A New Beginning

At the end of this trimester, I feel a little burned out because I have been subject to a lot of assessments in various endeavors: 1) midterms and quizzes for acupuncture courses (and I happily learned I didn’t fail in the midterm of one major subject because the teacher miscalculated my score); 2) a high-stakes summative assessment of one module of Data Science on Coursera, consisting of only five questions; and 3) self and peer evaluation for two group assignments and quizzes in EDS 113.

Back in college, being on the receiving end of assessment and a learner subject to tests felt like a mandatory (sometimes, annoying) requirement that had to be finished with, so it was important to strategize with dispensable knowledge (which is vital for procrastinators like me). As a more mature learner, I now greatly appreciate the importance of assessment to students and teachers because it is integral in improving the quality of the teaching-learning process, and hence place more value in how assessment helps teachers facilitate learning and assists students in retaining important concepts and learning important skills.

With that being said, it becomes extremely important for teachers to be assessment-literate. They should be able to plan well-designed assessments and to align them with learning goals and objectives because they know the purpose and importance of different types of assessment (assessment of learning/summative, assessment for learning/formative, assessment as learning, informal/formal) and when to use them. They must also marry theoretical knowledge about assessment and connect it to theories of learning (EDS 103) because it will justify how they will capture learning according to how students learn. Lastly, assessment entails critical reflection and action, which is a core principle in teaching (EDS 111), that allows teachers to reflect upon information from assessment and to adjust accordingly. Theoretically, critically reflective teachers provide the model for students to become critically reflective as well.

As I journey through my life as a student and a (future) teacher, I hope that a strong foundation on assessment becomes part of professional development and teacher training so that we develop critically reflective and assessment literate teachers, who will pave the way for critical thinkers and graduates who perform well in assessment and in life.

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Growth

We recently learned about our midterm examination scores for Acupuncture I class. Sadly, only four out of ten students passed the exam. Being one of the six students who scored a few points shy from the passing mark, I took some time to reflect (although I did brood for a while) and to accept the fact about the examination score. What had gone wrong? I had studied well for the test and had submitted it with full confidence that I would pass. On the other hand, my fellow classmate was so affected about her failure that she skipped lunch and sulked for the rest of the day. For us, there were two obvious options regarding the results of the assessment: first, to sulk in one corner and to beat onself up because of the mistakes in the examination and second, to learn from those mistakes and to dedicate more time into studying and understanding the material (even if the content of the assessment method and andragogy was partially at fault). I chose the latter, since I had come to realization that one exam would not completely define my learning, knowledge, and skill in the matter since I did well on the practical exam – after all, knowing where to put the needle on the body can mean life or death (although not discounting the importance of theory). I noted the areas where I needed to improve and dedicated to studying more about the theories of acupuncture and point location.

The two options I mentioned earlier are indicative of two dominant mindsets when it comes to performance and assessment: there is the fixed mindset (no room for failures, intelligence is limited) and there is the growth mindset (failures are a means to success and learning). Of the two, the latter is more important in real-life: learning how to cope with failure and subsequently, adapting, growing, and persevering will make more resilient and productive individuals. Yet between the two, we all know that the fixed mindset is the most predominant in society and in the classroom. Occasionally, we can see a parent or two boasting on social media about their child with a high ranking or grades (which is natural), which fuels further the competitiveness and individualism that the system perpetuates. In order to be on top, there needs to be no failure or no mistakes because it would entail a lower score or lower performance. Hence, it is important for parents and teachers to teach children the importance and benefits of failure so that they can use them to grow as individuals. After all, studies show that EQ, more than IQ, is a better predictor of success in the workplace.

Given that there needs to be a growth mindset, feedback becomes an important part of assessment because it can help students improve their learning and help teachers improve their teaching. Whether non-verbal, verbal, solicited, or unsolicited, the importance of critical self-reflection, awareness, and action upon ones’ reflection must be emphasized in the feedback process for both students and teachers. Even in our interpersonal lives, it depends on you on what you do with the information you accept and receive about how you perform and act in relation to a particular goal. We also give feedback to loved ones and friends if we feel it would help them reach their own goals.

For now, back to studying to reach my life goals.

Organ Manifestation Theory in TCM

In general, zang organs mainly manufacture and store essential substances like blood, qui, essence, and body fluid while fu organs receive, digest, transport, and excrete. Organ manifestation (Zang Xiang) theory was developed because of rich experience, clinical practice, and anatomical knowledge of ancient Chinese doctors and because of pathological and physiological observations.

