Assessment as an Educational Project

Margaret Sargsyan

Assessment is an interesting work tool for teaching how to study and analyze the work which has been done: studying and analyzing the work, making interpretations, filling in the omissions.

Man assesses another man: this should be remembered. Why and how does he assess? What does the evaluation give somebody whose knowledge and skills are evaluated and somebody who evaluates? Assessment has been a delicate and, at the same time, a rude tool in the process of education. In the 21st century the challenges of education are clearly distinguished as the modern learner has other demands, and the assessment remains the same, unchanged and closed. Why is it so? It is because people have been used to it, it is easier, and the changes in the educational system are hard to come to life.

For many years, assessment, in the educational system, has been stressful for the learner, parent, teacher, has become the basis for disagreement, and has been a closed topic.

 The idea that a low score makes a learner to strive for a higher one, and a high score encourages and promotes him/her, is often not true. We can bring so many examples, arguments or counter-arguments.

In the 21st century the learner expects another way of assessing or encouraging him/her. The system of assessment can’t remain unchanged. It has to be developed. The present assessment system acted in the years when the learner didn’t have the right to express any opinion about assessment or participate in it. Now that the learner can express an opinion, the assessment should be clear, understandable, and acceptable. Making it a punishment for the student, the parent has no pedagogical justification; we don't even discuss this topic. And assessment cannot be alienated from the learner.

The years-long blog based teaching-learning process in the schools of Yerevan “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” Educomplex, has made it possible to make the assessment as transparent as possible and justificated for the learner, the parent. Nevertheless, after working with this system for some time, it has become clear that there are still some drawbacks that the teacher's assessment still has elements of subjectivity, and it may not always be acceptable and understandable, especially when the learner is alienated from the assessment process, which is an important component of the learning process.

Self-assessment

This version of assessment also has lots of drawbacks. Of course, it is important that here the learner comes to the forefront, becomes an active agent. But in this case, we put the learner in a difficult psychological state: we suggest doing something he has no ability to do, and the toolkit is unfamiliar to him. The picture here can also confuse him. There are people with high self-esteem, low self-esteem, and different personalities may approach the same assessment requirements differently, especially when, I emphasize again, when they do not have the skills: we have not taught them how to evaluate or assess.

In both of the above mentioned cases, the parent is left out, not included in the organization of the educational process.

Now let's consider the score and try to understand what that score gives to the learner as the first beneficiary, then to the teacher, to the parent. Let’s state that that it gives very little. It doesn’t improve the teaching-learning process, neither does it really help the learner to see and understand his/her mistakes. Many parents remember about shortcomings, drawbacks and success in their child’s teaching-learning process when they see his/her scores. A race for better scores begins. It is especially obvious when preparing for school examinations.

All the skills and knowledge gained at school, failures and progress in education are comprised in only one score. There are parents who put their children and often their teachers in a distressful situation because of the scores. The scores do not have any positive influence on the quality or effective organization of the education.

Does the learner begin studying better after having got a low score at the examination? Does he realize his mistakes? Do the parents accept their children's drawbacks in the teaching-learning process and begin helping them more effectively to overcome their difficulties? Of course, not!

What shall we do? I suggest experimenting a new system of evaluation, a system without scores. I suggest making evaluation an educational project. The learner should be taught to see his/her own gaps in the learning process and encourage him/her by giving him/her a chance to make adjustments to do well in this or that school subject.

In the 21st century, when the learner is free and has his / her own opinion, when assessment is not a means of punishment, when parents are busy and are gradually alienated from the educational process, we offer a system of assessment that has a number of advantages.

Let's mention some of these advantages:

  • The learner, parent are not alienated from the process of evaluation.
  • Evaluation turns to be educational work the purpose of which is teaching and learning.
  • There isn't any assessment score, consequently, there is no tension or disagreement.
  • There isn't any assessment score, consequently, there is no race for it.
  • The learner doesn't study for an assessment score, or to prove something to others.
  • The learner learns to evaluate himself-herself not on the basis of his emotions, perceptions, dreams, but facts.
  • Evaluation is not alienated from education. The learner learns to evaluate.
  • Evaluation becomes an important educational skill which is constantly being improved.
  • The teacher is not alienated from the evaluation process either.
  • Evaluation or assessment is no longer a means; it becomes a teaching-learning process.
  • The teacher isn't a sole determinant in the process of evaluation. He is only the person who organizes evaluation and teaches the students and parents to evaluate.
  • The parent isn't alienated from the evaluation process either. The parent becomes a supporter, beneficiary, and participant.

