Continuous Assessment is an on-going process of gathering and interpreting information about students’ learning that you use to make decisions about what to teach, how to teach and how well students have learned. Basic characteristics of Continuous Assessments include the following; * It is an on-going process * It comprises of a variety of assessment methods * It gives timely feedback * Its aligned with curriculum and * Its collaborative with students. Some differences between Continuous Assessments and Formal Assessments Continuous Assessments| Examinations|
Ongoing in the classroom throughout the year| Usually at the end of a unit, semester, term, year or cycle| Many different tasks| One exam or few tests per subject| Carried out by the teacher| Can be administered by someone other than the teacher| May be developed by the teacher| May be written by persons other than the classroom teacher| Marked by the teacher| May be marked by persons other than the classroom teacher| Teachers use assessment results to improve teaching| Don’t help teacher to identify learner weakness| Are connected to the syllabus being taught| May not be always be connected to what is taught|.
General Advantages of Continuous Assessment * Learners will be assessed using different and appropriate assessment methods and this will provide a more valid assessment of the learner’s performance.
* Assessment will now take place in an authentic context i. e. the learner will be assessed in a realistic situation, which is integral to the learning process. * During assessment, there will be immediate feedback into the learning process, thus promoting the formative role of assessment.
* Opportunities are provided that would be impossible in a once-off external examination.
* A variety of skills can be assessed by internal assessment, which otherwise would not have been considered for assessment purposes. * Assessment is on-going and therefore learners are compelled to work consistently and this will contribute to re-instating the culture of teaching and learning. * The educator who works closely with the learner will now carry out judgment of the learner’s performance. Specific Advantages of Continuous Assessment to the Learners * Monitor student progress * Develop study behaviour * Identify misconceptions * Motivate improvement Have realistic expectations.
Specific Advantages of Continuous Assessment to the Parents * Involve in monitoring child’s progress * Understand student’s strengths and weaknesses * Strengthen learning partnership with school Seek assistance for their child Specific Advantages of Continuous Assessment to the Teachers * Evaluate effectiveness of their lessons * Modify teaching strategies * Improve judgments about what students have learned for final grades Evaluate effectiveness of programs How is Continuous Assessment Used? Continuous Assessment is usually used for the following Formative purposes; * Diagnosis: identify skills that students can do.
* Diagnosis: identify errors that a student is making * Help decide how to change the lesson / unit plans * Provide students with practice * Help decide where to begin teaching * Modify students’ behaviour Continuous Assessment is usually used for the following Summative purposes; * Grading and promotion * Assigning final grades * Selection of students for programs * Provide superiors with data * Give awards (formally or informally) for work well done / effort made * Student classification Some Concerns of Teachers
* Continuous Assessments is time consuming and requires a great deal of preparation and record keeping * A few students do not do well on projects during the term, but do well on final examinations; the zero on projects brings down their final grade * Some students are de-motivated when they do not see the rate of progress they anticipate * Lack of trust that the assessment tasks, such as projects and home work assignments that are not done under good supervision are the students’ own work *.
Students seem overwhelmed with so many school-based continuous assessments that count towards their final grades, if every subject gives a project or a term paper, that’s a lot of work * The marks from continuous assessment are inconsistent across teachers Some Examples of Alternative Assessments * unseen written examinations *
Seen written examinations * portfolio development * essays * projects * strategic or business plans * fieldwork * literature searches * journal article analysis/critiquing * oral presentations * dissertations * book, article, multi-media material reviews * laboratory reports * case studies * group/team work * audio/video tape production.
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