Archive for the ‘Assessment and Evaluation’ Category

Re-sitting exam: Waste of time?

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

THERE are many students who have done very badly in their final examinations and do not know what to do next. They feel lost and withdraw themselves into their own world.  Whenever you ask them to re-sit, they are not very happy. They give many reasons for not doing so. They actually need help and guidance.

David (student)

David, for instance, failed his A levels. In fact he did very badly. Actually David is a very smart student.

He passed his SPM with flying colours. He didn’t really know what to do next. During an education exhibition, there was this college offering one – year A Levels.

They convinced him and his parents that he need not waste two years doing his Pre-U. He can take a short cut and save one-year.

Since he is a bright student, he can sail through his A Levels without any doubt.

With the assurance he got from the college, he enrolled for the one-year A Levels. Unfortunately, he was unable to cope.

In the Primary and secondary schools he studied everything in Bahasa Malaysia.

Most of the subjects were in Bahasa Malaysia. Suddenly, he has to do all the subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) in English. Firstly, his English was weak. Secondly all the subject terminologies were in English.

He was struggling with his studies. When the results came out, he found that he had failed miserably.

The college told him that he could study on his own and re-sit. He tried that too but he was not successful. He failed again. He lost almost RM 40,000 doing his A Levels.

Today he just locks himself in his room and wants to be left alone. He is very reserved and feels very shy.

All his friends who did Matriculation and STPM have gone into tertiary education. As for David, he is still stuck with his A Levels.

The elders in his family advised him to enroll in another college and re-sit for the A Levels. But David is hesitating to do so.

Students like David must face reality. They have been studying in the Bahasa Malaysia stream for eleven years.

Suddenly, if they want to switch to taking A Levels in the English Stream it is not going to be easy.

Firstly he must master his English. Next he has to learn the subject terminologie  in English. This is going to take time.

The College should not have misled David. If he had taken the two-year A Levels, perhaps he would have coped with his studies.

What should he do next?

There are several options:

(a) He could enroll himself in a college and re-sit for his A Levels. Although his peers will be laughing at him from behind his back, but who cares. This is your life. You do what you feel is right. Ignore their remarks.

(b) He could switch to a different Pre-U such as SAME, Foundation Program, Diploma Programme, etc. There are “stiff” Pre-U programmes and “easier” programmes. Many easier Pre-U programmes are based on 60pc course work and 40pc final exam. Why not bite what you can chew?

(c) Find out about your ambition. Which career are you thinking of? Look at the various routes. There are competitive courses which requires you to have a good A Levels. There are also courses which only requires just any Pre U. You can also do a Diploma and reach your career path.  Be realistic.

Re-sitting exams

When you sit for an exam many factors could influence your results. You may be sick on the examination day and you didn’t do well in your examination. You had “examination fever.”

Your spotted topics that did not come out in the exam.

You misunderstood the question and wrote out of point. The examination format was changed and you didn’t know. You were not really prepared.

Something happened on your way to the examination hall. Someone close to you passed away.

Whatever it is, please re-sit and give yourself another chance. You don’t have to worry about what your peers or people around would say. This is your life. If you want to re-sit, it is your choice.

by K. Krishnan.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/237/re-sitting-exam-waste-of-time-/

Is MUET the right assessment?

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

THE dust has yet to settle on the Education Ministry directive instructing English option teachers to sit for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET).

Teachers, who are key to the successful implementation of the programmes aimed at improving English, are unhappy with the directive. And, they’ve taken to social media to question the rationale of it.

A secondary English option teacher who only wanted to be known as Chan, thinks it is not the “right instrument” to gauge the proficiency and ability of teachers to teach the language.

Having taught for two decades, she says it impractical and unnecessary, to have over 20,000 English teachers sit for the exam by December.

“Allow us to attend conferences and conventions so English teachers can pool our resources and help each other.

“Even a mentor-mentee programme within the school, helps. This MUET idea is just a knee jerk reaction that has no long term benefit,” she says.

The Selangor teacher questions the need for English teachers to sit for the test, instead of going through upgrading exercises such as attending conferences and seminars.

Such exercises, she says, are more beneficial than tests. What happens to teachers who don’t do well in the test, she asks.

edudx_090619_WhatisMUET

“If teachers who do not fare well are removed, who will take over the lessons? And if they are not removed, then why bother testing?

“Will there be interventions to help teachers pass?”

