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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