Zang-Organs

 The heart, as the “supreme ruler”, distributes blood and dominates the blood vessels. Blood is also the material basis for mental activities and thinking, so the heart is also said to house the mind and spirit and is associated with the emotion of joy. The health of the heart can be seen in the tongue, taste, and speech. The peri-cardium functions to protect the heart.

If the heart dominates the blood, then the liver stores and regulates the volume of blood. It also maintains the free flow of qi given its elemental properties (wood), so a normally functioning liver creates harmonious qi and blood which helps balance emotions. Additionally, the liver supports digestion with the excretion/secretion of bile and controls the tendons/sinews. The health of the liver can also be seen in the nails and in the eyes. The associated emotion with the liver is anger.

The spleen, located in the middle energizer, controls the blood that the heart distributes and that the liver stores. Most importantly, it is the main organ for the manufacture of qi and blood and governs over the transportation (digestion) and transformation (transmission) of nutrient substance. The health of the spleen can be seen in the muscles, four limbs, mouth, and lips. The emotion that is said to affect the spleen the most is thinking or pensiveness.

The lung controls respiration and dominates qi of respiration and qi of the whole body. It also distributes defensive qi and body fluid to the skin, hair, and muscles, while the skin disperses the qi and defends the body from external pathogens. Also, the lung descends and regulates water passageways for smooth circulation and excretion of water in tandem with the kidney and bladder. The lung is associated with the emotion of sadness or grief. Lastly, the lungs open up into the nose and throat as gateways of respiration.

The kidney helps the lung in receiving and descending qi, stores congenital and acquired essence, dominates development and reproduction, and contains the foundations for yin (kidney yin) and yang (kidney yang) in the body. Furthermore, kidney qi regulates the distribution of body fluid and sends clear fluid to the lung for circulation while turbid fluid goes to the bladder. The health of the kidneys can be seen in the bones and hair, and is connected to the ear and anterior/posterior orifices of the human body. Fear is the emotion that is said to affect the kidneys the most.

Fu-Organs

The gallbladder aids in digestion, helps descend qi, and helps to maintain the free flow of qi with its partner organ, the liver. The stomach is also important in digestion because it receives and decomposes food. Together with the spleen, the stomach creates acquired foundation for the body and helps in descending qi. After the stomach, the small intestine receives, digests, and separates the clear from the turbid. The large intestine then receives the waste material, absorbs fluid content, forms feces, and then excretes it with the help of lung qi. If the large intestine eliminates solid waste, the bladder temporarily stores urine and relies on qi activity to discharge it. It works hand-in-hand with the kidneys, wherein kidney qi assists it in opening and closing to metabolise body fluid. Lastly, the san jiao or triple energizer functions as the governor of the different forms of qi and facilitates the circulation of quanqi and body fluid from the kidney to the different zang-fu organs. Each energizer functions in relation to the organs that it is located in front of: the upper energizer above the diaphragm dominates essential qi to the heart and lung, the middle energizer dominates digestion, and the lower energizer facilitates the separation of turbid/clear and the discharge of wastes from the body.

Five Element Theory in TCM

Five Phases Theory

Similar to the yin-yang theory, the five-phases theory states that the five natural elements or phases illustrates the different relationships between the zang-fu organs and their characteristics according to their element. In acupuncture, the theory is also used to target “element points” or five transport points located at the hands and feet.

The law of promotion/generation demonstrates the cycle of progression of the five elements in nature and in the human body. In layman’s terms, wood generates fire (like how we light fires with wood), fire generates earth (like the lava of the earth giving rise to earth and soil), earth generates metal (like how precious minerals and metals are deposited in the earth), metal generates water, and water generates wood (like how water can help trees grow).

On the other hand, the law of restriction states that certain elements can limit or control other elements, most often which are opposite them. In this cycle, wood restrains earth (like how a trees roots would penetrate the soil); water restrains fire (like putting out the flames with water); fire restrains metal (like a blacksmith melting metal with fire); and metal restrains wood (like a metal axe would if it was used to cut down a tree).

Since each zang-organ is interconnected with one another because of their ascribed element, a disease of one organ can affect another. In the generation cycle, deficiency would be addressed by tonifying the mother. For example, deficient lung qi (metal) would mean tonifying its promoting element and corresponding organ, which is the spleen (earth), so that the mother (spleen) can nourish the child (lung). However, in the case of excess, cleanse or purge both the organ and its child. For example, excess fire of the heart and liver can be addressed by purging first the heart (fire) in order to clear the liver (wood).