She feels the move will discourage teachers, who are already bogged down with many changes in the system, from teaching English.

While it is unlikely that the ministry will budge, a meeting with stakeholders was held to discuss improving the quality of English language education in the country.

Education director-­general Datuk Dr Amin Senin says the ministry was willing to listen to the voices of teachers.

A closed-door meeting with the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), Sarawak Teachers’ Union and the Sabah Government Teachers Union (KGKS) was held in Putrajaya last week.

“We received constructive feedback and input from the unions.

“Various aspects were discussed during the meeting, including the rationale behind the implementation of the English Language Education Reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap 2015-2025,” says Dr Amin.

Abdul Basith doesn’t mind taking proficiency tests to gauge his competency in the language, but MUET just “isn’t good enough”.

The English option teacher from a primary school in Selangor says qualified English teachers have degrees, masters and some even a PhD in the language.

“Why should they revert to MUET?

“I wouldn’t mind other international standard tests but (with MUET), even the competency of invigilators and examiners are questionable.

“Who are they? Are they qualified?” he asks.

He, however, supports the need to gauge the proficiency of language teachers.

“I believe in always upgrading oneself but please use another assessment test, not MUET.”

Faridah Kassim from SMK Aman Jaya also disagrees with the directive. She teaches English to Forms Four and Five.

Instead of theoretically testing a teacher’s proficiency and competency, she says practical courses and training should instead be provided.

“MUET is a pre-university test. Many English option teachers have much higher qualifications. It’s not a good gauge of proficiency.

“Making us sit for MUET feels like a downgrade.”

According to the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta), proficiency is important, but it’s not the sole indicator of a teacher’s competency.

There are limitations to using standardised tests to assess English language teachers, Melta says, such as MUET not aligning to the objective of the ministry’s initiative to test teachers’ competency.

“MUET is a four-skill assessment designed for varsity entry and to assess students’ ability to manage academic requirements in higher education.

“The test is neither focused on teaching, nor on context and language English teachers are likely to use.

“So how can the test results be mapped against the language competency needs of English teachers?”.

There are other existing assessments designed to assess competency, the association says in a statement.

“Valid and reliable means to determine and assess an English teacher’s proficiency are a must if outcomes are to be accepted.

“Sustainable competency among English language teachers can be achieved if they are provided the appropriate environment and support programmes for their development and growth.”

Melta, however, commends the ministry for its initiatives to upgrade the quality of teaching English in the country.

“Melta is prepared to support the ministry in the move to improve English proficiency among students.”

Universiti Malaya Faculty of Education department of language and literacy education senior lecturer Dr Zuwati Hasim questioned whether it’s necessary for English language teachers to sit for the MUET, and the rationale behind it.

She says instructing teachers to sit for a test because of the poor performance among students in speaking the language, is not the best move.

“All English option teachers were screened and interviewed in order to be accepted into a teacher

training programme or into a Bachelor’s Degree of Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

“By right, all English option teachers (would) have sat for at least one proficiency test, be it MUET or IELTS.

“Some teachers feel it is a downgrade and an act of distrust.

“We need to tackle the real issue, find the root cause. Are teachers solely to be blamed for the lack of English language proficiency among learners?” she asks.

Dr Zuwati says for an assessment to be valid, it should achieve what it was designed to measure.

MUET is used as an entry requirement into local universities, so how can it be a good gauge of English option teachers’ proficiency, she asks.

“Instead, the ministry can invest more on professional development training for teachers which should include pedagogical training as well as leadership training.”

NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan says while the union is engaging with the ministry on matters concerning MUET, it is also in discussion with the ministry on how to improve students’ competency in the English language.

“We have requested the ministry to bring in more stakeholders such as the Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia, the minister’s advisors on teaching of English, examination divisions, conducting teacher training and reviewing the curriculum.

“It’s only then we believe we can contribute effectively towards the goals as set out in the English Language Education Reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap 2015-2025,” he says.

While the uproar has yet to settle down for English option teachers, even non English option teachers find themselves in a limbo.

Education Ministry deputy director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim told StarEdu it is not compulsory for non English language option teachers to sit for the test.

However, early last month, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching says these teachers will have to sit for it to allow them to teach the language and to upskill themselves.

By Sandhya Menon
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/06/09/is-muet-the-right-assessment/#exVSSahuwTCyRlrr.99

ACCA exams to go on

Friday, June 7th, 2019

THE Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) written exam will continue as scheduled although the Hari Raya Aidilfitri public holiday is expected to fall on June 5 and 6, the Education Ministry said.