The only visible shortcoming at this point is that this system requires laborious work. We do not see other shortcomings. Many things will be clear during testing procedure.

Here are some models of this new system of organizing evaluation:           

  1. Evaluation of the lesson

Clarifications

The teacher suggests daily, weekly, monthly work plans of organizing lessons on his/her educational blog. Why is it necessary?  The activity of the learner becomes controllable. The parent is informed about what his/her child is doing in the classroom.  

The components of the learner’s evaluation are reflected in the teacher’s work plan.  It includes self-assessment, checking, characteristics, and reflection on the work done by the learner.

Clarifications:

  • The contents of the lessons (links to the teacher’s blog) are published on the learner’s blog in the category Evaluation.
  • The work which is done in class, can be continued at home.
  • The learner works on the evaluation project by reflecting on his month’s work bringing his/her own arguments.
  •  The teacher summarizes the project in his blog, reflecting on the work the learner has done, observing the relevance of the given answers to the real work, drawing attention to shortcomings and progress, and making specific suggestions for next month's work.
  • The teacher’s observations are aimed at evaluating the work, helping the learner consider his/her own work from another point of view, reflecting on what has been done, drawing conclusions, identifying ways to move forward.
  • The student's work does not receive a numerical evaluation; the assessment project published on the blog already reflects the work the student has done. The assessment project can be done with numerical points if needed.
  • The work is carried out in the learner's blog, summarized in the teacher's blog, so that it is open and visible to everyone, and accessible for further amendments.
  • The job link is posted in the evaluation log.

 

  1. Evaluation of the educational project

The evaluation project is carried out after the completion of each complete project, and can also be carried out as a summary of several short-term projects.

The teaching load of the teacher implementing the evaluation project also includes the time taken to complete the project, say 4 hours per week.

The first part of the project is completed by the learner and the second part by the teacher.

The learner completes the following:

  • The links to the educational project from the teacher’s blog.
  • The project site (s). in class, in the laboratory, in the outdoor educational areas, in the parks, near the historical monument, in other places defined by the project.
  • The learner’s work includes the following: all the links while carrying out the project, video films showing oral discussions, recordings or written narrations about the work having been done.
  • Formulation of a new educational project.
  •  Argumentative suggestions for the organization and content of new educational projects.
  • The teacher’s summary is published on the learner’s blog. If the learner has any questions he/she can discuss them with the teacher. He/she then writes his/her observations if there are any.

The teacher completes the following:

  • Gets acquainted with the project work done by the learner.
  • Write his/her observations next to each point; objections, suggestions, additions
  • The summary is published on the teacher’s blog. The summary comprises the following: the learner’s first and last names, the link to the project, the teacher’s main observations about the learner’s project work, the main mistakes, shortcomings, suggestions for the learner to pay attention to, additions and amendments, remarks and encouragements, instructions aimed at the next project.   
  1. Evaluation of the educational activities

The parent and learner evaluate and the teacher summarizes.

      The teaching load of the teacher implementing the evaluation project also includes the time   taken to complete the project, say 4 hours per week.

The final project is implemented during the week before the end of each educational period.

The project is collaborative (family-school) implemented by the learner, parent, and the teacher.

The learner gathers the work carried out under the “Evaluation-Assessment” project on the relevant page of the blog.

The parent gets acquainted with the work done by his/her child.

The parent evaluates the work with the learner or alone. In their summary they mention the shortcomings, progress, additions, and achievements.

If the parent doesn’t do this work for any reason, the learner has to do it alone.

The teacher:

  • Gets acquainted with the family project.
  • Publishes the link to the project on his/her blog.
  • Does relevant observations, expresses disagreements, mentions the progress, and makes suggestions.
Թարգմանիչ: 
Համար: 
  • Deutsch
  • 日本語
  • Հայերեն
  • English
  • Georgian
  • Русский