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UNDERSTANDING HOW THE PURPOSES OF ASSESSMENTS WILL GUIDE MYFUTURE-

TEACHING-SELF? AN INTROSPECTION (SERIES 4)

15TH FEBRUARY 2022 


A fundamentally indispensable component in the quality of a learning process is through

soliciting reliable forms of assessing the learner performance and offering constructive

feedback to ensure that they are improving their skills and absorptive capacities throughout

the course of the module (Hounsell et al, 2008). This fourth blog of the series of constructing

“the personality of an entrepreneurs” course, deals primarily with assessment criteria based

on Earl (2003) framework. Assessment, an integral part of learning, is derived from

“assidere” or to “set beside or with” with the aim of improving the learning experience. In

her book, Lorna Earl (2003) identified a framework of the purposes of assessment using 3

criteria which could be employed simultaneously; assessment of, for and as to learning.


Traditionally the most dominant and yet publicly accepted mode of assessment is to certify

learning outcomes and report the grade/mark to parents. This form of assessment usually

occurs in terms of exams or essays that are extracted from the educational content whereby

the outcome after each unit or/and module is measured in terms of numerical marks or grades

relative of the student performance compared to his/her peers in the classroom whilst little

advice for improvement are offered to students. In his article, Sambell (2016) described the

impact of this conservative form of assessment to 1) produce students who “marginalize the

educational objectives” for the obsession over grades as well as, 2) create a deleterious

“deficit in the personality of a student” as he is set to be compared to his peers’ performance

(Sambell, 2016)

A more sophisticated criterion of assessment is “assessment for” learning which creates

descriptions that serve a higher purpose of learning with mechanisms employed such as book

of progress keeping, portfolios of constant checklists, worksheets, observation and/or

questioning in class. Interestingly, the underlying process of this second form is that a student

receives feedback based on his/her own strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to improve

his/her performance on a learning continuum rather than being compared to his/her

classmates and represented in a numerical canon solely which might create insecurities at

later stage of his/her life.


The third type is assessment as learning which primarily places the student as the central,

critical and active agent in the learning process so that the student is the prime actor in

monitoring his/her own performance while adapting and adjusting the learning process based

on his/her own evaluation and evolution throughout the course. In her book, Earl (2003)

critically acclaims the third form of assessment compared to former types of assessment

describing “assessment as”, as the ultimate sophistication for the fact that students, who are at

the receiving end of the educational program, are those “empowered” to be their best

assessors “rather than waiting for others to tell them the right thing to do” as Earl(2003)

poignantly quotes. However, the tutor has a critical role as well in that form of assessment by

motivating students and offering the relevant tools to self-reflect and assuage his/her own

performance, skills and accumulated knowledge in his/her own being without any

comparisons. The outcome of this third form of assessment is that a student is self-aware of

his areas of weaknesses and strengths and is able to decide the appropriate trajectory based on his/her performance to achieve optimal results on the learning continuum.


I thereby reflect on how my future-teacher self is deliberately willing to amalgamate the 3

modes of assessments whilst heavily engaging in assessments for and as learning occurs

throughout the course duration while the final exam will be assessed with a grade per the

institutional requirements per se. Mechanisms employed could be through having a portfolio

for each student to know his/her weaknesses, as well as, encouraging students to offer their

own reflections on their improvements in terms of knowledge acquisition and abilities-

attained in a monthly self-reflection sheet attached to their portfolio, whilst office hours will

be open at certain time frames so that I, as their tutor, could discuss the student performance

and offer feedback for foreseeable improvement in their learning continuum.


References:


Earl, L. (2003). Assessment as Learning: Using Classroom Assessment to Maximize Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Sambell, K. (2016). Assessment and feedback in higher education: considerable. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, Vol. 1, No.1.
McCune, V., & Rhind, S. (2016). Understanding Students’ Experiences of Being Assessed: The Interplay between Prior Guidance, Engaging with Assessments and Receiving Feedback. In C. Kreber, C. Anderson, J. McArthur, & N. Entwistle, Advances and Innovations in University Assessment and Feedback (pp. pp. 246-263). Edinburgh University Press.
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