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Consequently. appraisal has besides undergone a monolithic reform. This has led to a wider scope of appraisal now than there was 25 old ages ago ( Gipps. 1994 ) . Evidence has shown that educational systems have undergone appraisal reforms. which are coinciding with course of study reforms ( Nitko. 1995 ) . A figure of assessment methods have been applied in the Ghanaian educational system since the debut of schooling in the state ( MOE. 1987 ) . The educational reform in Ghana began with the hope that larning was to be more practical and scrutinies should be based on practical oriented course of study.

What had emerged was that the cost and troubles involved in measuring students’ practical work and the undependability of teachers’ appraisal had resulted in a return to the position quo. that is pen and paper trials. Presently. Ghanese instructors tend to supervise students’ understanding through pen-and-paper trials and exercisings in category. and travel through the course of study and text edition with small or no effort to utilize new instructional schemes if pupils do non understand the stuff. The usage of pen-and-paper trials has been used about entirely by schools to supervise students’ accomplishment.

These tools have besides dominated scrutiny for the 1 professional enfranchisement of instructor and college admittance. These schemes of measuring pupils have come under terrible unfavorable judgment by many pedagogues ( Wolf. 19891 ) . The perceptual experience that much of what gets tested is non relevant or has non been taught to pupils has been a beginning of concern to many pedagogues and parents. Such concerns have made pedagogues direct their attending to a new attack to proving diversely described as “performance assessment” . “authentic assessment” . portfolio assessment” . and “alternative

assessment” ( Winzer. 1992 ) . The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics ( NCTM. 1989 ) call for important alteration in the manner mathematics is taught. In concurrence with this demand for alteration in mathematics direction. a alteration format for measuring pupils is needed. To document these new looks of instruction and acquisition. alternate appraisals have emerged as the vehicle by which pupils and instructors can organize. manage and analyse life inside and outside the school.

One of the most exciting and liberating things about the current involvement in appraisal is the acknowledgment that legion appraisal tools are available to schools. territories. and provinces that are developing new appraisal systems. These tools range from standardised fixed-response trials to options such as public presentation appraisal. exhibitions. portfolios. and observation graduated tables. However. in Ghana. alternate appraisal is comparatively an unknown construct and merely few researches have been conducted in this country. Each type of assessment brings with it different strengths and failings to the job of just and just appraisal.

Acknowledging the complexness of understanding public presentation or success for persons. it is virtually impossible that any individual tool will 2 make the occupation of reasonably measuring pupil public presentation. Alternatively. the National Center for Research on Evaluation. Standards. and Student Testing ( 1996 ) suggests that an appraisal system made up of multiple appraisals ( including norm-referenced or criterion-referenced appraisals. alternate appraisals. and schoolroom appraisals ) can bring forth “comprehensive. believable. reliable information upon which of import determinations can be made about pupils. schools. territories. or provinces.

” Since the influence of proving on course of study and direction is now widely acknowledged. pedagogues. policymakers. and others are turning to alternative assessment methods as a tool for educational reform. The motion off from traditional. multiplechoice trials to alternate appraisals. diversely called reliable appraisal or public presentation appraisal. has included a broad assortment of schemes such as open-ended inquiries. exhibits. presentations. hands-on executing of experiments. computing machine simulations. composing in many subjects. and portfolios of pupil work over clip.

These footings and appraisal schemes have led the quest for more meaningful appraisals which better gaining control the important results we want pupils to accomplish and better fit the sorts of undertakings which they will necessitate to carry through in order to guarantee their hereafter success. Billions of dollars are spent each twelvemonth on instruction. yet there is widespread dissatisfaction with our educational system among pedagogues. parents. policymakers. and the concern community. Attempts to reform and reconstitute schools have focused attending on the function of appraisal in school betterment.

3. After old ages of additions in the measure of formalistic testing and the effects of hapless trial tonss. many pedagogues have begun to strongly knock the steps used to supervise student public presentation and evaluate plans. They claim that traditional steps fail to measure important larning results and thereby undermine course of study. direction. and policy determinations. The manner in which pupils are assessed basically affects their acquisition. Good appraisal pattern is designed to guarantee that. in order to go through the faculty or programme. pupils have to show they have achieved the intended acquisition results.

