Student Assessment

The National School believes in the 21st century assessment tools to see the relationships among seemingly diverse concepts and measuring abilities like recall, analysis, comparison, inference, and evaluation. Student assessment is one of the key issues in education.The academic progress is monitored through multiple forms of assessment to gauge a student's knowledge and abilities. We realize, however, that even the best designed tests and examinations are able to evaluate only limited areas of a student’s development, and we are, therefore, constantly looking for more effective ways to assess and report on the overall progress of students. Hence, TNSAE has incorporated performance-based assessments with the formative and summative types of assessment to facilitate a fair and consistent evaluation of all aspects of our children’s progress in more detail. The following procedures of assessment are observed at The National School Offering varied methods composed with the help of variety of resources and guides.

Assessing student performance

Frequent assessment strategies helps students keep pace with content requirements. Assessment at The National School Aimed Education is based on writing an individual paper, preparing a group presentation, class participation, attendance, homework problem sets, exams (essay, short answer, multiple choice, true/false), and so on. Alternatively, when a student performs a task rather than taking a test, it is called performance assessment. Examples of performance assessment include: debating a topic; demonstrating a skill; conducting an experiment and writing the results; doing a project; or compiling a portfolio of work. Ideally the assessment process informs the teacher and the learner about learner progress and at the same time, contributes to the learning process. In theory, good assessment:
  • measures meaningful learning outcomes
  • does so in a fair, reliable, accurate way
  • is easy to administer, score, and interpret
  • informs the teacher about student performance and how they are interpreting course experiences
  • results in meaningful feedback to the learner
  • is itself a learning experience

Feedback on assessment

Feedback is a very important part of learning. Feedback is the mechanism that lets the learner know whether they are on the right track. The dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/) definition of feedback is "The return of information about the result of a process or activity; an evaluative response." Assessment and measurement strategies provide feedback to both the student and instructor. Students learn more effectively if they receive frequent, meaningful, and rapid feedback. Feedback may come from the instructor directly, from assignments and assessments which have feedback built into them, or even from other students. Feedback to learners about where they are and where their instructors want them to be comes in many different ways, such as:
  • instructor participation in a discussion assignment
  • writing assignments that require submission of a draft for instructor comments and suggestions for improvement
  • self-mastery tests and quizzes that include informative feedback with each answer choice
  • interactive games and simulations that have feedback built in
Technology can provide automated assessments which provide instant right or wrong feedback. Interactive media provide feedback when they add a visual change to indicate mouse over, or a sound to accompany an action. This very simple form of feedback lets the learner know their input has been received. More sophisticated technologies can offer constructive criticism. Technology can also help by gathering and organizing student performances and making it easy to offer feedback. However, human participation is often a necessary part of feedback.

What assessments we use?

Measuring student learning is always a challenge no matter what the delivery format. Your choices are limited by time, resources and creativity. When thinking about student assessment in a course, the following questions may help decide how many and what types of assessments you will include in your course.
  • Pre-testing
  • Practice exams
  • Subjective assessment

Subjective assessment

In subjective assessments the teacher's judgment determines the grade. These include essay tests. Essay tests take longer to answer and they take longer to grade than objective questions and therefore only include a small number of questions, focusing on complex concepts.

Objective assessment

Objective assessments (usually multiple choice, true false, short answer) have correct answers. These are good for testing recall of facts and can be automated. Objective tests assume that there are true answers and assume that all students should learn the same things.

Self-assessment

Self assessment types of assignments are provided for quick student feedback. Self assessments:
  • help the learner check if they have mastered a topic
  • provide opportunity to measure learning progress
  • are usually voluntary and may allow multiple attempts
  • inform the learner, but not the teacher
  • can occur whenever a performance activity is linked with feedback about that performance.

Self assessment examples:

  • practice quizzes
  • games, simulations, and other interactive exercises
  • practice written assignments
  • true-false questions

Group projects

Group projects are more challenging in a fully online course because the online tools often must handle all collaboration. Students do not necessarily live in the same time zone or even on the same continent, there is no set class meeting time, and they may have vastly different schedules. Some online students do their classwork during the week, others work only on weekends. Some like the idea of meeting in-person with their group, others prefer asynchronous collaboration. A majority prefer not to do group work at all. Some students start and finish projects early (they always turn things in first) and others wait until the last minute. Invariably there will be complaints about group members who are not participating.

Participation

Class participation can be an alternative method of assessing the student. A good way to encourage class participation is to make it part of the overall course grade. Class participation may include answering reflective questions in a course module, taking part in weekly class discussions, providing peer review critiques of fellow students' assignments, or locating and contributing online resources to a class-created knowledgebase. The quality and quantity of submissions can be used to determine the grade. Some LMSs can track the number of posts a student makes to a discussion forum or live chat.

Other kinds of assessment

Alternative methods of assessment are limited only by your imagination. Consider assigning reflective journals, one minute papers, contributions to digital archives, or portfolios.