Module 4: Creating Assessments and Providing Feedback

EXPLAIN THE PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPING ASSESSMENTS AND PROVIDING FEEDBACK

The closest type of teaching that I have come close to would be tutoring my nephew who is a Grade 3 student. I grew up being tutored also by aunt during my elementary years and the type of exercises that we did ensured that I learned thoroughly from our lessons. As we look back, assessment is the process of administering of different types of testing methods in order to gather information about a student’s understanding and acquired skills, abilities of a lesson.

According to Casper College’s Comprehensive Assessment Plan Fall 2006 Edition, assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for improving the student learning and developing.

When doing assessments now or test exercises for my nephew, I will know what areas of his lesson he is having difficulty with and he excels in.

I tend to gear the traditional type of test/exercises to measure his knowledge of the topic. For school department and teachers, developing assessment should be first and foremost be aligned with the school’s objective and produce learning outcomes to enhance students’ learning.

For a teacher in her class to measure students’ competencies, her assessments should meet what the objectives written in her syllabus to achieve learning. Enhancing Student Learning through assessment defined learning outcomes as statements that predict what learners will gain as a result of learning, so there should be a clear relationship between learning outcomes and assessment.

Dr. Ciara O’ Farrell emphasized that learning outcomes enables the teacher what type of assessment should be given to the students and how the students will answer it may it be trough formative or summative.

Most of the materials that I have read, doing an assessment tests, lesson plans, they follow Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy in determining what type of verbs any lecturer should use in writing the objectives to formulate good assessments.

Image from Google and http://avillage.web.virginia.edu/iaas/assess/process/plan.shtm

The whole text was taken from http://www.langevin.com/blog/2012/06/25/how-to-apply-blooms-taxonomy-to-the-testing-process/

Benjamin Bloom introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956. The initial focus was primarily for academia and now finds a comfortable place in training. Bloom and associates identified three domains of learning:

  1. Cognitive:mental skills, intellectual capability (knowledge)
  2. Affective:feelings, motivation, behavior (attitude)
  3. Psychomotor:manual or physical skills (skills)

These are sometimes identified as “Do-Think-Feel” or KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude).

In this blog, the focus is on the cognitive domain and the application of the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. These levels represent a hierarchy of learning that goes from the simple (level 1) to the complex (level 6). The levels are as follows:

  1. Knowledge – to check learner ability to recall basic information
  2. Comprehension – confirm understanding
  3. Application – use or apply knowledge
  4. Analysis – interpret elements; see if the information can be broken into components
  5. Synthesis – create or develop plans
  6. Evaluation – assess, critical thinking

Now that we have defined the six levels, let’s look at how they can be applied to instructional design. Lynne’s blogexplained how Bloom’s Taxonomy could be used in structuring questions; this blog will add how it applies to the testing process.

  1. Knowledge– to check learner ability to recall basic information

This is usually assessed using a non-performance test that checks for knowledge of the information the learner has been taught. This is accomplished through quizzes using assorted multiple choice, matching, or true/false questions. You want the learner to define, repeat, recall from memory, list, etc. the information he/she has learned. (e.g. List the six steps of Langevin’s learning strategy.)

  1. Comprehension– confirm understanding

This next level is also a non-performance check for knowledge, but now you want the learner to “put it in their own words” by describing, explaining, discussing, etc. the information he/she has been taught. (e.g. Describe the six steps of the learning strategy.)

  1. Application– use or apply knowledge

Here, the focus is on performance-based assessment. You have the learner apply, interpret, practice, etc. the information he/she has been taught. (e.g. Create a brief lesson using the learning strategy that you will present to the group. You must use all six steps.)

  1. Analysis – interpret elements, break the information into smaller parts

For this level, you ask the learner to compare, investigate, solve, examine, tell why, etc.

(e.g. This is an outline for a course, which was not received well by the learners. Compare this to the learning strategy, identify which part(s) of the learning strategy were omitted, and how this omission contributed to the course not being successful.)

  1. Synthesis– create/develop plans; put pieces together to form a new whole

Here, you have the learner suppose, create, construct, improve, etc. (e.g. This is a handout of a course that is structured according to the learning strategy. It follows the six steps, but is not as dynamic as is could be. What would you add to each step to create a more dynamic course that gets the learner involved?)

