Seçkin Esen is working as an English language teacher in Turkey. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in ELT from Hacettepe University in 2010.
“Any time you spend on improving your assessment will be richly repaid – your students will be better learners as a result.” D. Prozesky
How to Design a Good Assessment
It is generally agreed that assessment is an improvement process in which educators make their students practice the subject, recognize their abilities and make them develop their skills. In addition, students do their best to improve their talents step by step during the process of assessment. In order for an assessment to be beneficial for students, it should have some qualities such as being reliable, encouraging and suitable to the students’ abilities.
To begin with, It is agreed by most of the education experts that teachers should be as objective as possible to maintain the reliability of the exams because objectively assessed exams make students understand their faults. To be more precise, if students are not assessed and given feedbacks accurately by their teachers, they can not learn from their mistakes or improve themselves. However, an accurate assessment makes them correct their misunderstandings about the subject and prevents future mistakes. Therefore, teachers had better try to improve their assessment by making them more reliable. According to Prozesky, D. (2001),“Any time you spend on improving your assessment will be richly repaid – your students will be better learners as a result.”
“Assessment in this spirit does not concern assignment of grades or evaluation of whether instruction was effective. It's assessment designed squarely to feed into the learning process and make the learning stronger.” David N. Perkins
Secondly, assessments should be designed to encourage students to improve themselves, not to punish or demoralize them because students will not want to learn more if they are punished by the exams. According to David N. Perkins, “Assessment in this spirit does not concern assignment of grades or evaluation of whether instruction was effective. It's assessment designed squarely to feed into the learning process and make the learning stronger.” That is to say, assessments done by teachers ought to be constructive by convincing students to correct themselves and do better. On the other hand, if teachers’ attitudes towards the mistakes of the students are negative, students will feel desperate and this may affect their future life.
Suitable to the Students' Abilities
Last but not least, assessments which are designed according to the abilities of the students make them more creative and motivated. If teachers assess students taking into account of their abilities and talents, they will be highly motivated as they think that they can really be successful. High motivation is very important for students to be eager to learn the subjects. Also, if students are eager to learn, they will be more creative since they will always try to produce new ideas about the subject in class.
In conclusion, assessment is a vital part of education system as implementing objective assessments influence students’ future life and career. In addition, encouraging students rather than punishing them by exams makes them believe they can do better, and assessments designed according to students’ abilities make them more creative. Taking into account of all these factors, a good assessment should involve the qualities of being reliable, encouraging and suitable to students’ abilities.
© 2013 Seckin Esen