Supporting The Pupil Schooling Journey
Supporting the entire journey to student education
Assessment is essential to teaching and learning, with the potential to stimulate and provide insight into student learning, regardless of subject and wherever students and educators operate. In the context of distance learning, assessment is a critical and asynchronous learning interface that is afflicted with the time-consuming nature of a meaningful assessment as well as logistical and integrity problems.
According to John Hattie, an education researcher best known for his work on Visible Learning, which examines the nature of student learning, feedback has a profound impact on student learning. Good quality feedback has the potential to accelerate learning, increase the volume of learning, and therefore is an effective means and strategy for improving student performance (Visible Learning, nd).
The importance of the feedback within the assessment (assignments and tests) was measured and recognized in all learning disciplines. Science, math, and engineering are no exception to the rule. Quality feedback has been shown to be a critical factor in student success.
Feedback on assignments and exams should be given to facilitate learning and strengthen prior knowledge. In Mindful Learning: 101 Proven Strategies for Student and Teacher Success, educators Linda and Bruce Campbell state that “Prior knowledge makes learning easier by creating mental hooks that anchor teaching concepts (2003, p. 7). . . “
Students who understand what they know and what they need to know to move forward are more likely to excel at their coursework. Since the course concepts are largely interdependent, the cumulative knowledge combined with formative feedback helps students grasp complex concepts and arguments as they study. The last phase is of course the summative assessment, usually in the form of final exams or standardized tests. If students often receive low stakes formative feedback prior to the summative assessment, we have an end-to-end assessment with integrity where learning is linked to teaching throughout a student’s educational journey.
An effective end-to-end assessment enables educators to:
- Provide feedback to students to help achieve learning outcomes
- Understand student learning
- Build a model of student progress
- Inform planning decisions
- Inform the curriculum and test design to meet the learning needs
An effective end-to-end assessment is supported by the following questions:
- What are we trying to do?
- How well did we do it?
- How do we know what to learn?
- What do we do when we don’t know what to do?
This assessment crossing is critical to measuring student progress and understanding student learning, as well as informing about teaching effectiveness and exam design. In the context of online and remote learning, this transparency is crucial.
Andrew Martin of the University of New South Wales explains in his recent article on online learning after the COVID-19 pandemic: “In an online environment, it is more difficult to monitor student understanding and there is a significant risk of that lessons take place Badly organized and too much material is delivered too early, so that the learners are lost ”(2020, p. 1). . “
Additionally, in a face-to-face class, the teacher can get a sense of when a learner is confused or on the wrong path by simply observing the learner’s body language or the actions they are taking in completing tasks. Online learning removes some of the information channels available in a traditional classroom. Therefore, the teacher has to rely more on channels like assessment of learning (Timms, 2017, p. 327). . “
In summary, the assessment gives an insight into the learning of the students and is a communication channel between students and teachers. This is especially true for online learning. Maintaining Assessment with Integrity, i.e. tests, quizzes, and assignments that accurately measure student learning, are critical to promoting student learning outcomes and teaching effectiveness as they are closely related.
In addition, the end-to-end assessment encompasses the entire student workflow, the entire educational journey from the beginning of learning, through the supportive formative assessment, to the final summative assessment. In combination, the learners are more confident in their knowledge, as they are prepared for and experience the bridge between teaching and learning from Dylan Wiliam.
The end-to-end assessment is not an end point, but a node within a process. When thoughtfully incorporated into the overall course schedule, summative assessments, such as standardized exams or final exams, if tests have been taken throughout the course, are less stressful and serve more as a check-in point. In essence, an end-to-end assessment, when done with integrity, is a great feedback loop where each quiz and exam infuses knowledge into what the instructor knows and adapts in its content. Similarly, with every quiz and exam, students learn what they know and what they don’t. As long as these are transparent and provide feedback, they encourage learning.
How can we support an end-to-end assessment with integrity?
Offering a variety of assessment formats supports the inclusion of different learning styles and the measurement of different learning components. Multiple choice exams are often maligned, but can still be helpful for assessing a large number of concepts in a short amount of time. And in combination with other formats are very effective. Short and long answer questions were seen as effective ways to test whether or not students have a deep conceptual understanding of the subjects.
The assessment software can also enable timely and effective feedback loops, maintain all assessment formats, and support frequent, low-stakes assessments while instructors save time and provide data information.
Article analysis, analyzing student responses to individual exam questions, can also provide further insight into student learning and future assessment design.
Educators can also help maintain academic integrity by providing explicit guidance on academic integrity and by modeling assessments that accurately measure learning and meet course objectives. Not only are students given instructions on academic integrity, they understand that their exams test what they are learning. Integrity is then a central part of the student-educator relationship. Finally, educators can improve student learning outcomes and ensure that such exams are part of a learning process by ensuring that the final exams are not stand-alone but are supported by prior feedback on frequent assessments. In essence, they convert assessments and grades into learning.
 Starting with what the students know
 How to Optimize Online Learning in the Age of Coronavirus (COVID-19): A 5-Point Guide for Educators
 From Formative Assessment to Assessment for Learning: A Path to Success in Standards Based Schools