits with big seeds Cognitive/Knowledge: Lower order I I I Assess the importance of water and soil for germination I Cognitive/ Evaluation: Higher order. I Test Items I Types of Objectives I Marking I 1. Multiple Choice Question I Lower order 1 61 2.
True/False I Lower order | 6 3. Matching I Lower order 1 51 4. Drawing I Higher order 1 31 5. Short Answer Questions I Higher order | 10 | Total Marking | 30 | Higher order 13/30 x 100 = 43. 33% Lower order: 17/30 x 100 = 56. 67% Benchmark: Lower order is to higher order Benchmark 60: 40 2. Based on the blueprint, design an original test paper consisting of 5 different types of test items. SECTION A Question 1 (6 marks) For each item, there is ONE correct answer. Draw a circle around the letter which shows the correct answer. 1. Which one of the following is a flower plant?
A Coconut tree B Thyme C Rose D Guava tree 2. Which one of the following is a fruit plant? A Banana tree B Rose C Sugar cane D Parsley 3. Where seeds come from? A cow B Fruits C Flowers D Roots 4. Which one of the following plant is an herb? A Water lily B Coriander C Banana tree D Papaya tree 5. Which one of the following fruits has the smallest seeds? A Avocado B Mango C CoconUt D Grapes 6. Which one of the following is a fruit? A Lettuce B Carrot C Maize D Kiwifruit Marks Scored: Question 2 (6 marks) Read the sentences carefully and put a tick in the appropriate column.
The first one has been done for you. True False I 1. Dog sis plant. I 2. Mint is an herb. I 3. Parsley is a fruit plant. I 4. The cat eats grass. I 5. The monkey eats banana. I 6. The Coconut has many small seeds. I I 7. Seeds need water to germinate. I Question 3 (5 marks) Draw a line to match parts of the plant with their names. The first one has been done for you. Parts of the plant I Names of the part of the plant I I LeafRootBranchStemFlowerFruit I SECTION B Question 4 (3 marks) Draw a fruit in the given box and write its name below in the space provided.
Fruit name: Question 5 (10 marks) Read the questions carefully and write the answers in the space given. A) Give two ways how a plant is useful to us. B) What will happen to a seed if it does not receive water at c) Why will you prefer to sit under a big tree on a very sunny and hot day? D) What will happen to a seed after germination? E) Will a seed germinate in dry soil and give a reason? 3. Make a critical reflection on the validity of your test paper. Any assessment must be developed in a way that gives the assessor accurate information about the performance of each pupil.
As an educator I should make sure that my test paper for Science standard Ill possesses certain qualities. The two most important qualities that should be reflected in my test papers are Validity and Reliability. Reliability: Reliability refers to the degree of consistency, stability, trustworthiness and dependence between two measures of the same thing. My test paper is reliable as I have introduced marks for every test items to make the paper valid. Validity: Validity refers to the test items which are used to measure what they are supposed to measure throughout the test paper.
For a test to be valid, or truthful, it must first be reliable. Content validity It refers to the extent to which the content of the test items represents the entire body of content to be measured. The test paper covers the subtopics done in class. The questions were set according to the learning objectives set for each lesson. The test paper is designed to as to test both lower and higher order thinking skills of attempting the questions. Indeed a test paper cannot cover the hole chapter, a selective approach, while choosing questions related to specific objectives, was used so as to make the paper achievable.
The test is designed according to the teaching strategies used in class. Face validity The test paper is very supportive in nature, as it is accompanied by real life pictures expressing the purpose of setting the questions. Indeed, the paper needs to be appealing and drag the learners’ interest in working the question paper. The questions are set in such a way that the high scoring questions are put first and the tricky questions at last. The students will try to attempt all questions. The test paper starts with the multiple choice questions as it seems to be very easy to obtain the correct answer.
Proceeding with the other test items, the True/Facie exercise tends to be very easy as the child will have to choose either true or false; The test paper besides starting with easy questions so that students feel motivated to work out the paper which appears scoring to them also carries a high weighted. The Section B is composed of higher order test items and carries a weighted of 13 marks out of 30. Note that all my questions re well numerated so that students have no chance to miss any question. The instructions and the questions are written in a very simple and comprehensive language.
Instructions and important words are in bold so that they attract attention. Since students have to answer on the questionnaire itself, they are given enough space to write their answers where needed. Construct Validity Construct validity defines how well a test measures up to its claims. In designing a test I should bear in mind the different learning styles and the different abilities of my students so that my test paper suits everybody. As far as possible my test paper has construct validity as my test items suit different learning styles of my students.
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