To prove a broad scope of intended acquisition results. diverseness of assessment pattern between and within different topics is to be expected and welcomed. necessitating and enabling pupils to show their capablenesss and accomplishments within each faculty or programme. The purpose of this paper is to supply a usher to the scope of alternate appraisal tools available. to discourse the possible benefits and troubles in utilizing the attack and propose a procedure for its usage. Alternate Assessment Alternative appraisal is a generic term mentioning to the new signifiers of appraisal ( Winzer. 1992 ) .

It includes a assortment of instruments that can be adapted to changing state of affairss. The instructor and the pupils can collaboratively make up one’s mind which processs are to be used for appraisal ( Huerta – Macias 1995 ) . Individual pupils are besides frequently given the duty of choosing specific merchandises of their work on which they will be assessed. It provides the pupils with the chance to reflect on his/her larning 4 experience. indicating out what he/she understands. and the factors that contribute to his/her deficiency of apprehension.

The chief end of alternate appraisal is to garner grounds about how pupils are nearing. processing. and finishing “real-life” undertakings in a peculiar sphere ( Garcia and Pearson. 1994 ) . Alternate appraisal may include interviews with pupils. diary authorship by pupils. developing portfolios of students’ work and authorship of contemplations. Besides. pupils are encouraged to prosecute in little co-operative group larning and may be assessed separately and jointly.

Alternate appraisal. most significantly. provides alternate to traditional appraisal in that it ; i. two. does non irrupt on regular schoolroom activities ; provides multiple indices that can be used to estimate pupils advancement ; and iii. provides information on the strengths and failings of each single pupil ( Huerta-Macias. 1995 ; p. 9 )

One of the major advantages of alternate appraisal as a tool for measuring pupils is that it empowers pupils to go spouses and determination shapers in their acquisition ( Smolen et al 1995 ) . Curran ( 1997 ) in his survey with in-between degree pedagogues found that alternate appraisal is most valuable for students’ engagement in metacognitive acquisition.

Vlaskamp ( 1995 ) found that alternate appraisal processes engage pupils to go active in larning. The procedures offer them chances for contemplation and to be thoughtful respondents and Judgess of their ain acquisition. Lee ( 1996 ) 5 found that the existent value of alternate appraisal is an information beginning for instructors and a learning tool for the pupils. Alternate appraisal includes a assortment of instruments that can be adapted to changing state of affairss.

These instruments include the usage of checklist of students’ behavior or merchandise. diaries. reading log. picture of function dramas. audio tape of treatments. self rating. questionnaire. work samples and teacher observation of anecdotal records ( Huerta-Macias. 1995. p. 12 ) . Harmonizing to her. the instructor or teacher and pupils can collaboratively make up one’s mind which processs are to be used for appraisal in a given category. Individual pupils are besides given the duty of choosing specific merchandises of their work on which they will be assessed.

Portfolio Assessment The construct of portfolio appraisal comes from the field of all right humanistic disciplines in which portfolios are used to show the deepness and breath of an artist’s endowments and capablenesss. A portfolio is a systematic. good organized aggregation of grounds used to supervise the growing of a student’s cognition. accomplishments and attitudes ( Bonnestetter. 1994 ) . It is a purposeful aggregation of pupils work that exhibits to the pupils and others the student’s attempts. advancement or accomplishment in ( a ) given country ( s ) ( Reckase 1995 ) . This aggregation harmonizing to them should include: ?

Student engagement in choice of portfolio contents? The standard for choice. and grounds of pupil self-reflection ( p. 12 ) To carry through the intent of portfolio appraisal as a methodological analysis based on multiple steps and high content cogency. the portfolio is to be composed of stuffs that 6 should be selected jointly by the pupil and the instructor to reflect the students’ work over the full schooling period. activities. To assist the pupils select stuffs for the portfolio. a set of guidelines should be made available to the pupils.

