It’s Meaningless Without Assessment
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Assessments are crucial parts of the learning process as it is an indicator of the effectiveness of the learning and development process. A learning session without assessment activities are dull and does not inspire the learner to evaluate the knowledge or skills attained from the session. As the lecturer and mentor, devising the assessment should be inline with the learning objectives. Hence outcome based learning or outcome based education (OBE) concepts are important to be streamlined with the measurement and assessments.
Learning is usually a process where knowledge, skills and attitude are acquired through a confined protected environment, that is seldom far fetched from reality. Herein, an outcome based approach can ensure that the learner will attain some part of the learning materials within the limited learning period.
As universities are institutions that produces higher skilled workers, the assessment process should be meaningful and within the acceptable standards where the learner can apply it to their workplace in the future. The working place requires the learner to be able to grasp the curriculum, instructions and finally being judge with the assessment to measure the outcome and objectives of the learning session is achieved and effective.
Assessment Should be Individually Tailored
Assessments are usually categorized into classroom assessment techniques and final (or test) examination. From the perspective of the OBE, the former category which is a form of continuous assessment is more important where critical thinking, reasoning, reflections and actions can be inculcate in learning sessions. This approach focuses on the students, where the continuous assessments ensures that the learner are the responsible for their own progress.
The approach of classroom assessment is also more accurate when the educator wants to address individuals with different capabilities. I am a believer that everyone should have personal benchmarks and hence assessment should be addressed individually as this is a more fair and equitable learning experience. People matures with different circumstances and predicaments. Generalization is the norm but to be excellent education should be tailored to the persona.
Continuous Assessment is Not Easy
Thus, it is rather difficult to achieve this form of individual continuous assessment with the current workload and expected commitment given in today’s academia. Trying my best to implement this philosophy, I usually reflect on the submissions of the continuous assessment of my learners. Depending on the student capabilities, I try my best to vary my teaching materials, with more real world case studies and current industry tools.
I acknowledge that, perfecting the assessment based on the outlined objectives is very demanding as technology and methods evolved continuously. The industry practices and knowledge (inclusive of skills), are imparted through the class discussions, lab sessions, and projects (in the form of reports, and presentations).
Communication and Difficulty Doses
In reality, there are motivated good learners and disengaged bad learners. Getting a normal spread of results in our assessments, is the norm. I always feel everyone should be given the chance to learn but sometimes they made the wrong decisions to pursue their current undertakings. It does not fit their persona and strength.
When this occurs, building trust by effective listening and questioning on the continuous performance results from the assessments will somehow enables the person to grow more organically facing the learning difficulties. Willpower and the right habit with an understanding of meta cognition are important to ensure that the students motivation and efforts are channeled to obtain good results.
The assessments also need to be tailored within various difficulty levels in order to obtain a gradual climb to achieve the highest outcome and objectives of learning. This will ensure that the learner will be capable of absorbing the knowledge, skills and attitude within the allocated time-frame.