In the restriction cycle, hyperactive zang-organs are treated by suppressing the strong and assisting the weak zang-organs according to the law of restriction. For example, lung yin deficiency with a hyperactive liver means that the liver (wood) is counter-restraining the lung (metal) so the treatment would be to tonify the lung yin and to suppress the liver.

Pattern Differentiation in TCM

Pattern differentiation is one of the major features of Chinese medicine which differentiates it from Western Medicine. While there are many diseases in TCM that can be considered the same with those identified in Western Medicine, biomedical terms are not  exact substitutes for treatment and so pattern differentiation is important in diagnosis and treatment.

Different treatments for the same disease recognize that each patient is unique in terms of responding to the treatment of the disease. In addition, practitioners often look at a syndrome, which is a pattern of symptoms that can be seen at a certain stage of a disease. For example, a migrane or a recurring headache is the same in Western Medicine and a doctor may prescribe paracetamol or any other painkiller for treatment. In Chinese medicine, a migration can either signal a problem with the liver because it is connected to the eyes and head and/or the kidney, which belongs to the water element and promotes wood (liver). Another example is that the common cold can manifest in different syndromes like wind-cold or wind-heat so the treatment depends on syndrome differentiation.

On the other hand, the same treatment for different disease means that different diseases at certain stages of progression can show the same pathological changes or syndrome. For example, three patients present different illnesses: one has a headache, another has gout, and the last has heartburn; if these three illnesses are caused by pathogenic heat, then they could get the same treatment.

 

An Assessment of Assessment

For us fortunate beings who have been able to go to school, we have been subject to a lot of assessment tools since the day we’ve stepped into the classroom. You name it: short and long quizzes, long tests, multiple-choice/true-false/mix-and-match/fill-in-the-blank exams that never seemed to end, performative tasks like group reporting and demonstration, and a whole lot of stuff that usually ends up with a written grade on top. Little is known to us students why teachers subject us to so many assessments in the first place, and even more so when it comes to how teachers design them in the first place.

For most of my student life, studying for exams and other assessment tasks were a trivial task for me. I had never developed good study habits and was the ever-so lucky procrastinator who was able to breeze through high school and up until third year college albeit with a few challenges. Most often, the technique of studying what seemed to be the most important details in a lesson (backwash) and what was important to the teacher at the last minute was my strategy to prepare a few nights before a test or exam. I also developed a bit of disdain for such assessments since I felt it wasn’t an authentic assessment of what I knew, so I focused my efforts on my improving my writing and communication skills (and it paid off for essay-type assessment tools and performative tasks).

Fast forward to today and I find myself more dedicated and willing to study for my educational subjects than ever before, perhaps because there is more appreciation of the social value and financial cost of education and its importance in my growth as a professional researcher, mother and future acupuncturist/data scientist/educator. For the past months, I have taken a wide range of assessments in other different academic programs other than UPOU’s Professional Teaching Certification (PTC) program:

SMIC-TCM’s Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Certificate Program

  • Acupuncture classes like Western Pharmacology I, Western Pathophysiology I, Acupuncture Points and Theory I stress traditional assessment methods like long and short multiple-choice exams because the nature of its learning begins with rote memorization or surface learning that requires familiarity with concepts for later application. In particular, Acupuncture Points and Theory I relies on rote memorization of human anatomy concepts so that students can better locate the points and be familiar with popular points used in acupuncture.
  • In the same manner, Acupuncture Points and Theory I also use authentic assessment or non-traditional assessment with non-graded point location exercises and graded practical exams that ask students to locate a random set of acupuncture points. This is particularly important since we need the experience and hands-on practice because this is crucial in actual acupuncture later (and certainly, we can’t afford to needle the wrong location!)
  • Acupuncture classes like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Philosophy I, TCM Foundations I, and Medical Ethics place more emphasis on non-traditional assessment types like essays and take-home assessments because the professors understand that students can understand theories better if there is time for them to read, study, and answer questions

