Student Learning Requiring Students to Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Because they are not formal and have more of the quality of brainstorming, however it would be rare for a class to only require journals as a method of assessment.

While essays, portfolios, and journals are useful methods of assessment to grade the writing process and product and all develop the student's ability in the English language, for other subjects more interactive presentations may be useful to enhance the learning process as a whole. In science classes, science fair projects are often one of the most popular methods of teaching the scientific method. The students must formulate a hypothesis, and test and prove and disprove that hypothesis by creating an experimental design in a hands-on fashion. This gives them a sense of how science can be applied to 'real life,' and how 'real' scientists operate in the world. Science projects teach skills that writing and examinations cannot convey.

This form of hands-on learning can also be useful in the social sciences. Role plays, such as having mini-elections, with simulated debates, campaigns, and other forms of civic participation can give an added sense that what students are learning has relevance in the real world. This also introduces another element to the assessment process -- that of teamwork and group learning. Group learning has its advantages in preparing students for the workforce, where working with others and embarking upon team learning is essential. Also, using methods other than individual assessment, or introverted assignments like journals and portfolios is important as: "Using only individual assessments can foster a competitive atmosphere that can hamper learning progress for some students. Competition in learning tasks or getting the highest mark needs to be balanced with cooperative efforts" ("Chapter 4: Specific student assessment techniques," 1991, From Student Evaluation: A Teacher Handbook). However, the reality remains that in our current educational environment, individual assessment as the main method of assessment on standardized achievement tests, and less motivated students can 'coast' in group assignments, on the efforts of more committed students. Still, through the social assignments, role plays and group presentations can foster vital skills like communication and interaction. If teachers do not allow students to only work with their friends, this can also teach students important social lessons about working with others.

Simulations, like creating 'crisis situations' in model UN groups, trying to imagine what it was like to create a new constitution in the 18th century, and other imaginary projects introduce 'acting' to the classroom, and can break down student inhibitions about appearing in front of their peers in a fun way. Perhaps the most important thing to remember, however, is that no method of assessment is holistic, in other words, that a variety of methods is ideal to paint the fullest picture of student ability. Only assessing students on an individual level through essays can be tedious, but creating a class project like a web-based project that is the only method of assessment can insufficiently assess the development of basic skills.

Works Cited

Chapter 4: Specific student assessment techniques" (1991). From Student Evaluation:

Teacher Handbook. SaskEd e-book. Retrieved 20 Sept 2007 at http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/policy/studeval/chap4001.html

Mind maps. (2007, Jan). Creativity Web. Retrieved 20 Sept 2007 at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/Creative/Mindmap/Portfolios

What the research says about student assessment." (1996, Spring).

Improving America's School: A Newsletter on Issues in School Reform. Retrieved 20 Sept 2007 at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/IASA/newsletters/assess/pt4.html

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Chapter 4: Specific student assessment techniques" (1991). From Student Evaluation:

Teacher Handbook. SaskEd e-book. Retrieved 20 Sept 2007 at http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/policy/studeval/chap4001.html

Mind maps. (2007, Jan). Creativity Web. Retrieved 20 Sept 2007 at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/Creative/Mindmap/Portfolios

What the research says about student assessment." (1996, Spring).

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