The guidelines include how the content of the All work are to be taken straight from the schoolroom portfolio is to be selected and the standards that would be used to measure the portfolios. The contents of the students’ portfolios are to include the undermentioned: i. two. three. four. single assignments ( prep and trials ) ; group assignments ; self contemplation on each selected pupil or group work group contemplation on group work. The contemplations are to bespeak grounds of larning mathematics in the school. what they know and can make.

They are besides to explicate what they have understood and the action that contributes to their apprehension. They are to place what they still do non understand and explicate the cause of their deficiency of apprehension and what they can make to alter the state of affairs. Journal A diary is a day-to-day or hebdomadal record of happenings. experiences or observations ( Berenson and Carter. 1995 ) . Journal authorship by pupils can be used to enter the day-to-day and hebdomadal mathematics larning experiences and the attitude of pupils towards mathematics.

The diary can be used to maintain path of the students’ advancement in mathematics and to derive penetration into the apprehension and misinterpretation of the 7 pupil. The diary can besides be used to document the student’s attitudinal alterations during the undertaking. Students are asked to compose three sets of diaries in each semester ( term ) . The first 1 is to be written during the first hebdomad of the semester ( term ) . the 2nd in the 4th hebdomad and the 3rd diary in the last hebdomad of the semester ( term ) . At the beginning of the semester ( term ) . the pupils should be asked to compose diaries to bespeak their old and current feelings about mathematics.

They are besides to measure their strengths and failings in mathematics. indicating out the factors that contributed to their failure or success and depict what they need to make. During the 4th hebdomad of the semester. the pupils would be asked once more to compose diaries to place thoughts they understood easy during treatments with the instructor or their co-workers. and so explicate why it was easy for them to understand such thoughts. They are to place thoughts. which are still hard for them to understand. and explicate why they thnk they are holding such troubles in groking these thoughts.

They are to notice on a prep or category trial they did. and explicate why they thought they did good or did non make good. They are to place facets of their work that needed betterment. They are besides to explicate what they learned from making prep or taking a trial and province what they would make otherwise if they are to make the prep or take the trial once more. During the last hebdomad of the semester ( term ) . pupils are to compose another diary. They should be asked to show their feelings of the trial. classwork. prep etc. and their feeling about mathematics.

They are to province whether there is any betterment in 8 their acquisition or apprehension of mathematics. and identify things. which contribute to their apprehension or deficiency of understanding. Journal authorship can be used as agencies of on a regular basis concentrating on class advancement and possible alterations. The diaries are the first measure in puting the duty for larning with the pupils. Research had found that the diary was an of import diagnostic tool in three of import ways. First. as a authorship sample. it provided information about students’ strengths and failings in mathematics.

Second. the diaries gave an indicant of how the pupils perceived themselves. and eventually. the diaries revealed students’ perceptual experiences of the mathematics larning procedure. The diary the pupils write will assist instructors to cognize early in the class how pupils perceived themselves as mathematics scholars and how they understood the acquisition procedure entailed. Whenever their work was seen. ratings were made which either corroborated their appraisal or highlighted their misconceptions. With this information. the pupils will be helped to go better more efficient scholars.

When misconceptions are discovered. pupils will be helped to set up realistic outlooks about what mathematics skills they need to accomplish their ends. In fact. the first diary they write is an of import point of mention when working with single pupils and assisting them to place their aims during the learning procedure. Research findings show that journal authorship provides the chances for the pupils to reflect on the acquisition procedure. and to develop new larning accomplishments. These chances will assist the pupils to place differences between their school experiences and those they are meeting at college.

9 Challenges Testing for answerability intent is basically big graduated table testing and for this ground it relies on trials that are comparatively inexpensive. brief. offer wide but shallow coverage. are easy to hit and reliable ( Gipps. 1994 ) . Alternate appraisal by contrast is timeconsuming. tends to supply elaborate multi- dimensional information about a peculiar accomplishment or country ; ( and because of clip factor. deepness may be exchanged for comprehensiveness ) . marking is by and large complex and normally involves the schoolroom instructor Standardisation of the public presentation is non possible and therefore dependability in the traditional sense is non high ( Mehrens. 1992 ) .