The exams are from June 3 to 7.

The ministry said in a statement, that 10,795 candidates will be sitting for the exam, which involves 37 exam centres in all states.

“The exam is conducted simultaneously at 400 exam centres in 170 countries around the world.

“Therefore, the June 2019 candidates are required to attend the exam at the centres as scheduled,” said the ministry last Wednesday.

The ministry said a total of 363 examiners were appointed on a voluntary basis.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/06/02/acca-exams-to-go-on/#EJhFR82X8tlx4MHM.99

Ken Hwa sets target for three public exams

Friday, May 10th, 2019

KENINGAU: SMJK Ken Hwa here has set a target for this year based on its development programme and academic achievement, especially the school and students performances in the three public examinations namely the PT3, SPM and STPM last year.

Principal Chong Nyuk Choon said this involved development programmes such as classroom building (phase 2), mini auditorium and school infrastructure.

“As for the students’ academic achievement for PT3, the average grade target this year is 4.04 with 80 per cent passes while for SPM, the average grade target is 4.50 and 94 per cent passes and the STPM target is average grade of2.60 with 100 per cent passes,” he said at the launch of the School Target 2019.

The ceremony was launched by Chairman of the School Management Board, Pang Shu Hin, that saw teachers, students, parents, members of the School Management Board and Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) members attending.

Chong said co-curriculum achievements were also taken into account where 70 per cent uniformed unit, 97 per cent attendance, co-curriculum meeting, 35 per cent achieving Grade A in co-curriculum and 100 per cent pupils achieving at least Grade C.

He said the Student Personality Development target is 96 per cent and above in terms of annual attendance, 85 per cent on cleanliness and cheerfulness, less than three per cent in heavy discipline cases, 65 per cent attendance of parents compulsory functions in PTA KPI 1and KPI 2, 25 per cent parents attendance in other events.

“In conjunction with this ceremony, there was also incentive presentation for outstanding students in PT3, SPM, STPM exams last year and for Test 1.

“There was also the dialogue for Form Five and Test 1 Transcript Submission which were attended by parents of students and members of the School Management Board,” he said.

He urged the students to work harder and initiate healthy competition among them to excel.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of School Management, Pang Shu Hin, also urged the students to strive for success not only in education but also in life and that teachers must play their role in helping the students excel in their education.

By: Johan Aziz.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/135037/ken-hwa-sets-target-for-three-public-exams-/

Should examinations be abolished?

Monday, April 15th, 2019
Many of us managed to have enjoyable school experiences, develop skills, and learn a lot more about life besides what was formally taught to us in the classrooms. — File photo

Many of us managed to have enjoyable school experiences, develop skills, and learn a lot more about life besides what was formally taught to us in the classrooms. — File photo

SHOULD examinations be abolished? Decades ago, this was a popular and almost mandatory essay topic in secondary school. Every book of “Model Essays” had this on its list of essay topics and many passionate arguments around this theme were heard on the student debate stage.

Interest in this topic has remained steadfast throughout the decades in our school system although the lines between different forms of assessments, tests, and evaluations are not always clear. We don’t see the word “abolished” used very much in this context anymore.

After all, “abolish” is a rather strong word, often associated with heavier issues like governments and laws. And abolishing examinations in the broadest sense of the word may seem unthinkable.

After all, isn’t that what schools are meant for in the first place – to provide avenues for students to take examinations? And isn’t that the main job description of teachers? Many of us grew up indoctrinated into that belief all through our schooling life.

As children, we were used to the inevitable questions or comments by well-meaning relatives or friends: “What standard are you in now? When is your exam? What was your class position? Study hard, get good marks in the exam.” This was usually accompanied by a little tousling of the hair, a pat on the back, a smile. Hardly anyone ever said: “Enjoy school life, learn all you can, soak in all the knowledge, be curious, ask many questions, be polite, learn to be a good friend.” Nevertheless, many of us managed to have enjoyable school experiences, develop skills, and learn a lot more about life besides what was formally taught to us in the classrooms.

There was the “exam season” when we went around with our noses in revision notes, the last-minute cramming (for some), the nervous anticipation, the competition for the highest test scores or grades.

Then, there were the other parts of school life where learning occurred informally – the non-academic activities, school trips, games, concerts, drama, the fun with friends. We had our monthly and term examinations, report cards denoting our test scores, grades and class positions, and yes, we still managed to have equally huge chunks of fun in school.

