Assessment For Learning Or Assessment Of Learning: Providing Rationale For Promoting Learning

1517 words - 7 pages

As discussed previously, summative assessment provides evidence of pupil achievement of making a judgment about pupil’s competence or effectiveness of PoS usually in the form of standardised tests. At classroom level, summative assessment determines how much pupils have learned at a particular time, for the purpose of communicating achievement status to others. Kirton et al (2007) think formative and summative assessments as two separate and hardly reconcilable approaches of assessment whereas Black et al (2004, 2010) feel they can be complementary to each other. An assessment intended to be formative can be used summatively in the classroom when evidence indicates pupils’ attainment. ...view middle of the document...

Additionally, there are many arguments against the extensive or exclusive use of summative assessment in order to accomplish the above goals. Among them are: the cultural bias that many teachers and pupils think is incorporated in the wording of some test questions, and the opinion that the learning disabled, who often think differently, are insufficiently helped to successfully complete the tests. Some children are negatively impacted by a high anxiety testing environment, and results may not accurately reflect their knowledge of the subject tested. Additionally, such assessments can be very limiting as more often than not they measure low level order skills such as knowledge, comprehension and application. They do not test high order skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Also summative tests do not measure important skills such as team work, collaboration and moral character; all important skills that employers look for in their workers.
In summary, the issues related to assessment of learning are many and serious, because they could possibly jeopardize the quality of education for many of country’s children. In observing the difficulty that many children have with this form of testing, experts may be correctly showing that this heavy reliance on one format of test does not suit all pupils. Perhaps there can be a way to evenly and equitably include other measures, such as teacher judgment based on multiple observations by more than one teacher, all of whom are trained in impartial practices. Also, as part of the determination of success in the classroom, schools can feature the inclusion of different kinds of thinking, and cultural paradigms. Teachers can be encouraged to find ways to include creativity, higher order thinking, and clear, imaginative, essay writing. These changes can be encouraged on a national level through funding the development of relevant programs.
Impact and effect of AfL:
A crucial factor determining whether AfL is successful in promoting learning is the extent that pupil achievement increases through modifying assessment approaches. Unfortunately, most studies conducted so far are unable to measure learning gains directly from AfL. However, there are consistent evidences that introducing AfL attributes an increase in pupils’ learning gains to the implementation of AfL. A study by Kirton et al (2007) shows that 78% participants evaluate the intervention as successful in its impact on pupils’ attainment and there is a significant improvement in summative tests as a result of AfL. However, there are only a few quantitative studies that test the effects of AfL on pupils’ learning gains and further research is needed in order to conclude impact of AfL on promoting learning. AfL helps in creating non-threatening environment for learning suggesting pupils feel more confident to intervene and propose ideas during lesson. All these approaches are beneficial for pupils in developing their metacognition...

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