Assessment of Learning is one of the, shall I say, "challenging" topics in education. This is so because it involves a little bit of statistics. Since, I lack time to discuss the various topics involved in assessment, I will just present the principles behind assessment of/for learning. Remember that LET will not really focus on the technicalities, like what is variance, how to get the standard deviation, what is the difference among the mean, median, mode, etc. Rather, it is more focused on how will we interpret these statistical data in understanding the learner's achievement and to improve our instruction.
These principles are again, "adapted" from Corpus and Salandanan, 2007)
1. Teaching and learning is never complete without assessment. This means that assessment is an integral part of the teaching-learning process. We need to test how far the learners have learned, either before, during or after instruction, in line with our objectives. Thus, if learners are made to realize about this, negative attitudes about assessment will be minimized since the quizzes and tests will be just "usual" to them. They will come to realize the purpose of assessment, that is, to check how far they have learned.
2. Assessment tool and objectives must be colinear. The test/quiz or any assessment techniques must be in line with the objectives. This also includes the type of assessment appropriate for a certain objective. This is like a teacher who has an objective about "Singing the Philippine National Anthem". Which is more appropriate assessment tool: let the student write down completely the anthem, or let them sing the anthem? Reflect. Hehehe...
3. Assessment results should be fed back to the students. This is one of the mortal sins of some of the teachers. They will give quizzes, tests, projects, etc yet they fail to return these to the students, or to just inform the grade/score the students acquired. The purpose of assessment is to give learners a feedback to what extent their learning is. How will the learners learn this if the teacher won't give their scores or return their papers?
4. In assessment, consider learners' multiple intelligences and learning styles. The traditional paper and pencil test puts verbally and linguistically intelligent students at the advantage. Let us take into account the learners multiple intelligence and learning styles in assessment. Give various assessment techniques in order to cater individual differences.
5. It is wise to give some positive feedback as well as constructive criticisms. Don't forget to praise the students on a job well done. This can boost their morale to study and appreciate the value of success. Further, let's give them some constructive criticisms on the areas they need to improve. Remember that the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.
6. Emphasize self-assessment. Assessment must be intracomparative rather than intercomparative. In short, if learning is as well a personal process, then, let the learners assess their performance on their own against a certain criteria(is this "in short"? Hehehe). Let them be aware of and reflect on their own progress. Rather than comparing themselves with other people, let them compare their "then" self to their "now" self. Competitive nature of learning must be as much as possible avoided. If there is a competition, let this be between the students and their own prior performance. One thing more, always remember that self assessment must also be in line with teacher assessment. This can avoid overestimation or underestimation of students' performance on themselves.
7. Build the culture of success in the classroom. Avoid the bell curve mentality, or the belief that it is normal that some students pass while some fail. Have that mentality that ALL learners can achieve.
8. Never use assessment as a disciplinary action or a punishment. This distorts the true purpose of assessment. This will enkindle the negative attitudes toward assessment.
9. Assessment should be communicated regularly and clearly to parents. Take note however the importance of accountability, transparecy and confidentiality.
10. Emphasize on real world application that favors realistic performances over out of context drill items. Hence, assessment must focus on real life application, as well as developing higher ordered thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating and most of all creating.
(Sorry if the explanation on the last principles are short, out of character spaces in my cellphone.hehehe...)