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Of Artifacts and Confusions

On the onset, I was excited to work on the Assignment 2 as we were asked to collect and analyze assessment artifacts. I thought that this would be fun because we will be looking on actual samples of materials being used to gauge student learning. Initially, we thought of working on one topic under Mathematics but upon realizing that this will be extra challenging since I am an English teacher but I only teach online and my partner is also an English teacher thus finding actual samples from other department will be difficult, we resorted to thinking of other subjects and other ways to collect samples. Good thing my partner had used assessment materials before for her Grade 6 students about the Parts of a Book so we decided to use them for the activity as they are already on hand and my partner can show some outputs from the students that were assessed in the past.

We actually designated tasks to each other and one of my assignments is the definition of the six assessment types involved to contextualize the paper – informal and formal, formative and summative, and traditional and authentic assessments. At first, I thought that this will be an easy piece since I am confident that I have understood all previous lessons. However, defining and describing each type of assessment is, I realized, very confusing. I kept to how I define the concepts using my own words and this was definitely very hard as I thought that my explanations were redundant. Good thing I was able to distinguish them at the end of the day.

One of my realizations, apart from the aforementioned, is that one sample assessment material can serve or can be classified under various types of assessment depending on the instructional objectives. For instance, a single multiple-choice type quiz is a traditional type which can serve both as formative and summative assessment. Portfolio projects are informal-authentic. This may be because these types are focus not only on the methods of gathering data but also the in interpretation of data.

I am certain that this activity enriched my knowledge regarding the assessment types. I was able to “interact” with real samples and not only that, because I was able to propose/recommend ways on how to improve a certain artifact. I also became more sensitive in analyzing the assessment activities given to us in class. I know that this can help me be better in thinking of more innovative ways in implementing assessment procedures in my future classes as a teacher.

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Module 3C: Traditional and Authentic Assessment

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When I was a student, I always wonder why some of my classmates perform well during written exams but not when given practical exams or projects. There are also those who are good on the latter but not on the former. Honestly, I’m not that excited when given tasks or activities that call for the showcase of our acquired knowledge or skill, and I get to be excited during exams that tests my memory and understanding. Being the lazy that I was, I thought that practical and hands-on activities were somewhat redundant, except from activities that are of interest to me. But as I grew older, I learned to appreciate the efforts being exerted by my teachers in subjecting us to meaningful activities.When I graduated from college and started work, I appreciated every activity/project that I experienced when I was a student. I realized that those things, after all, are more useful when we get to live in the real world.

In this module, I learned that assessment methods such as exams and quizzes in the form of multiple choice, true or false, or filling the blanks are kinds of traditional tests. These tests aim to measure students’ recall and understanding. But if teachers want implement assessment involving higher-order thinking skills such as evaluation, analysis, and creation, he/she must embark on employing authentic assessment. This is used to gauge student learning in a more in-depth and comprehensive manner. Those skills and attitudes and particular knowledge that cannot be efficiently measured by a test need to be measure by a more appropriate method. These methods can range from essay and article writing, role playing, performances, and portfolios, among others. Authentic assessment is believed to prepare the students for tasks in the real world.

Although authentic assessment may target deeper set of knowledge and skills, one cannot deny the fact that traditional assessment is still essential for the whole assessment process in the classroom. I realized that teachers should not pick which kind of assessment to use, but learn how to complement methods from each type to achieve a more comprehensive and targeted measurement of student learning. 🙂

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