  1. Evaluation– assess, critical thinking

As we have developed our objectives, we have to know our students as well. It will be much easier to formulate written and practical examinations ones you know your students, their strengths and weaknesses because not all students are the same.

PLAN AND CONSTRUCT EFFECTIVE TESTS/ASSESSMENTS

When I was in elementary and high school, traditional type of tests were usually given to us to measure how the students understood their lesson. Multiple choice, Fill-in-the-blanks, and True or False measures how familiar we are with the terms.  It was only in my college years, that authentic assessments in the form of essays. I enjoyed doing essays because this is where I can fully explain my answers.

According to How to Write Better Tests, A Handbook for Improving Test Construction Skills, we need to know factors first before planning an assessment or tests.

We need to know what is to be measured. If it is an objective exam then do a test with a predetermined set of answers. Example given by Writing Effective Test: A Guide to Teachers: multiple choice, true-false, matching type and fill-in-the blanks. These are type of exams that measures recognition or recall.

But if you want to develop critical thinking, then essays will be a fitting type of exam that can be given to the student. Again, we should know as tutors or educator our objective before formulating an exam so that we can arrive at better answers.

You have to determine the size of the classroom and the time frame in performing /answering the exams. Exams like essays, performance exams, even simple tests like multiple choice may be time-consuming as it requires the students to analyze carefully the questions before answering.

By giving the directions carefully and by providing the exact time limit, students will be able to mind the test only.

For the students to learn be proficient, aside from outlining the goals and objectives, a teacher can also prepare Table of Specification as this will enable the teacher to include important points in the assessment exams.

According to The University of Kansas, table of specifications will help students identify main ideas, key skills, and the relationship among concepts. It is also called a test blueprint which helps the teacher what exactly the topic should begin and end and what important terms should be included in the exam a teacher will make. Table of specification usually occurs in traditional summative tests.

Describe of various way of providing effective feedback

Feedback has always been an important component to me especially in my work. With every aspect of our lives where validation in extremely important, feedback is an effective tool in improving one’s craft. It may be synonymous with criticism especially if there is finish product or output involved. We usually get feedback from formative exercises as the whole process of learning is on-going so you can expect comments from your teachers and peers as well.

According to Grant Wiggins who wrote Seven Keys to Effective Feedback, providing feedback should be goal-references, tangible and transparent, actionable, user-friendly, timely, ongoing, and consistent.

Goal-referenced meaning that there should be a reason why there was an action made. There should be a purpose.

Tangible and Transparent- comments, reactions should be clear so as to rule out any misinterpretation.

User-friendly- feedback should be easily understood by those who are receiving the feedback. Concised and brief.

Timely-for a student to improve his skills and understanding, prompt feedback should be given to the student so that he/she can work re-assess itself and work on the areas that the study is having difficulty with the subject.

Ongoing-the need to improve on the actual lesson, game, demonstration making the learning much easier and you correct your mistakes immediately.

Consistent-feedback should be true and persistent, it does not deviate from what the topic it should be talking about.

DESIGN MEANINGFUL AND EFFECTIVE RUBRICS

Rubric is a set of expectations incorporated by the teachers in their instructional programs and curriculum to provide rating on how a task is done. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_(academic), rubrics are commonly used in rating a performance. For example if one is asked to juggle a two tennis balls during a P.E. Class, the teacher will rate the student according on how he juggled the balls. He can choose rate them using EXCELLENT, COMPETENT, and NEEDS WORK for scoring the student. When a rubric is used, it provides the student a forecast on how will he perform the task.

Source:

http://www.caspercollege.edu/assessment/downloads/assessment_manual.pdf

http://learningandteaching.dit.ie/documents/assessment_toolkit_v41f.pdf

Image from Google and http://avillage.web.virginia.edu/iaas/assess/process/plan.shtm

http://www.langevin.com/blog/2012/06/25/how-to-apply-blooms-taxonomy-to-the-testing-process/

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/num01/seven-keys-to-effective-feedback.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_(academic)

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