DOST-PCIEERD MOOCs Data Science Scholarship Program

  • Each module of the course on Coursera employs its own mix of traditional and authentic assessment. The first module (“Introduction to Data Science”) focused more on concepts so the ten-item quizzes embedded in each week of the module was based on the content of the video lectures available. For the three succeeding modules, it leaned towards authentic assessment as students were expected to perform what was learned without any time limit. The four short-quizzes became more complex because students were compelled to program and to run a series of commands on the software (R) in order to get the right answers to the questions. To add to the complexity, John Hopkins embedded several peer-graded assignments in the modules which required students to come up with their own codes in relation to a real-life problem using big data from the Internet. While the course is self-paced and resources are plentiful on the Internet, students must also be familiar with the language of R programming and must constantly practice to ensure that they do not forget the commands or functions that they are expected to know.
  • After the completion of each module on Coursera, the DOST sends a separate short online and timed quiz to scholars as an assessment to determine whether they will advance to the next module. A re-take examination is also given to scholars who do not pass the first exam to help boost their chances of promotion. After completion of the four modules, the top 50 scholars with the highest scores can proceed to advance modules on Coursera. This is what may be labelled as “high-stakes” traditional assessment because it ultimately determines if a student will be promoted and how many scholars are benefiting and will benefit from the program. With the conclusion of the last quiz for the third module last week, DOST must have assessed that their ten-item quiz which required actual application could not be answered in 30 minutes for most of the scholars, so their re-take examination was shortened to five-items and the administrator shared the content and required data so that scholars are better prepared.

In literature, much has been debated about the pros and cons about traditional and non-traditional/authentic assessment, yet it isn’t all black and white. As I’ve experienced as a student, traditional assessment works well for subjects and disciplines that require good familiarization on theoretical knowledge and concepts because they are important in practice or in the profession later on (e.g. human anatomy for doctors, ABCs for functionally literate citizens). On the other hand, authentic assessment works well with subjects and disciplines that rely heavily on performance and actual hands on experience to encourage deeper learning. Additionally, traditional assessment can be transformed into authentic assessment and teacher-centered assessment can be changed to become learner-centered assessment. Knowing the different types of assessment and their purpose will help teachers be assessment-literate so that they can better design their assessments in the classroom and align them with learning goals and their educational philosophy.

As a college student, I felt that traditional assessment was just another one of those requirements that needed to be fulfilled. As a lifelong learner, I now feel that it is not as simple as it looks like and it also serves an important purpose in the education system. Educators must use a variety of assessment methods to capture learning and must be able to justify their use and design. How we capture learning also depends on our own personal belief about how learning takes place in the classroom and how it is related to other subjects and the outside world.

Lastly, reflection is an important part of the teaching-learning process, so educators must know the differences among informal and formal assessment, assessment for learning/assessment as learning (formative assessment), and assessment of learning (summative assessment) and make an educated decision on what to use in the classroom. Equally important, reflection will help educators decide whether an assessment is effective, valid, and reliable so that they can act accordingly and make changes in the classroom.

For now, I will go back to studying because I face the following assessments this week: a 50-item multiple choice exam for Western Pharmacology, an online quiz and a programming assignment for the first week of Module 4 of Data Science, and a one-page reflection paper on medical ethics for handling terminal illnesses.

Learning has never been so fun.

Grade-Conscious

Back when I was in college, one popular term among us was “GC” or “grade conscious”. One of my closest friends was exactly that: he would always be the first one to raise his hand, to achieve 100% of attendance, to schedule his tasks and activities for class, and to ask his teachers for more guidelines to ensure that he would always get the perfect uno in class. To be fair to him, he was a critical thinker and analyst and his hard work eventually paid off — he graduated valedictorian of his batch. Yet to put his motivation and achievement in perspective, I think it would be fair to state that his sole focus – as well as other students who are conscious of their grade – was on excelling in formative assessment and summative assessment. Yet while traditional grades give a picture of student achievement, do they really capture learning of content knowledge and life skills?

***

In recent times, it has been discovered that emotional quotient (EQ) is a better predictor of success in work than intelligence quotient (IQ) and that employers are looking more for holistic graduates with the necessary soft skills (e.g. communication, attitude). Unfortunately, the exam-dominated educational system composed of “high-stakes” summative assessment system has a tendency to create students who often resort to surface learning (backwash) and strategy than learning and students who tap into the hidden curriculum so that they only need o know how to pass a subject but they do not understand it (Surgenor, 2010).

