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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 3a: Informal and Formal Assessments

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So there’s such thing as informal and formal even when we are talking about assessments. Prior to reading this module’s resources, I thought that assessment can only be classified as formative or summative, as I learned from the previous modules. I then realized, once again, that this principle/practice can further be classified as formal or informal.

From what I have understood, formal assessment entails standardized tests usually rendered at the end of a unit, grading period, or class. Objective tests, usually multiple choice and essay type, serve this purpose. Informal Assessment, on the other hand, is those assessment practices which are done to gauge student performance at any point in time during the course. Examples of which are portfolios, journals, worksheets, and role plays, among others. Even the mere asking of questions to students can serve as an informal assessment to know if the students understand the lesson or if there are concepts that are unclear to them.

Compared to summative and formative assessments, which are focused more on the data gathered during the process – the interpretation of such to gauge understanding and student achievement, I think that formal and informal assessments, as categories, focus more on the method of obtaining data. I mean, when one is asked about the difference between the two, one would likely give examples of assessment methods that belong to each category, e.g. standardized exams for formal and portfolios for informal.

I still have to learn a lot as to the categories or classifications under assessment but so far, I am enjoying and appreciating the learning that I experience as a DE student of this course. Assessment, indeed, needs to have an in-depth study and careful implementation to serve its purpose.

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