Week one if our ECS 410 course was a great introduction to our study of assessment. To begin, reflecting on the ways that assessment has played a part in my own learning experiences really brought into perspective the various ways that I have already engaged in the practice. My experience with assessment was very typical of what one sees in a high school setting. I wrote several tests and exams, which played a very big part in my assessment and determining my final grades. In addition to written exams, I also got to experience a few other ways that assessment takes place, such as project-based assessments. To this date, my favourite piece that I created as a final project in high school was a children’s story. This form of assessment was fun, engaging, and allowed for everyone to show off their various knowledge and skills. Also as a part of our assessment, we got to read the finished products to the grade two class, which gave us an established goal and drive. It was a fun alternative to mindlessly writing tests and receiving a numerical value.
On that note, we also discussed in class a news article titled “Regina schools get rid of letter grades, honour roll“. This particular concept of assessment is one that I am relatively familiar with as it was also instated when I was attending middle school several years ago. From the view of a student, I did not feel comfortable with the new way of assessing students progress because I had been so used to seeing that quantifying number on the top right hand corner. The “new” way of measuring progress was less definitive than a number, which confused me, especially when I was preparing to head into high school and was still seeing my older siblings receiving numbers rather than letters. Now, looking at it from the standpoint of a student-teacher, I am able to see the value of opening assessment up to being less about quantity and more about quality. By moving into an outcome-based reporting system, students are able to gauge their progress. It works less in a linear way and more in a cyclical sense. Students are able to keep coming back to the skill, working towards the goal of mastering the outcome. The important thing is that it focuses on the student’s learning rather than the ease of the teacher.