The five purposes of assessment are:
- Diagnostic Assessment: This type of assessment is used to gather information about a student's current knowledge, skills, and understanding in order to identify their strengths and areas that require further development. For example, a teacher may administer a pre-test at the beginning of a unit to assess students' prior knowledge and tailor instruction accordingly.
- Formative Assessment: Formative assessment is ongoing and provides feedback to both teachers and students during the learning process. It helps monitor student progress and informs instructional decisions. An example could be a teacher observing students' participation in a group discussion and providing immediate feedback to guide their understanding.
- Summative Assessment: Summative assessments are conducted at the end of a learning period to evaluate student learning and achievement. These assessments often take the form of tests, projects, or presentations. For instance, a final exam at the end of a semester serves as a summative assessment to determine a student's overall understanding of the course material.
- Evaluative Assessment: Evaluative assessment focuses on making judgments about the effectiveness of instructional programs, curriculum, or teaching methods. It aims to assess the overall quality and impact of educational practices. An example could be conducting a survey or analyzing student achievement data to evaluate the effectiveness of a new teaching strategy implemented in the classroom.
- Predictive Assessment: This type of assessment is used to forecast students' future performance or identify their potential in a specific area. It helps inform decisions related to placement or future educational opportunities. For example, administering a standardized test to high school students to assess their college readiness and predict their success in higher education.
The four types of assessment are:
- Formal Assessment: Formal assessments are planned and structured evaluations that follow a predetermined set of criteria. The purpose is to measure student achievement and assign grades or scores. An example could be a final written exam that covers the entire content of a course.
- Informal Assessment: Informal assessments are more flexible and spontaneous, often used to gather information about student progress in a less formal manner. These assessments can be based on observations, discussions, or quick quizzes. For instance, a teacher may ask students to share their understanding of a topic through a brief class discussion.
- Performance Assessment: Performance assessments measure students' ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world or authentic situations. These assessments often involve demonstrations, presentations, or projects. An example could be asking students to design and build a model to demonstrate their understanding of a scientific concept.
- Portfolio Assessment: Portfolio assessment involves collecting and evaluating samples of a student's work over a period of time. It allows students to showcase their progress, reflect on their learning, and demonstrate their achievements. For example, a student may compile a portfolio that includes various writing assignments to demonstrate their growth in writing skills throughout the school year.
The five principles of assessment recommended by CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) are:
- Validity: The principle of validity ensures that an assessment measures what it intends to measure. It focuses on the alignment between assessment tasks and the intended learning outcomes. By adhering to this principle, educators can ensure that the assessment accurately reflects students' knowledge, skills, and understanding.
- Reliability: Reliability refers to the consistency and dependability of assessment results. It ensures that if the assessment is repeated, it would produce similar results. Reliability is important because it provides confidence in the fairness and consistency of the assessment process.
- Fairness: Fairness in assessment ensures that all students have equal opportunities to demonstrate their learning. It involves avoiding bias, discrimination, or any form of disadvantage based on factors unrelated to the learning being assessed. By adhering to fairness, educators create an inclusive and equitable assessment environment.
Difference between assessment for learning and assessment of learning:
- Assessment for learning: Assessment for learning refers to assessments that are used to gather information about students' progress and provide feedback to support their learning. It is an ongoing process that focuses on identifying students' strengths and areas for improvement, guiding instruction, and helping students set goals. The primary purpose of assessment for learning is to enhance student learning and inform instructional decisions.
Example: A teacher provides formative assessments such as quizzes, class discussions, or self-assessments throughout a unit to monitor students' understanding, provide feedback, and adjust instruction accordingly.
- Assessment of learning: Assessment of learning refers to assessments that are conducted to evaluate students' achievement or mastery of learning outcomes. It typically takes place at the end of a learning period and is used to measure the level of understanding and proficiency students have attained. The primary purpose of assessment of learning is to determine grades, assign levels of achievement, or provide certification.
Example: A final exam or a standardized test administered at the end of a course to assess students' overall understanding and assign grades based on their performance.
Difference between assessment in learning and assessment as learning:
- Assessment in learning: Assessment in learning refers to the use of ongoing assessments during the learning process to support and enhance students' understanding. It involves incorporating assessment activities as part of instructional strategies to promote active engagement, self-reflection, and metacognitive skills. The focus is on using assessment as a tool to facilitate learning and guide students' progress.
Example: Students engage in self-assessment activities where they reflect on their own work, identify areas of improvement, and set goals for their learning. They may use rubrics or checklists to evaluate their own performance and make adjustments to enhance their understanding.
- Assessment as learning: Assessment as learning emphasizes the active involvement of students in the assessment process to develop their metacognitive skills and self-regulation. It involves students taking responsibility for monitoring their own learning, making judgments about their progress, and reflecting on their strengths and areas for improvement. The purpose is to empower students to become independent learners and develop lifelong learning skills.
Example: Students engage in peer assessment activities where they provide feedback to their peers, evaluate their work based on criteria, and engage in discussions to deepen their understanding. Through this process, students not only assess others' work but also develop their own understanding by critically analyzing and reflecting on the work of their peers.