Hi there everyone! We are bound to our last week for our 1st term! For this last entry, we are tasked to answer these questions: “What real world issues in your sphere of experience have surfaced from the lessons in Module 4?” and “What can be done? Thinking in terms of what is doable, what can you do in your present of near future capacity to address some of the issues? What can you encourage “others” to do? What changes do you want to see? Why are these important to you? To what extent and how soon can you expect changes to happen?” So just sit back and relax and read my answers J
We, students were all test takers. We always have at least 1 quiz a week. This is what you call formative assessment. But have you ever wonder if these quizzes still facilitates your learning and are still leading you to the intended learning outcome for you? This may be one of the problems. Some assessment were not aligned to the learning objectives or outcomes. In fact, some does not have specific learning objectives whenever they conduct an assessment. But this does not mean that it is the big problem, well, they have a curriculum that they are following and I think those curriculum are grounded to learning objectives. One problem to this is that, students should be aware of these learning objectives for them to be able to trace their achievement and status. In the side of teachers, they must know the specific objectives, for them to construct a better and aligned assessment that would always facilitate and track the achievements of the both side. Moreover, it will also help the teachers to trace the topics that his/her students were having hard time to understand. Thus, the role of specific learning objectives is crucial in the learning process. This learning objectives and outcomes must be integrated to the process of making an assessment.
Another problem is the low level of learning tasks or items in a test basing from the Bloom’s Taxonomy. I know most of us, if not all, have already answered an exam that is; a set of multiple choices questions, True or False, Identification and Enumeration. But, have you ever wonder if these sets of items or tasks facilitate a deeper learning to you? Do these test items or tasks promote your cognitive skills into higher learning? That is another problem. Maybe, since teachers have so much things to do, they might, again might, (I’m not sure) not think about the level of the learning that will test by the assessment that they will do. Lack of time might one of the factor why we students receive low level of learning. What do I mean by that? We students would sometimes receiving a kind of test that only do recall and memorization. This would not help you to become a critical thinker and achieved the highest level in Bloom’s Taxonomy. One way we could solve this is by solving the time first. Teachers must have enough time to construct an assessment. In fact, the making of assessment should be integrated in the planning of the curriculum or lesson plan itself. Teachers must know the assessment techniques that he/she will employ while having the instructions and after the instructions. He/She must also consider referring to Bloom’s Taxonomy and aim to achieve the highest learning to some, if not all, items and instructions that he/she will employ. In the side of the students, they must be also aware of the Bloom’s Taxonomy for them to trace what level of learning they have for the specific lesson or topic. With these, they can even facilitate their learning on their own. They could also have their assessment for themselves whether they are in the Knowledge/Recall level or they are approaching the Creation level. Knowing the Bloom’s Taxonomy is like knowing that studying for exams is not merely memorization and recalling of facts. There is more than of that.
Lastly, we could also experience receiving exams with just scores only, or in the case of performance tasks, we only receive numbers that has its equivalent scores. But have you ever think of how would these numbers help you in learning more of your mistakes and even learning more of the process of how you have achieved learning? This is another problem, we are lacking importance on feedback and rubrics. Some students would have not received any feedback at all. You know why? Maybe, the issues from this feedback is still emerging. Some would argue that students have no time in reading the feedback that their teacher did. They would not have time in reflecting about these feedback. But, guys, feedback is really a crucial thing in your learning. No man is an island, nobody can stand alone by his own feet, and they would need and be needing help from the others. And one help that a teacher could give to you is the feedback from your learning tasks. But, these feedback should not just a praising statement or negative statement. It should be a coherent, descriptive and valid statement of the achieved and the underachieved learning of the student. We should give importance on the role of feedback to our learning. Teachers should practice giving feedback to his/her students, in any form—it could be informal, formal or any alternatives. With this, students would also give importance on the role of feedback. Do not start the negative mind with you, if you are a teacher. If you know that this thing would help your students then pursue it, and slowly they could appreciate and value the help you are giving to your students. With regards to the rubrics, students sometime do their tasks without even knowing the specific outcomes that they should employ. With this, we could give the rubrics to them beforehand. If the rubrics were mastered and learned by the student, they could know the things they should achieve at the end of the task. They could also be able to assess their tasks output or their learning if they know the rubrics. Thus, rubrics is also another crucial aspect to the learning process.
Finally, there are still other problems that emerge in terms of education and assessment, to be specific. According to the great writers, there is no perfect assessment. But this does not mean that we should only do the easiest or the fastest way of making an assessment. That would be mediocrity. We should strive for the best and the higher cognitive level of learning for the sake of our students and also for the sake of our passion. We should be enjoying teaching and thus, we should be also promoting the best assessment that is aligned to the learning objectives. Assessment should also be use by the teacher as their way of knowing their weaknesses and strength and then improve the assessment in the best way they could. With these things in mind and in action, education would not hinder the learning of a student. There should be no tomorrow for us, the changes should happen now. God bless us all and let us continue valuing more of our learning.