However. alternate appraisal in general. has become the basis of educational reform motion. The statements for utilizing these signifiers of appraisal to back up instructional pattern are that ; ( I ) they engage pupils in undertakings that are more comprehensive and consistent with the ends of a subject or resonant with the coveted results of educational procedure ; ( two ) they provide elaborate grounds about student’s thought that enables more specific instructional determination devising ; and ( three ) they encourage pupils to take active function in their ain appraisal enabling a sharing duty for larning ( LeMahieu. et. Al. 1995. p11 )

Many pedagogues are of the position that alternate appraisal must be held to the same rigorous criterion of dependability. cogency and objectiveness as those achieved by standardized norm – referenced appraisal. if it is to supply believable and lawfully defendable step of acquisition and public presentation ( Linn and Burtin. 1994 ) . 10 Expostulations to alternative appraisal are frequently voiced in footings of cogency. dependability and objectiveness. Questions that focus around these issues are: i. two. three. Does the instrument step what it is supposed to mensurate? Is the instrument consistent in its measuring?

Is the instrument unbiased? ( Garcia and Pearson. 1994 ) . Alternate appraisal represents the best of universes in that it looks at existent public presentation on existent life undertakings. such as composing. self-editing. reading. engagement in collaborative work. and making a presentation in forepart of a group. These processs are in themselves valid ( Garcia and Pearson. 1994 ) . As respects dependability of alternate appraisal. Huerta – Macias ( 1955 ) . references triangulation as a agency of guaranting dependability in a qualitative research. In qualitative research. triangulation refers to the combination of methodological analysiss to beef up a survey design.

When applied to alternate appraisal. triangulation refers to the aggregation of data/information from three difference sources/perspectives – teacher. pupil. and parent. On the inquiry of objectiveness of alternate appraisal. research findings show that. standardized trials simply represent understanding among a figure of people on hiting processs. format or content. These persons are non nonsubjective ; they merely jointly shared the same prejudices. In this respect. Huerta – Marcias ( 1995 ) says that standardized trial is non more nonsubjective than an alternate appraisal.

Other challenges of alternate appraisal have to make with course of study and instructional pattern. Torrance ( 1993 ) reviewed the impact alternate appraisal has on curricular and instructional pattern in the context of the National Assessment in England and Wales. Among the concerns raised were extortionate demands on instructors. adding up 11 to two to three hours of excess work daily. Teachers besides reported dissatisfaction with pull offing assessment interactions with little groups of pupils while seeking to keep the focal point of all pupils.

Torrance ( 1993 ) concluded that instructors treated appraisal as a particular activity set apart from learning. and they felt obliged to make this by the instructions they received. a vision at odds with the integrated appraisal and direction offered by alternate appraisal advocators. The inquiry of comparative practicality of alternate and traditional appraisal in footings of clip ingestion has been raised by many writers ( Linn. 1993 ; Gipps 1994 ) . Research consequences indicate that alternate appraisal is non more clip devouring than traditional appraisal on the portion of the pupils.

Research has shown that pupils can get by with the clip demands of the alternate appraisal ( Eshun & A ; Abledu. 2000 ) . Educational Deductions and Recommendations The following educational deductions and recommendations are made for bettering the academic public presentation and heightening positive attitude of pupils in mathematics: I. Through alternate appraisal processes. the instructor is given the chance to cognize from the students’ diaries and portfolios the positive and negative points of his instruction procedure and work out schemes for his subsequent instruction. two.

Alternate appraisal processes offer a opportunity for the development of better student- pupil and student-teacher relationship. During their group work and treatments of their diaries with the instructor a friendly clime is generated which helps them to acquire to cognize one another better. 12 three. With alternate appraisal the instructor is given a opportunity to interrupt the mundane humdrum learning modus operandi. Activities are organised for the pupils that create a pleasant and actuating atmosphere in the schoolroom. which revives the involvement of the students for the topic.

four. Alternate appraisal processes lead to discovery acquisition and planning. Therefore. it is valuable for increasing and keeping the efficiency of the accomplishments and constructs that the pupils learn. However. it makes heavy demands on the instructor to be after activities for the pupils. v. Students who have linguistic communication jobs will be unwilling to pass on in composing with the instructor. Teachers who use alternate appraisal procedures should rely more on unwritten interview than the authorship of diary. six.