At some indefinite point in the journey of our schooling system, a shadow seemed to have crept in and begin looming uneasily over school life. The examination part began morphing into a life form of its own and started engulfing everything else. Gradually, everything related to school began to be centred around examinations and other activities fell off into the peripheral areas – things to be gotten over quickly in order to return to the “real” business of schools, which was the preparation of students for the major examinations.

Teachers were gauged by the quality of their students’ examination performance. The more “straight As” students the school produced, the better the school was perceived to be. If something wasn’t going to be tested or be part of the major examinations, then there was no point “wasting” time over it.

Tuition classes mushroomed and flourished as parents frantically herded their children there, to be better prepared for the examinations. Even three-year-old children lugged backpacks to tuition classes after day care.

Distorting the true purpose of education

Education planners became increasingly concerned about the unbalanced emphasis on major examinations, which was slowly gnawing at the essence of school and distorting the true purpose of education. The presence of so many young people who, despite having gone through the school system and having graduated from institutions of higher education, lacked fundamental communication and critical thinking skills, rang further alarm bells.

Systems were revamped and alternative forms of assessment introduced. Continuous and classroom-based assessments for learning and development were encouraged to help teachers modify and prepare classroom teaching and learning according to their students’ needs. Teachers were reminded that formative assessment was just as important as summative assessment, or the big written examination at the end of everything.

Class positions were no longer deemed necessary because we didn’t want any student coming away with low self-esteem, feeling that they were at the bottom of the class. Differentiated forms of testing were encouraged to match different learning levels and needs.

The truth is that despite all the attempts to move towards assessment for progressing learning and informing teaching, it is still the major summative examinations that are calling the shots.

Perhaps it is because for too long, the entire education system has been focused on the idea that examinations reign supreme. The uneasy question is, would there be quality teaching and learning in schools if most of the major examinations were scrapped? Would the joy of learning for learning’s sake once again be revived in classrooms or would teachers suddenly feel crippled, having lost their foundation for teaching? Would they be able to independently assess their students to help them learn better and to help themselves teach better?

And on another note, how important are examination scores, positions and grades for a student? While it is never pleasant to find yourself at the bottom of the class, it may compel you to work harder to move upwards and not remain there.

I remember a time when it was these positions and grades that made us work that much harder in class; when that one mark which made the difference between an A and a B grade or a pass and a fail was so important. I remember the counting and recounting of test scores, how classmates checked each other’s test scripts to make sure that “teacher had marked our tests correctly”. We were

brilliant at peer assessment even then, simply because our positions depended on it. Top of the class and top of the form were enviable positions and worth striving towards.

So, not having grades or positions, while easing out potential feelings of demotivation, could also be unfair to others. It is like being in competitions where after so much effort and training, you are told that everyone is a winner and that there are no positions. It is also a disservice to those who have done poorly because they will never really know where they stand in the true picture of the situation.

So, is the thought of doing away with major school examinations in any way linked to the fear of not winning, or a preference to be in denial of true achievement or potential? Should they be removed from the system to give more place to assessments that actually develop both learner and teacher and help to further the truer cause of education?

By Dr G Mallika Vasugi
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/04/14/should-examinations-be-abolished/#t8PcvoYEI5kgTtSB.99

Testing students’ sporting abilities

Sunday, February 10th, 2019
Muhammad Luqman Danish (right) getting ready to throw a discus while the other boys rest behind the discus cage in the SPI field.

Muhammad Luqman Danish (right) getting ready to throw a discus while the other boys rest behind the discus cage in the SPI field.

MUHAMMAD Luqman Danish Azman Omar enjoyed the challenge of the Standard Taking held at SMK St Paul (SPI) in Seremban from Jan 23 ro 25.

The boy who is in Form One Henry, had to compete in the 100m sprint, 400m, shot putt, discus throw and long jump.

The boys in the afternoon session competed in all the events so as to score points for their respective sports houses named after the SPI’s La Salle Brother Directors (former principals).

The programme also promotes better understanding between the seniors and juniors in SPI as they compete side by side in the same Under-14 category.

Muhammad Luqman Danish who represented Director House said: “ The discus throw is a new event, which I didn’t learn during my time at the SPI Primary School.

“My Physical Education and class teacher Mr S Rajasingam taught us how to throw it two weeks ago and I managed to do well.

