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Assessment is the systematic collection and analysis of information to improve student

learning. It is an iterative, four-stage, information feedback process for setting
intended learning goals and objectives and then gathering, analyzing, and interpreting
outcomes evidence from actual student work to see how well the intended objectives
have actually been met, and using those findings to improve student learning.

Learning occurs when there is an effective interplay between the teaching process and
student learning. Creative opportunities always exist for instructors to identify specific
goals and objectives for each course, systematically gauge the extent to which learning
actually is taking place, and make curricular and pedagogical changes to improve
outcomes. Assessment is the primary process for identifying and implementing these
opportunities, by:

making the learning process more effective and consistent by systematically

linking assignments, course structure and grading practices to intended learning

helping instructors become better teachers by generating specific feedback on

what is working or not working in their classrooms; and

providing systematic feedback to students about their own progress.

Benefits for students

For students, assessment can mean:

clarifying their instructors expectations for their learning;

focusing more on learning as they come to see the connections among learning,
involvement, and course content;
becoming more self-reflective learners;

understanding their own strengths and weaknesses as students; and/or

being able to monitor how well they are doing.

Benefits for the instructor

Assessment can help instructors to:
provide a more learning-centered, student-responsive classroom environment;

track student learning progress as it occurs;

adjust the teaching process to accommodate gaps in learning that can be tied
to methods of instruction; and/or

become more student-responsive in facilitating learning and the acquisition of


Backward-looking assessments include those that ask students to recall or

recognize information or to solve problems that are nearly identical to those presented
in class.

Forward-looking assessment assesses whether students can transfer information

and experiences from the class to the meaningful learning goals and objectives of your
course. Exams and assignments with a forward- looking focus also make the learning
goals of the course clear to students, which can broaden a students narrow focus on
grade achievement.
Nine Principles of Good Assessment Practice

1. Assessment begins with educational values.

Effective assessment of student learning begins with a vision of the kinds of learning
we most value for students. Where questions about educational mission and values are
skipped over, assessment can become a futile exercise in measuring whats easy,
rather than a process of improving what we really care about.

2. Assessment is most effective when it is multidimensional, integrated, and

revealed in performance over time.
Learning entails not only what students know but also what they can do with what they
know; it involves not only knowledge and abilities but also values, attitudes, and habits
of mind that contribute to successful achievement of goals. Assessment should use a
diverse array of methods to foster and reveal change, growth, and increasing degrees
of integration.
3. Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear,
explicitly stated purposes.
Assessment is a goal-oriented process. Through an ongoing process of comparing
educational performance with educational purposes, it pushes instruction toward clarity
about where to aim and what standards to apply. Clear, shared, achievable goals are
the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful.

4. Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the

experiences that lead to those outcomes.

Information about outcomes is of high importance; but we also need to know about
student experience along the wayabout how the curricula, instruction, campus
climate, and kind of student engagement enhances students overall cognitive and
affective development.

5. Assessment works best when it is ongoing not episodic.

Systematic improvement is best fostered when assessment entails a linked series of

activities undertaken over time. Whether tracking the progress of individual students
or of entire cohorts, the point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit
of continuous improvement. Along the way, the assessment process itself should be
evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights.

6. Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from

across the educational community are involved.

Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility, and assessment is a way of enacting

that responsibility. Faculty play an especially important role, but so do student-affairs
educators, librarians, administrators, and students. Assessment is not a task for small
groups of experts but a collaborative activity of educators and stakeholders throughout
the larger community.
7. Assessment makes a difference when it illuminates questions that people
really care about.

Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement. But to

be useful, information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care
about, and produce evidence that is credible, applicable, and useful.
8. Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of a
larger set of conditions that promote change.

Assessment alone changes little. Its greatest contribution comes on campuses where
the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and is central to the institutions
planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions. On such campuses, information about
learning outcomes avidly sought as an integral part of decision making.

9. Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to

the public.

Colleges have a responsibility to the publics that support and depend on them to
establish meaningful goals and expectations for students, to provide information about
how well students meet those goals and expectations are met, and to strive continually
to improve student learning over time.

Principle 1 - Assessment should be valid

Validity ensures that assessment tasks and associated criteria effectively measure
student attainment of the intended learning outcomes at the appropriate level.

Principle 2 - Assessment should be reliable and consistent

There is a need for assessment to be reliable and this requires clear and consistent
processes for the setting, marking, grading and moderation of assignments.

Principle 3 - Information about assessment should be explicit, accessible and

Clear, accurate, consistent and timely information on assessment tasks and procedures
should be made available to students, staff and other external assessors or examiners.

Principle 4 - Assessment should be inclusive and equitable

As far as is possible without compromising academic standards, inclusive and equitable
assessment should ensure that tasks and procedures do not disadvantage any group
or individual.

Principle 5 - Assessment should be an integral part of programme design and

should relate directly to the programme aims and learning outcomes

Assessment tasks should primarily reflect the nature of the discipline or subject but
should also ensure that students have the opportunity to develop a range of generic
skills and capabilities.

Principle 6 - The amount of assessed work should be manageable

The scheduling of assignments and the amount of assessed work required should
provide a reliable and valid profile of achievement without overloading staff or

Principle 7 - Formative and summative assessment should be included in each


Formative and summative assessment should be incorporated into programmes to

ensure that the purposes of assessment are adequately addressed. Many programmes
may also wish to include diagnostic assessment.

