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PRINCIPLES OF TEACHING

Choosing Appropriate Assessment Tools

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What assessment tools wilt be most appropriate? That depends on the lesson objectives the attainment of which is what you are assessing.

The teacher-made test or the paper-and-pencil test in many forms is the most common tool used to assess learning. However, it has been abused and misused. Many a time the paper-and-pencil test is not appropriate as an evaluation tool and yet because it is the tool with which we are most familiar, it is used. It is worthy to note, however, that more and more teachers are beginning to use more authentic tools of assessment. Performance tests are said to be more authentic than mere paper-and-pencil tests. The so-called practical tests in skill subjects like Physical Education, laboratory subjects. Computer and the like are examples of performance tests. If indeed “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, the most reliable way to test if our students learned the skill we intended to teach is by way of hands-on exercise, by way of actual performance. In no way will a paper-and-pencil test be able to authentically test skill in dancing, playing, focusing the microscope, using a computer program. Another example of an authentic evaluation tool is the portfolio assessment. What is a better way of showing the development in the child’s writing skill if not through a display of a collection of the child’s written work for the past three months or four?

If performance test is for the assessment of skills learned, what about the assessment of values learned? For the assessment of learning in the affective domain, teacher’s observation of the students’ behavior, interviews with the students, reading of journal entries or students’ personal narratives, rating scale are most appropriate. Gardner’s multiple intelligence (MI) theory are creative assessment techniques.

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