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Assessment is an important procedure in the learning process since it is used in structuring the learning process. The techniques are generally regarded as simple and often with no grades conducted inside the class that enables both the teacher and the students to get vital feedback on learning. Issues that arise from the assessment of learners have a close relation to the philosophical differences that exist among different educators. There are many assessment tools at the disposal of educators which can be used to get feedback on the progress of the learning process (NTLF, 2003)
Appropriate use of Assessment
The basic and most important reason for conducting assessments among learners is to ensure that teachers have the information they require. This information is useful in making instructional decisions concerning individual learners or certain groups. The scores from an assessment should be used on their own in making crucial decisions on individual learners. Assessment scores can be used appropriately in giving information about the level of development of learners in matters linked with school learning. It can also be used in providing additional information concerning the academic achievements of a student. The other appropriate use of assessment is in the description of behaviors of learners with special needs that are related to learning. Finally, assessment can also be used appropriately in collecting information that will assist in designing instructional programs for learners as well as in identifying learners who might have problems as a result of late developments.
Inappropriate use of Assessment
Individuals taking part in assessment should be aware of the likely misuses or wrong interpretations that might arise from the results of the assessment. Misuse of assessment arises when a teacher or an educator relies on a single instrument of assessment when making sensitive decisions either on individual students or groups. Firstly, assessment can be used inappropriately when enrolling learners in particular learning programs or other special activities. Secondly, assessment is used inappropriately in determining how effective educational programs are. Thirdly, it is also inappropriate to evaluate how effective a teacher is in his instruction using the results of assessment (Beyond the Book, 2011).
Guidelines for Evaluating Use/Misuse of Assessment
Educators need to have some guidelines that will assist them in evaluating whether an assessment was used or not. The first guideline for evaluating the use of assessment is looking at whether the instructional programs are in agreement with the assessment results. If the instructional programs are by the assessment results, then this implies the proper use of assessment. Another guideline is to examine the behaviors of learners during the learning process. The third guideline that can be used is by looking at whether decisions were made based on a single or several assessment tools (Popham, 2011).
Dealing with Test Preparation Issues
A test is aimed at giving the real picture of the ability of a learner in the area in which he is being tested. The first way of helping teachers to deal with test preparation issues is that they should first acquaint themselves with the requirements of good practice and what makes practice bad. Teachers should ensure that the material in tests is not revealed in any way to learners before the test is done. This is possible through maintaining a high level of confidentiality. Teachers should also avoid reviewing the copyrighted material of tests before the actual test is done (Power, 2001).
Beyond the Book. (2011). A Guide to the Developmentally Appropriate Assessment of Young Children. Web.
NTLF. (2003). Classroom Assessment Techniques. Web.
Popham, J. (2011). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. San Francisco: Allyn and Bacon.
Power, M. (2001). Ethical Standards in Testing:Test Preparation and Administration. Web.