“I made many new friends from other classes during the Standard Taking,” added Muhammad Luqman. Rajasingam who is also the school’s athletics coach said: “In a boys’ school like SPI, there is a wealth of sports talents.”

“The boys are full of energy and excited every time they step into the field.

“The Standard Taking events tested the boys both physically and mentally as well as identified the boys who will excel in athletics.

By Fong Ai Lian
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/02/03/testing-students-sporting-abilities/#98XHqYrp4mSD61yD.99

Maszlee: Abolishing exams for Years One to Three next year aims to restore true spirit of PBS.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik. Pic by NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

PUTRAJAYA: The decision to abolish examinations for pupils in Years One, Two and Three from next year is aimed at restoring the spirit and principles of the School-Based Assessment system (PBS).

Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, said the original aim of the PBS, which was implemented since 2011, was to evaluate pupils, but not through achievement in examinations.

“Many people were surprised when it was announced that Year One, Two and Three pupils will not be sitting for examinations. PBS was implemented in 2011 but unfortunately, it didn’t achieve its goals.

“The spirit of PBS is gone. Today, teachers are still leaning towards exams as a yardstick for student performance,” he said in a special interview with NSTP at his office here today.

He was commenting on his post in Twitter today about the abolishment of examinations for Year One, Two and Three pupils. He said examinations would be replaced with a more objective assessment from next year.

Elaborating further, Maszlee said that with the abolition of examinations, the ministry hoped that teachers would focus more on identifying potential students through cheerful and fun learning

By Manirajan Ramasamy and Mohd Anwar Patho Rohman.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/427036/maszlee-abolishing-exams-years-one-three-next-year-aims-restore-true

Nurturing true grit in children

Sunday, October 21st, 2018
Kumon instructor Nor Aishah said children who face challenges daily will discover solutions themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement.

Kumon instructor Nor Aishah said children who face challenges daily will discover solutions themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement.

WHEN it comes to assessing a child’s success in school, many recent experiments and tests conducted by child psychologists suggested that rather than brain power, the solution lies in the child’s character.

These results reveal that non-cognitive skills like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, self-confidence and grit are the reason for the child’s success at school and in life later on.

Grit itself refers to the passion and perseverance for long-term goals despite setbacks.

Kumon instructor Nor Aishah Osman said that when it comes to grit, a student cannot become an advanced learner without strengthening his learning skills.

At Kumon, experience is crucial to moulding a child’s character and it usually starts off simple enough by solving easy solutions, before progressing to problems at the student’s right level, which implies the process being individualised.

Once the student surpasses his own level, there is no stopping, as he can continue to challenge himself in higher levels than his own in school.

Kumon worksheets are planned in such a way that they are a step-by-step guide, with new twists and elements added so students are exposed to different components of the solutions to a complicated problem.

Nor Aishah said that this form of self-learning requires patience. “Some children get frustrated when trying to solve the problems,” she added.

But when they persist and face these challenges daily, they will eventually discover the solution themselves and end up feeling better for their achievement. “This gives them motivation, self-confidence,” explained Nor Aishah.

Working with parents, Kumon instructors help shape the attitudes and confidence early so that student are self-reliant by the time they enter college.

R&D development manager Rupeshsingh is happy with his daughter Dhaani’s progress at Kumon.

When Rupeshsingh K. Bess enrolled his five-year-old daughter Dhaani in Kumon, his expectations were that she should inculcate good learning habits and develop better concentration — both traits that after just 18 months have become intrinsic to her.

Daani has already developed endurance, and she relishes spending 15-30 minutes each day dedicated to working on her mathematics and English worksheets.

“She is committed and she looks forward to working on even more homework,” said Rupeshsingh, research and development manager.

“She has developed the tenacity to want to achieve more,” he concluded.

Final level Kumon student Aleem (left) with his father Amirullah Harun, is a straight-A student at school.

For straight-A student 15-year-old Aleem, being at Kumon made a big difference when he progressed towards secondary school. His father, quantity surveyor Amirullah Harun, enrolled him at the age of five-plus.

“By then, there was already a big gap between me and my classmates, for when I was in Form 1, I was already working on trigonometry while my classmates were still figuring out algebra.

“My mindset about fear has already been changed thanks to Kumon,” Aleem added.

