Assessment 101

As I embark on my new journey to hopefully becoming a teacher, it’s quite difficult to stay on tracks on the different readings, modules. I’m quite surprised on how I keep on reading and re-reading the different meanings of assessment.

It is quite confusing to understand the different concepts because they somehow seem the same. I’ve always viewed assessment as synonymous with examination, tests. I would recall my professors saying “you will have an assessment tomorrow” based on the lesson previously tackled. And I would study hard for that exam, recitations, practical exam.

But now, reading about Assessment, I now realized that examinations, recitations, projects, demonstrations, and even questions and answers are just tools used by our educators to check if the students have fully understand the lesson, homework.

With assessment, teachers are able to give feedback after evaluating one’s answers.

With the use of different methods to evaluate the students, the teachers will be provided a tangible proof if the student was able to absorb all the information.

According to The Program Assessment Support Service, Assessment is:

  • A process
  • About collecting information
  • Conducted to improve educational programs
  • A way to demonstrate program effectiveness
  • Focused on student learning and development outcomes
  • A scholarly endeavor
  • Highly valued by university leadership, sponsors, and accreditors
  • Primarily useful for program faculty and leaders

Prairie View A&m University stated that they use variety in “institutional assessment” in determining if students are learning. The university views  assessment is the process of gathering information using various methods to systematically gauge the effectiveness of the institution and academic programs to document student learning, knowledge, behaviors, and skills as a result of their collegiate experiences.

Not only teachers benefit on doing assessments but the students as well because they can further hone their skills, understanding on every topic, subjects by checking on the feedback given to them.

Assessment in education is very essential to one’s growth because this gives you a feedback on how you can improve your performance, skills etc. Not only it applies to our studies, assessment applies in every aspect of our lives. In work, we are continuously observed by our superiors, through our performance in our work, they can determine if we are fit for the position or they still give us another alternative to better ourselves.

At least that is my two cents worth about understanding assessments.

Basic Terminologies of Assessment

Characteristics of Assessment should be RELIABLE AND VALID.

According to UNT Health Science Center reliability determines how consistently a measurement of skill or knowledge yields similar results under varying conditions. If a measure has high reliability, it yields consistent results. I perceived reliable as being consistent with the same result.

Classic example of reliability is using a weighing scale to determine one’s weight. Results may be considered reliable if you see the same number on the weighing scale.

Validity occurs when accuracy of an assessment—whether or not it measures what is supposed to measure.

Let’s use the weighing scale example again. We may arrive at the same weight one’s we measure our self in the same weighing scale but it may be considered reliable but not valid.

Norm-Referenced Assessment and Criterion referenced Assessment

Criterion reference Assessment occurs when a certain score is used to determine the understanding of the student. It will help determine if a student can pass the subject.

Examples: licensure exams like LET, graduating students with high honors.

Norm-Referenced Assessment happens when a teacher will examines the score of each student that have met the standard mark and performed above the expected grade. It sorts the student on who did well and who did not.

Example: Entrance exam like UPCAT

Formative-Summative Assessment

Formative Assessment is used by educators to give feedback to students so that they can gauge if they are learning. By this method, it achieves the goal of the teacher to improve its teaching skills. And the students also have a chance to improve their studying skills because of the feedback given to them.

Example of Formative Assessment

Snap questions from teachers to student about a lesson to check if the students are paying attention, essays, journals.

Summative Assessment used by educators to give their evaluations on students after a grading period. With a certain grade/requirement, this allows the teacher to discern of the students have learned the grading period.

Example of Summative Assessment

Thesis, Final, Midterm Examinations.

Formal-Informal Assessment

Formal Assessment-records, data, standardized measures are used by educators to decide on the student’s overall evaluation or performance.

Example of Formal Assessment

Diagnostic test, Inteliigence test

Informal Assessment-non formal type of assessment. More spontaneous.

Example of Informal Assessment

Experiments, presentations.

Traditional-Alternative Assessment

Traditional Assessment

The type of assessment that we have taken eversince. These are the pen-paper type of test.

Example: multiple choice, true or false examinations

Alternative(Performance) Assessment

This is the type of assessment wherein students are required to think comprehensively.


Practical Exams, Demonstrations, Presentations like Defence Presentation.


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