UNIVERSIDAD MARIANO GALVEZ DE GUATEMALA FACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES ESCUELA DE IDIOMAS ESCUELA DE IDIOMAS LICDA. EVELYN R. QUIROA
What is assessment and evaluation? Assessment is defined as data‐gathering strategies, analyses, and reporting processes that provide information that can be used to determine whether or not intended outcomes are being achieved: Evaluation uses assessment information to support decisions on maintaining, changing, or discarding instructional or programmatic practices. These strategies can inform: •
The nature and extent of learning,
Facilitate curricular decision making,
Correspondence between learning and the aims and objectives of teaching, and
The relationship between learning and the environments in which learning takes place.
Evaluation is the culminating act of interpreting the information gathered for the purpose of making decisions or judgments about students' learning and needs, often at reporting time. Assessment and evaluation are integral components of the teaching‐learning cycle. The main purposes are to guide and improve learning and instruction. Effectively planned assessment and evaluation can promote learning, build confidence, and develop students' understanding of themselves as learners. Assessment data assists the teacher in planning and adapting for further instruction. As well, teachers can enhance students' understanding of their own progress by involving them in gathering their own data, and by sharing teacher‐gathered data with them. Such participation makes it possible for students to identify personal learning goals. Types of Assessment and Evaluation There are three types of assessment and evaluation that occur regularly throughout the school year: diagnostic, formative, and summative. Diagnostic assessment and evaluation usually occur at the beginning of the school year and before each unit of study. The purposes are to determine students' knowledge and skills, their learning needs, and their motivational and interest levels. By examining the results of diagnostic assessment, teachers can determine where to begin instruction and what concepts or skills to emphasize. Diagnostic assessment provides information essential to teachers in selecting relevant learning objectives and in designing appropriate learning experiences for all students, individually and as group members. Keeping diagnostic instruments for comparison and further reference enables teachers and students to determine progress and future direction. Diagnostic assessment tools such as the Writing Strategies Questionnaire and the Reading Interest/Attitude Inventory in this guide can provide support for instructional decisions.
Formative assessment and evaluation focus on the processes and products of learning. Formative assessment is continuous and is meant to inform the student, the parent/guardian, and the teacher of the student's progress toward the curriculum objectives. This type of assessment and evaluation provides information upon which instructional decisions and adaptations can be made and provides students with directions for future learning. Involvement in constructing their own assessment instruments or in adapting ones the teacher has made allows students to focus on what they are trying to achieve, develops their thinking skills, and helps them to become reflective learners. As well, peer assessment is a useful formative evaluation technique. For peer assessment to be successful, students must be provided with assistance and the opportunity to observe a model peer assessment session. Through peer assessment students have the opportunity to become critical and creative thinkers who can clearly communicate ideas and thoughts to others. Instruments such as checklists or learning logs, and interviews or conferences provide useful data. Summative assessment and evaluation occur most often at the end of a unit of instruction and at term or year end when students are ready to demonstrate achievement of curriculum objectives. The main purposes are to determine knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that have developed over a given period of time; to summarize student progress; and to report this progress to students, parents/guardians, and teachers. Summative judgements are based upon criteria derived from curriculum objectives. By sharing these objectives with the students and involving them in designing the evaluation instruments, teachers enable students to understand and internalize the criteria by which their progress will be determined. Often assessment and evaluation results provide both formative and summative information. For example, summative evaluation can be used formatively to make decisions about changes to instructional strategies, curriculum topics, or learning environment. Similarly, formative evaluation assists teachers in making summative judgements about student progress and determining where further instruction is necessary for individuals or groups. The suggested assessment techniques included in various sections of this guide may be used for each type of evaluation.