EDS 113 Module 2: Reinventing the (assessment) triangle

In Lorna Earl’s webinar Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind (27 April 2006), she labelled and compared the three major assessments teachers (and students) employ. She presented how they are formatted and applied, according to given and perceived importance in most institutions and society in general.

The traditional triangle that has assessment of occupying the priority hierarchy, assessment for in the middle, and at the tip is assessment as, she believes, is outdated and inconsistent with the modern global education we need to be advocating in this age. She further stressed that new educators need to begin putting more emphasis into teaching techniques in knowledge acquisition, rather than feeding straight facts.

Instead of teaching our planet is round, teachers need to be asking their students why does the horizon decrease in size with distance, what is perspective, and visual
demonstrations of the different possible shapes of the earth to arrive at a conclusion, Dr Earl argued. Students need to reflect, analyze then assert. Metacognition is vital, and the reinvention of the “teaching wheel”, or more accurately, this traditional triangle need to be changed.

She suggested, and I agree like most of us I presume, that assessment as learning should be the most encouraged form of assessment, as it is done by the self, and is voluntary. Here, she said that students no matter the age need to take charge by taking an active role in their own learning; being aware of what goes in must be mentally processed, and should come out better.

It might be safe to say that Dr Earl’s call towards reinforcing assessment as learning is to cure widespread indifference in the learning sector. We see it everyday– the college graduate who, despite 14 years of education, finds himself underequipped, scared and generally clueless; the student who only “studies” for an exam, then┬álets go after the test; the preschooler who is reprimanded for incorrect answers, and the uncreative employee who knows nothing but go by the book may well be our future if teachers do not start teaching the “important stuff they don’t teach you in school”. In the very classroom we are all supposed to learn skills and the ways of life, both teachers and learners need to be proactive.

Then you could call self assessment as the ultimate learning hack.

 

 

Earl, L. (2006 April 27). Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind [webinar]. In Webcast for Educators. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.org/k-
12/en/videos/rethinking-classroom-assessment-with-purpose-in-mind

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EDS 113 Module 1: Exams make the (students’) world go round

The cold hard truth is sometimes hard to swallow, especially this one
for teachers who actually believe in true assessments: exams are a
student’s world. We are judged by it, therefore we will kill for it, we
will die for it. Missing an exam is unheard of in UP, and I guess in
many othe colleges. And yet, we don’t understand why it defines us.

I remember a first semester season in UPLB at the PhySci building where
I found myself walking to take one of those popular 7-9pm departmental
exams. I was walking casually towards the second floor at the ICS (yes,
I was once a computer science major). I peeked thru the glass square of
the exam room door and I saw it filled with students; initial reaction
was puzzled then, shocked.

My instructor exited the door and greeted me, saying “O, late ka, Ms
Banal.” I didn’t even know he knew me.

I looked at my watch and it said 6:50pm and I clearly wasn’t late. My
feelings slowly turning into panic as I began to ask the people who are
getting out one by one that this is the finals I was going to take at
7pm, which turns out was moved to 5pm. My worst nightmare was realized.

Not that because I was burning oil night and day studying for this
exam, I generally don’t review for tests back in the day, but the
thought of mising an important event in a student’s life probably means
I will fail the course. All invested work all semester would have been
wasted, only because I missed the rescheduling announcement on this
one.

Let us imagine for a second the bar exam, the medical board exams, the LET. Learners are defined by exams, and truth be told, lives are dependent on it. Students toil the hardest on exams in the hopes of being rated highly, but isn’t that a form of deceit? An intentional, deliberate attempt to make your professor think you knew more than you actually do, all because you were able to cram meaningless terms in one, or some, all nighter? If that is the case then there is nothing genuine about this type of assessment.

And that is why I didn’t even bother pulling the pleas on the teacher and request another shot on the exam because I didn’t think I deserved to be judged based on a two-hour quiz. I reenrolled, and “killed it”, so to speak.

I now wonder if my course instructor tried to improve his teaching, or the program after finding the assessment results of my classmates.