Sunday, 11 November 2012

Assessment = Not Assassination but Resurrection + Reincarnation

Project step #2

I am facing a student – oriented problem and that is motivating. They have already registered in the course, but they do not feel so much motivated. They do not complete the tasks within expected time frame. Few of them keep on disappearing and suddenly re-emerging after e-mail reminders. I need to do something that keeps them engaged with the course closely. I also wish that they finish the course on time with satisfaction that they  have learnt something.

Many a times, they finish their exercises and send them to me. They have to wait till I assess them and respond with my comments. Instead, there must be some provision for automated assessment wherever possible so that they get the result instantly and proceed further to next tasks.

Action and Result:
The facility of providing the summative feedback led to another requirement and that was automated online assessment.

We use the general term assessment to refer to all those activities undertaken by teachers – and by their students in assessing themselves – that provide information to be used as feedback to modify teaching and learning activities. Such assessment becomes formative assessment when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet student needs.

As soon as I started providing them my formative feedback, they also reciprocated in terms of doing the required exercises regularly. I have total 25 students, and it became overwhelming for me to assess all exercises and send them their scores on time.

Immediately, I had to think about making some arrangement in terms of automated online assessment. Except descriptive wiring exercises, now there is a provision that as soon as the students finish their exercise and submit them, their responses will be assessed immediately and automatically. A screen will open and they will be able to see a table in which they find all their answers with an indication of how many answers are right or wrong. If the score is not according to their expectations, then they can retake the exercise and resubmit it. Again, their score will be displayed with how many answers are right and how many are wrong.
Now that they are able to see the score right before their eyes as soon as they submit their exercises, there are two significant changes I have observed during this week.

They seem to be motivated in the terms of finishing the units as soon as possible.  They are exempted from the long confinement of waiting till I myself finish the assessment and send them their scores.

As soon as they submit their answers, they come to know their result. If the result is not according to their expectations, they generally redo that particular unit. In this way, true learning takes place, and the concept gets reinforced in their mind.

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