Education Assessment Theories and Practices Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Standardized tests do not do well in measuring the emerging content standards, and over use of this type of assessment often leads to instruction that stresses only basic knowledge and skills. Although basic skills may be important goals in education, they are often overstressed in an effort to raise standardized test scores. Basic skills and minimum competencies become the main goal of schools and teachers as accountability and minimum competency exams concentrate on these areas (Critical Issue: Rethinking Assessment and Its Role in Supporting Educational Reform, 1995).

Recently, educators, policymakers, and parents have begun to recognize that minimums and basics are no longer sufficient and are calling for a closer match between the skills students learn in school and the skills they will need to succeed in the world. Schools are now expected to help students develop skills and competencies that apply to real life, genuine situations, and schools are expected to graduate students who can demonstrate these skills. Often performance is measured on alternative assessments rather than standardized tests (Critical Issue: Rethinking Assessment and Its Role in Supporting Educational Reform, 1995).

Assessment in the classroom is beginning to follow contemporary descriptions of learning, thinking, and language use as processes. This way of thinking also emphasizes that thinking or problem solving should be a major focus for instruction. Another emphasis is a focus on performance or the application of the information and strategies that students learn to situations that are real and meaningful for them. The curriculums that are evolving in schools are exemplifying beliefs that emphasize ideas and the reasons for understanding and expressing them. Reading and listening comprehension and effective speaking and writing are accentuated in this theory (Farr and Tone, 2005).

Today assessment is defined to include teacher, peer and self-assessment and feedback processes that are both formal and informal. There are ten guiding principles that are often used in today's practice. These basic premises are used as assessment practices and are neither inherently good nor bad. There affects all depend on the purpose for which they are being used. These principles include: clarifying what good performance is, encouraging time and effort on challenging learning tasks, delivering high quality feedback information that helps learners self-correct, encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem, encouraging interaction and dialogue centered around learning, facilitating the development of self-assessment and reflection in learning, giving learners a choice in assessments, involving students in decision-making about assessment policy and practice, supporting the development of learning communities, and helping teachers adapt teaching to the student needs (Nicol, 2007).

References

Critical Issue: Rethinking Assessment and Its Role in Supporting Educational Reform. (1995).

Retrieved May 28, 2009, from North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Web site:

http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as700.htm

Farr, Roger and Tone, Bruce. (2005). Theory Meets Practice in Language Arts Assessment. ERIC

Digest. Retrieved May 28, 2009, from Ericae.net Web site:

http://ericae.net/db/edo/ED369075.htm

Nicol, David. (2007). Principles of good assessment and feedback: Theory and practice.

Retrieved May 28, 2009, from Web site:

http://www.reap.ac.uk/public/Papers/Principles_of_good_assessment_and_feedback.pdf

Lysne, Anders. (2006). Assessment Theory and Practice of Students' Outcomes in the Nordic

Countries. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 50(3), 327 -- 359.

Principles for Fair Student Assessment Practices for Education in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved May

29, 2009, from Web site:

http://www.education.ualberta.ca/educ/psych/crame/files/eng_prin.pdf

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