This is where teachers and their creativity and critically reflexive practice comes in. How can you encourage and facilitate learning if your students are performance-driven? From what I’ve learned, a combination of a range of assessment methods (assessment for learning – formative, assessment of learning – summative, and assessment as learning) can give teachers the upperhand in ensuring that students learn while improving the quality of their learning. Aside from the three broad classifications, assessment can be categorized as informal or formal. The big difference between the two lies in the fact that formal assessments, which often are standardized tests, are data-driven while informal assessments are content and performance driven (Weaver, 2018). The purpose of formal or standardized measures is to assess overall student achievement or to compare students’ performance with other peers, while informal assessments are criterion referenced measures or performance-based measures used to inform instruction (Weaver, 2018).

With these additional types and categories, the line that delineates formative, summative, informal, and informal becomes further blurred as either can be classified as the same as the other. Teachers, therefore, must be assessment-literate and know how to distinguish the types of assessment they use but most importantly, they must know the purpose of their assessment while aligning it with learning goals and objectives. Lastly, teachers can use the same assessment method but the interpretation of the information from assessment will determine if it is summative or formative.

***

Interestingly, when my GC friend and I met in one of our barkada meet-ups, he stated he was worn out by how GC his students where and that he had an inkling of how his former teachers must have felt (karma?). When I asked him whether he recalled how much he learned in college, he just shrugged and laughed.

 

REFERENCES

Education.com. (2010). Are Traditional Grades a Thing of the Past? Education.com. Retrieved from https://www.education.com/magazine/article/traditional-grades/

Surgenor, P. (2010). Teaching Toolkit: Effect of Assessment on Learning. UCD Teaching and Learning Resources. Retrieved from https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/UCDTLT0031.pdf

Weaver, B. (2018). Formal vs. Informal Assessments: An overview of the two general categories of assessments. Scholastic. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/formal-vs-informal-assessments/

Self and Peer Assessment

It is a peculiar thing to reflect upon a type of assessment that I have rarely seen in the years I have been a student. Back in college, it appeared that only teachers had a monopoly on the way assessments were designed and administered and as I meandered through my masters and postgraduate courses it was peppered mostly with assessment for learning and assessment of learning. Looking back, it appears that the educational system favors individuality more than group work and if there is collaborative effort it is a means to award each student with the same final grade.

The last time I had undergone self- and peer assessment was two trimesters ago for two education subjects. Both required group work with fellow students who I have never met before and online. For one subject, my groupmates were active in collaborating, sharing their thoughts, and sending communication online and offline because of the nature of the assignment and project (e.g. fieldwork, survey). In contrast, the other subject confined me and my classmates to a Googledocs until the very end of the assignment. There were a lot of factors that facilitated teamwork: technology, similar goals and objectives, individual effort, instructions/assignment. But the major difference was the clarity of instruction, personalities, and delegation of tasks. One groupwork was halfheartedly felt because of the lack of personal connection and motivation, while the teamwork for the other subject worked out perfectly. And these translated into the self- and peer-assessment rubrics both subjects required from us at the end of trimester. To some degree, there is assurance that self-assessment scores can be validated by peer-assessment scores, but at the same time, there was some hesitancy to grade oneself and others objectively particularly since it would reflect my character and other peoples’ character. One needs to ask: Am I being fair and true to myself? Am I being fair to others who have also worked on the project? What if my perception of my level of work is different than my groupmates?

Now, I have a greater appreciation of self- and peer-assessment as a tool to empower students in the learning and assessment process, yet that power and involvement must also be accompanied with a teacher who appreciates this type of assessment and who can guide students to become critically reflective and objective in social activities and assignments.

Assessing Assessment

For someone who has been a student for more than a decade, it is interesting to look back and see how much I have been subject to different types of assessment for different subjects, classes, and courses without even realizing that their importance and purpose  in the teaching-learning process. For a lifelong learner like me, it is enlightening to know that educators must have an idea of why and what type of assessments they will use, but at the same time it is horrifying to know that most teachers don’t know that these exist in the first place.

Assessment in the classroom is very much like the way we do assessment of ourselves vis-a-vis our own personal goals and objectives in life albeit informally: we determine the next steps we need to do in order to advance our learning (assessment for learning), we internally reflect and monitor our own learning as we live day-to-day (assessment as learning), and we produce a collection of achievements to inform people around us of our achievements in relation to our personal goals (assessment of learning). Of course, the difference lies in the fact that assessment in the classroom involves more than an individual and that different types of assessment have different end users – yet ultimately, it is the teacher or educator her/himself who has the ultimate responsibility to choose the appropriate methods of assessment for his/her students in alignment with learning goals and objectives.

