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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 3B: Summative and Formative Assessment

When I was a college student, I always keep myself aware of exam schedules primary because I know that my performance during those tests will determine my grades, and eventually my future. Seems too futuristic, but we cannot deny the fact that companies give importance to the grades garnered by their applicants when they were in school. Thus, students’ grades contribute a lot to their potential in competing in the “real world.” In this aforementioned situation, we can say that people generally take the final assessment result as something that encapsulates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the students.

However, aside from my belief that not all students give the best of their abilities in the final test, there is also a possibility that because of the general notion, teachers, educational researchers, academic institutions, and other stakeholders might tend to focus their efforts in summative assessment.

Summative assessment, I learned, is the process by which student learning is measured to judge their achievement. Formative assessment, on the other hand, is done to gauge student learning and eventually improve or adjust instruction – its delivery and strategies. The latter assess the entirety of student accomplishments while the latter focuses more on how teaching can be improved to maximize learning.

Notwithstanding the fact that formative assessments can use subjective or unstructured methods while summative assessments can use objective tests, developments have allowed the use of these methods either formatively or summatively, depending on the assessment goals.

People and institutions judge the credibility of schools and their faculties by looking into student achievement, that is, the results of summative assessments. Hence, teachers and school authorities tend to give more attention to such process. However, formative assessments must be given equal importance because this determines how much or how less students are learning. It aims to improve teachers’ performance as well.

In connection to how I started this post, people need to stop thinking that grades encompass the entirety of the capabilities of a person, because in reality, exams or other methods of final assessment which determine grades, may not reflect the real achievement of students.

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