Kumon’s main objective is for primary school children to be able to tackle secondary school materials by strengthening their foundation before proceeding to higher level work.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/10/19/nurturing-true-grit-in-children/#UUJD3sf6ldVomsXL.99

Are report cards a good yardstick?

Sunday, March 4th, 2018
By ARTURO RAMO - March 4, 2018 @ 9:48am

MANY families take advantage of school report cards to talk to their children about school.

Though the report card is important, it should not be the sole standard to evaluate a child’s academic performance since every child is different. And, so are his or her circumstances.

A child’s academic performance is satisfactory when it conforms to his intellectual capacity and effort put in. Performance is sufficient when a student’s grade is “passed” or “progresses adequately”.

Two paradoxical situations may occur:

FIRST,  the student passes with a sufficient grade point average, but his performance is unsatisfactory.

This is because the student could have obtained a better grade by improving his learning capacity according to what was expected of him.

This is the case of gifted students who, with little effort, can manage a passing grade. It also depends, however, on how demanding the teacher is.

SECOND,  the student makes a great effort and dedicates many hours to studying, but does not achieve a good grade. This depends on a few factors: the student’s method of study, his knowledge of the subject and whether the teacher is too demanding.

Nevertheless, parents should not place too much of value on the grades their children obtain in school because they could be making three mistakes:

FIRST, parents demand less from their child than what he is capable of achieving, thus fomenting mediocrity. This may lead him to fail in the future though he is making do with a pass.

SECOND, parents demand more from the child than he is capable of achieving.

Expecting a high performance from an average student who tries hard to progress could create a state of anguish and anxiety in him, thus resulting in him refusing to study.

THIRD, parents and teachers impose the same expectations on students when, in reality, each child has different intellectual capacity.

Comparisons between siblings or classmates produce negative consequences and can lead to jealousy or envy.

By ARTURO RAMO.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/03/341149/are-report-cards-good-yardstick

Assessments vital for student learning

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

ASSESSMENT is perhaps the most vital of all the processes in academic and vocational education.

People who understand assessment will always stress on providing a quality assessment system with emphasis on the different aspects of subject matter, appropriate feedback given, ensure learning is sufficient to the right students, and honouring a qualification that is well received.

When the right procedures and proper systematic tasks are in place, students can be assured of the quality of their training and studies, and employers can have confidence in qualified students.

Without them, however, any of these can be placed in jeopardy.

There is also an increasing amount of research and development being carried out in assessment and this has introduced new challenges and given rise to the traditional approaches to assessment that fail to address.

The importance of assessment issues in academic and vocational education is often not appreciated.

There is of course probably more bad practice and ignorance of significant issues in the area of assessment than in any other aspect of education.

The effects of bad practice are far more potent here than for any aspect of teaching.

Students can escape from the impact of poor teaching; they cannot (if they want to succeed in a course) escape the results of poor assessment.

Assessment acts as an instrument to control learners that has more effect on learners than most teachers or administrators are prepared to acknowledge.

Eckstein and Noah (1993) helped summarise the level of concern and debate about assessment by mentioning that:

“If examinations provoke debate and conflict, it is because they are not merely technical devices to evaluate students.

The policies and practices they embody carry ideological and political freight. Educational, ideological and political issues become intertwined, especially over questions of control, who shall control the examinations, and what shall the examinations control?

“Neither of these questions finds permanent solutions in any country. Instead, current examination policies and arrangements are best regarded as the outcome of a series of compromises among competing values, interests, and points of view, or . . . as a set of trade-offs between competing values.”

Assessment is thus important in its own right and it cannot be separated from the social context, and it also aids or inhibits the attempts of educators to improve teaching and learning.

Assessment as in the past, whether it is classroom, school-based or centralised examinations, have always been for comparing individuals with each other or to discriminate ‘the know’ and the ‘don’t know’.

In education, assessment needs to be thought of not as a comparison between individuals, but as “the process of collecting evidence and making judgments on the extent and nature of progress towards the performance requirements set out in a standard, or a learning outcome” (Hagar, Athanasou and Gonczi 1994).

Though many would deny the fact they are actually ‘differentiating learners’ it may be due to that:

* Most assessments are said to emphasise on memory and lower-level skills;

* Most assessments encourage students to focus on those topics which are assessed at the expense of those which are not;

* Students will put more effort and concentrate on graded tasks over those which are ungraded;

by AZIZI AHMAD
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/01/14/assessments-vital-for-student-learning/#a1dYebEzQLi4GyDi.99