Discussion: Assessment strategies evaluation
Developing an assessment for testing how a concept is being understood by the students is a very important practice in the teaching practice. It helps the teacher know how students understand the topic, which can also indicate to the teacher how effective he/she has been in teaching. The assessment results will then guide the teacher develop teaching methods that are tailored to make the students understand the concepts fully. It is quite a hard task, as a teacher has to think of assessment questions that touch on every aspect of the topic, and also tests every area of the students’ capabilities, e.g. memorizing and applying formulas.
Teachers can use online generated tests for their students using certain websites that take the teacher through that, and can also make their own assessment tests. I however prefer the latter, where teachers need to develop their own assessments. This is because the teacher will have an opportunity to develop questions based on the kind of students he/she has. Online tests are very general, and it only takes a teacher to develop assessments specific to his/her student’s learning needs. For example, a teacher may need to test how the students comes up with certain conclusions, e.g. where to insert a colon, and may only do that if he/she has a test that is tailor made for that. Again, online-generated tests require the Technical expertise to create them. This gives every teacher the liberty to create an assessment anytime, anywhere because it is easy to come up with.
One effective way of administering tests I would say is by use of essay assessment. This is good if a teacher is handling a small number of students. It allows students the pleasure of expressing their ideas and the concepts they have in mind on a certain topic without being restrained. It is particularly important in explaining complex concepts that a short answered tests may not be useful. Compared to true-false tests, multiple choice assessment items are usually adaptable to the measuring of a very wide variety of outcomes associated with learning, which includes problem solving, reasoning and logic, making inferences, as well as the demonstration of the knowledge of facts. It is a tool that is used for specific and well defined areas of a topic, and might be convenient for a large number of students.
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