Principle 8 - Timely feedback that promotes learning and facilitates

improvement should be an integral part of the assessment process Students are

entitled to feedback on submitted formative assessment tasks, and on summative
tasks, where appropriate. The nature, extent and timing of feedback for each
assessment task should be made clear to students in advance.

Principle 9 - Staff development policy and strategy should include assessment

All those involved in the assessment of students must be competent to undertake their
roles and responsibilities.

Difference between Formative and Summative Evaluation

Formative Evaluation:
1. Formative evaluation is used during the teaching learning process to monitor
the learning process.
2. Formative evaluation is developmental in nature. The aim of this evaluation is
to improve students learning and teachers teaching.
3. Generally, teacher made tests are used for this purpose.
4. The test items are prepared for limited content area.
5. It helps to know to what extent the instructional objectives has been achieved.
6. It provides feed-back to the teacher to modify the methods and to prescribe
remedial works.
7. Only few skills can be tested in this evaluation.
8. It is a continuous and regular process.
9. It considers evaluation as a process.
10. It answers to the question, whether the progress of the pupils in a unit is
Summative Evaluation:

1. Summative evaluation is used after the course completion to assign the grades.
2. Summative evaluation is terminal in nature. Its purpose is to evaluate students
3. Generally standardized tests are used for the purpose.
4. The tests items are prepared from the whole content area.
5. It helps to judge the appropriateness of the instructional objectives.
6. It helps the teacher to know the effectiveness of the instructional procedure.
7. Large number of skills can be tested in this evaluation.
8. It is not regular and continuous process.
9. It considers evaluation as a product.
10. It answers to the question, the degree to which the students have mastered the
course content.

Formative assessments are given more frequently than summative assessments.

Formative assessments are less formal than summative assessments.
Formative assessments are used to determine how much the students have learned
and what they still have to learn, while summative assessments are used to
determine a students overall performance in a certain unit.
Formative assessments allow teachers to assess their teaching methods and make
changes to help students understand the lesson, while summative assessments will
allow teachers to change her teaching methods for the next school year, if students
did not perform well.
Formative assessment grades do not carry much weight, while summative
assessment grades are the basis for determining the readiness of the student to
take state wide tests and in evaluating his overall academic performance.
Internal Assessment

Internal assessment, or curriculum-embedded assessment, evaluates what students

do when they are in the classroom. Internal assessment is a crucial part of the
instruction process and aids teachers, students, and parents in evaluating student
progress. Internal assessment illustrates aspects of student progress that are not
typically evaluated in external assessment.

Internal assessment also serves as a basis for professional development. Teachers who
analyze the work of their students will see trends in student performance that may
be related to instruction. For example, a teacher who sees that the products of
his/her art students lack depth may take stratagies to elicit more depth in student

An ongoing practice of internal assessment enables teachers to monitor learning as

part of their teaching process. Teachers can make data-based decisions to adjust
instructional strategies so that they accommodate the different needs and learning
styles of students. Data also aid students in self-assessment by providing them with
critical feedback. Though teachers sometimes design specific tasks to address
particular concepts or skills, any student product and learning process can be viewed
as an assessment tool and can provide teachers with valuable information on current
levels of student performance. Particularly useful examples of internal assessment
are checklists, student journals, in-class work, peer reviews, conferencing, and

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) refers to a system of school-

based evaluation of students that covers all aspects of students development. It is
a developmental process of assessment which emphasizes on two fold objectives.
These objectives are continuity in evaluation and assessment of broad based
learning and behaviourial outcomes on the other.

In this scheme the term `continuous is meant to emphasise that evaluation of

identified aspects of students `growth and development is a continuous process
rather than an event, built into the total teaching-learning process and spread over
the entire span of academic session. It means regularity of assessment, frequency
of unit testing, diagnosis of learning gaps, use of corrective measures, retesting and
for their self evaluation. The second term `comprehensive means that the scheme
attempts to cover both the scholastic and the co-scholastic aspects of students
growth and development.
Dimension Criterion-Referenced Tests Norm-Referenced Tests
To determine whether each student To rank each student with
has achieved specific skills or respect to the
concepts. achievement of others in
To find out how much students broad areas of knowledge.
know before instruction begins To discriminate between high
and after it has finished. and low achievers.
Measures specific skills which make
Measures broad skill areas
up a designated curriculum.
sampled from a variety of
These skills are identified by
Content textbooks, syllabi, and the
teachers and curriculum experts.
judgments of curriculum
Each skill is expressed as an
instructional objective.
Each skill is tested by at least four
Each skill is usually tested by
items in order to obtain an
less than four items.
Item adequate sample of student
Items vary in difficulty.
Characteri performance and to minimize
Items are selected that
stics the effect of guessing.
discriminate between high
The items which test any given skill
and low achievers.
are parallel in difficulty.
Each individual is compared
with other examinees and
Each individual is compared with a assigned a score--usually
preset standard for acceptable expressed as a percentile, a
achievement. The performance grade equivalent score, or a
Score of other examinees is irrelevant. stanine.
Interpreta A student's score is usually Student achievement is
tion expressed as a percentage. reported for broad skill
Student achievement is reported areas, although some norm-
for individual skills. referenced tests do report
student achievement for
individual skills.