A teacher who does not have an inkling on how and why different types of assessments are used and who do not know how to align assessments with learning objectives or instructional strategies undermine student motivation and learning. Such is the case when students are taught to hone their analytical skills yet the assessment measures only factual recall. For example, my class on Western Pharmacology I has a learning objective for students to be able to identify major classes of drugs, their mechanisms of actions, and their side effects. Yet the multiple-choice examination for the subject is riddled with questions on specific names of drugs and their own side-effects (and there are many common side-effects across drugs). As a student, I feel dejected that I have gotten low scores because it did not adequately capture my learning. For me, the best teacher, regardless of the difficulty of the subject, would be able to make sense of how to best approach the subject and how to measure our learning. Hence, at the institutional level, there must be efforts to ensure that teachers without any education background must undergo courses on teacher education to help them align assessment with learning goals and to design better assessment according to purpose.

 

 

 

Frame

This week, I am observing and learning from a five-day Top Management Program for selected chancellors and university presidents of private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The leadership development program is intended to help them re-think their role in society and to change their vision and mission statements to be more 21st century in this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. Interestingly, the  lectures, group discussions, and case methods are important but not as important as the frameworks being introduced through andragogy. To quote from the lead resource person and speaker from the institution, “Our traditional degree programs give you the information and you suit it according to your own needs. Now, in adult learning, you share your problems, facilitate solutions to your problems, and give you frameworks.”

This coincides beautifully with this week’s module on frameworks for the assessment of student learning. Beyond the concepts and definitions of assessment, how then do we make sense of the process of assessment? How do the different components of assessment relate to one another? How should it be carried out? As seen in many examples, there are different frameworks to explain the process but it is clear that all of them aim to help students achieve learning objectives and to continuously improve teaching practice and learning.

In fact, if we step back a bit we realize that assessment frameworks are not only applicable to assessment per se but other aspects of education. For example, using Westminster College’s (n.d.) framework, do not we, as teachers and educators, continually and internally act and assess our practice as we 1) plan and set goals for ourselves (e.g. personal, career goals), 2) engage in the practice and do teaching, 3)  check and evaluate the correctness and appropriateness of our methods and pedagogy, 3) act upon the results of our self-assessment and revise/adapt/make changes in our practice, and 4) repeat the process everyday. A lot of us may already be doing it, but a framework puts a name into what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Another example beyond student learning assessment is that public schools are required to adopt and to appreciate a continuous improvement (CI) cycle in their planning and implementation of their individual Enhanced School Improvement Plan (E-SIP). This is in line with DepEd Order no. 44, s. 2015. The assess-plan-act framework in CI strives to make sure that school administrators and their School Planning Teams (SPTs) are able to assess the school’s situation with relevant, timely and necessary data; to use the evidence to plan appropriate programs and projects that are aligned to the schools’ Vision/Mission/Objectives; and to act and implement programs. Yet they do not stop at the approval and printing of their three-year E-SIP; ideally, the SPT must go through the cycle every year to make the necessary adjustments and changes in projects and programs in order to improve the quality of their education for their learners.

The point here is that the beauty of a framework of assessment (or anything for that matter) is that it provides a clear guide of an approach and process that should be followed. It is also a reflection of two things: first, an underlying belief that growth and learning in assessment can only take place if done in a cyclic manner and that a linear progression would result in a “dead end” of summative assessments with no growth; second, the underlying assumption that systems and policies are in place to support educators in carrying out the continuous assessment process from data gathering to using the results meaningfully.

As the week ends, I take note of how the educators of private HEIs being encouraged to adopt a “Blue Ocean” framework in identifying new markets in their localities and to revisit their VMOs using an Input-Process-Output-Outcome framework. I realize that the most useful things that they will be able to take home to their schools are not the readings, powerpoint presentations, handouts, and anecdotal stories but the tools and frameworks provided so that they can better inform stakeholders and lead their school. Likewise, assessment frameworks, as one important tool in teaching and school performance, should be understood and appreciated by all stakeholders – top management officials, school administrators/managers, administration, and teachers – in order to unite them towards one common goal. At this day and age, teachers and schools must be able to produce graduates with 21st century skills and competencies so that they are better prepared to deal with and to face a VUCA world.

REFERENCE:

Westminster College. (n.d.) The Assessment Cycle. Westminster College. Retrieved on 17 January 2018 from http://www.westminster.edu/academics/accreditation-assessment/cycle.cfm