07 Oct 2019

EVALUATIONS: DO EXAMS EVALUATE STUDENTS CORRECTLY?

Nowadays the most common way we evaluate our students is through much-feared exams.We’re talking about tests where students have to respond to questions about the subject. But are those exams the best way to evaluate a student’s knowledge? Are there other options?

A good evaluation, when it comes to education, focuses on identifying the current knowledge and abilities a student has. Why? To find out what stage of learning they’re in. And what’s the point of that? It’s a very simple thing that a lot of teachers tend to forget. That is, the point is to evaluate whether the teaching system they’re using is working for that student.

Problems with Traditional Examination

  • They only evaluate the student. The only person tested is the student. There’s no evaluation of whether the teacher or the educational environment is doing things right. There are even a lot of teachers who use exams to make everyone fail, or who make the exams impossible to pass.
  • Only the results matter. Traditional exams might tell you something about a student’s current level of knowledge, but not about the process. It makes no difference whether they actually have a deep understanding of the concepts or if they just memorized them the night before. The results may end up the same.
  • They only evaluate knowledge. There’s no thought given to the student’s situation or their personal strengths and weaknesses. You can’t direct a student’s learning if you don’t know what their abilities are.

Other Options To Evaluate Students Learning

Evaluation of Competence

The point of every subject is for students to learn a certain set of knowledge, but also for them to learn a certain set of skills. For example, one goal of math might be to get students familiarized with and memorize certain formulas and processes, but what’s even more important is that they understand those things and learn to use them to solve problems. The evaluation should identify what areas of knowledge the student has mastered and which ones they haven’t. Once you’ve figured that out, you can direct their learning to sharpen the knowledge they already have and help them pick up the knowledge they don’t. The only way for this to work is for the course to be well-planned out with a flexible teaching style that’s as individualized as possible.

Documented Problem Solution

Rather than simply requiring students to do a number of problems for homework, the instructor asks students to solve a problem and also to write down step-by-step what they were thinking at each stage of the problem-solving process. Reading through these solutions gives an instructor a sense of how well the students are developing their problem-solving skills and can help the instructor determine how much class or section-time should focus on improving this academic skill.

Studies of Time Spent Learning

This technique asks students to estimate, check, document, and reflect on how well they use study time. Using one assignment or activity, students estimate how much time it should take to finish the task and then monitor themselves as they complete the assignment. Afterwards, they write a brief account of the process and the results. In reading these accounts, teachers can gain a sense of how well students use their time and whether students’ learning skills are developed sufficiently to handle the course load. Students become much more aware of their habits regarding study time and this awareness usually encourages them to use their study time more effectively.

Other Resources To Assess Student’s Performance

  • Automated Grading of Exercises
  • Artificial Intelligence Assessment
  • Exam Checklist
  • In-Video Quizzes
  • Just-In-Time Teaching
  • Papers, Projects, and Presentations
  • Peer Assessment

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