What is Assessment?

The effectiveness of an assessment depends on using minimal resources to achieve the goals of the assessment ; maintaining effective working relationships among the assessors, assesses, and other interested stakeholders; and increasing motivation to participate in future assessment.

Meaningful and Manageable
  • Achieve a significant purposes
  • Clear procedures, criteria, and rubrics
  • Result which provide clear direction for increasing the quality of learning and instruction.
  • The available resources are the adequate for the requirement of assessment.
  • The value of the information obtained is worth the expenditure of the resources.
Methods of assessment

Essay
  • Standard
  • Understanding, synthesis, evaluative skills
  • Easy to set
  • Marking for grading using Impressionistic marking is relatively fast
  • Marking for feedback can be time consuming
  • Variations high

Problems
  • Standard
  • Application, analysis, problem solving strategies
  • Complex problems, marking scheme can be difficult to design
  • Marking of grading of easy problem is fast.
  • Complex problem marking can be slow
  • Marking feedback: slow
  • Variation: low
Report on practical
  • Standard
  • Knowledge of experimental procedures, analysis and interpretation of results
  • Grading using impression or simple structured forms is relatively fast
  • Feedback with simple structured forms is faster than without them
  • Variations between markers, without structured forms can be high.
Multiple choice
  • Standard
  • Sample a wide range of knowledge quickly
  • Understanding, analysis, problem solving, evaluative skill
  • Measure of knowledge are relatively easy to set.
  • Complex question require more time to set
  • Easy to mark and analyse results
  • Feedback: fast
  • Reliable
  • Danger of testing only trivial knowledge
Short answer questions
  • Standard
  • Analysis, application of knowledge, problem solving and evaluative skills
  • Can be easier to design than complex MCQs but still relatively slow
  • Marking to model answers is relatively fast compared with problems but not compared with MCQs
  • Feedback: fast
Cases and problems
  • Application of knowledge, analysis, problem solving, evaluative skills
  • Short case easy to set and mark
  • Design more complex case is challenging
  • Grading and feedback are as fast as essay marking

Mini-practical
  • A series of mini-practical undertaken undertimed conditions
  • Wide range of practical, analytical and interpretative skills
  • Initial design: time consuming
  • Marking: fast
  • Feedback:fast
  • Reliable but training is necessary
Projects, group projects and dissertation
  • Good all around ability testing
  • Provides a measure of project and time management.
  • Group project can provide a measure of teamwork skills and leadership. Motivation and teamwork can be high
  • Grading: time consuming
  • Feedback :reduced through peer- and self assessment and presentation
Orals
  • Test communication, understanding, capacity to think quickly under pressure and knowledge of procedures
  • Feedback: potential
  • Grading can be fast but some standardization of interview procedure is needed
Presentations
  • Test preparation, understanding, knowledge, capacity to structure information oral communication skill
  • Feedback: potential
  • Grading based on simple criteria is fast and potentially reliable
Poster sessions
  • Test capacity to present findings and interpretations succinctly and attractively. Danger of focusing unduly on presentation methods can be avoided by the use of simple criteria.
  • feedback: potential
  • Grading; fast
  • Use of criteria reduce variability
Reflective practice assignment
  • Measure capacity to analyse and evaluate experience in the light of theories and research evidence
  • Easy to set
  • Feedback: potential
  • Marking for feedback can be slow
  • Marking for grading is about the same as essays.
  • Use of criteria reduce variability
Simple essay exams
  • Three hours on prepared topic
  • Easy to set
  • Attention to criteria needed
  • Test capacity to draw on a wide range of knowledge, to synthesize and identify recurrent themes
  • Marking for feedback is relatively slow
  • Marking for grading is relatively fast providing the criteria are simple.
Strategies
1. Reduce assessments (in scale, scope or formal status)
  • simple reduction in overall volume of assessments
  • making some assessments less demanding
  • setting fewer but more challenging assignments
  • not formally assessing some coursework
  • formally assessing some hitherto informal assignments.
2. Delegate assessments
  • devolving marking and/or feedback responsibilities to part-time tutors, teaching assistants or demonstrators
  • Involving students in marking (usually of tests with standard answers) or in giving feedback to one another
3. Reschedule demands
  • spacing assessments out more evenly
  • concentrating assessments at fewer points in the course
  • sampling only some script.
4. Refocusing effort
  • thorough groundwork (cf. “front-ending”)
  • articulating criteria
  • providing colleagues with model answers or worked examples
  • using proformas for more focused marking and structured feedback
  • feedback to groups rather than to individuals channeling follow-up guidance to students most in need
5.Capitalizing on IT and other technologies
  • mechanize assessments (e.g. MCQs)
  • make scripts quicker to scan and scrutinize (e.g. via a word-processing requirement)
  • or to help process scripts or collate, record and analyze marks
6. Reviewing and recasting approaches to assessment
  • undertaking a more fundamental reappraisal of assessments ends and means in relation to a particular course, module or degree program.
7. Do an audit of students & staff’s assessment load as a basis for considering ways of assessments procedures.

8. Look at the degree regulations and procedures to see if they need changing or interpreting differently.

9. Departments & school reflect upon their approaches to assessment with a view to easing assessments loads & improving their effectiveness.

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