The positive benefits of alternate appraisal prevarication non merely in its execution but besides in the teachers’ ability to widen and enrich the course of study through the activities he/she arranges for the pupils. Thorough planning and apprehension of the accomplishments pupils must develop are prerequisite to successful execution of alternate appraisal procedures.

Teachers must be trained to populate up to the undertaking. It is recommended hence that pre-service instructors be introduced to the alternate appraisal processes. In-service and initiation classs on alternate appraisal can be organised for instructors who are already learning.

This preparation is worthwhile since instructors will hold the agencies to convey about higher accomplishment in mathematics and higher attitudinal alterations in female pre-service instructors towards mathematics. 13 seven. Teachers need to supply many chances for pupils to research and reflect on mathematical constructs. Having pupils talk and write approximately mathematical constructs and how these thoughts are applied in assorted jobs state of affairs can beef up their apprehension and supply valuable information to the instructors.

It is hence recommended that mathematics constructs be presented to pupils through the alternate appraisal processes. This will so heighten the current programme of advancing the involvement of misss in Science. Technology and Mathematics Education ( STME ) . eight. To measure our programmes and the advancement pupils are doing. me must look beyond the current traditional appraisal entirely. and happen better ways of measuring students’ creativeness. ability. and sensitiveness in mathematics. The point is. uninterrupted appraisal ought to supply a more comprehensive position of pupils’ all-around public presentation.

The Ministry of Education ( MOE ) . the Ghana Education Service ( GES ) and other policy shapers on instruction must follow alternate appraisal to better female students’ public presentation and attitudes in mathematics. Conclusion Knowing mathematics is making mathematics. We need to make state of affairss where pupils can be active. originative. and antiphonal to the physical universe. I believe that to larn mathematics. pupils must build it for themselves.

They can merely make that by researching. warranting. stand foring. discoursing. utilizing. depicting. look intoing. 14 foretelling. in short by being active in the universe. Alternate appraisal is an ideal activity for such procedures. Reference Brady. R. ( 1991 ) . A Close Look at Student Problem Solving and the Teaching of Mathematics: Predicaments and Possibilities.

School Social Science and Mathematics. 91 ( 4 ) . 144-150. Eshun B. A and Abledu. G. K. ( 2001 ) : The Effectss of Alternative Assessment on the Attitudes and Achievement in Mathematics of Female Pre-service Teachers. African Journal of Educational Studies. Vol. 1. p. 21-30 Garcia. G. E. & A ; Pearson. P. D. ( 1994 ) . Assessment and Diversity.

In L. Darling Hammond ( Ed. ) Review of Research Education. 337-391. Huerta – Macias. A. ( 1995 ) . Alternate Appraisal: Responses to Commonly asked Questions. TESOL Journal. 5 ( 1 ) : 8-11. Smolen. L. et. Al. ( 1995 ) . Developing Student Self-Assessment schemes. TESOL Journal. Vol. 5 ( 1 ) 22 – 27. Gipps. C. V. ( 1994 ) . Beyond proving: Towards a theory of educational appraisal. The Falmer Press. London. Lee. T. W. ( 1996 ) . Mathematics portfolios. NCTM’s ends and pupils perceptual experiences. A complex analysis. Abstract International 57 ( 6 ) . Vlaskamp. D. C. ( 1995 ) .

Encouragement of Student Learning through a Portfolio Process. Dissertation Abstract International. 55 ( 1 ) . Mehren. W. A ( 1992 ) . Using Performance appraisal for answerability Purposes. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. 11. ( 1 ) . 3-9. 15 Linn. R. L. & A ; Burton. E. ( 1994 ) . Performance Based Assessment: Deductions of Task Specificity. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. 13 ( 1 ) 5-8. Torrance. H. ( 1993 ) . Uniting measurement –driven direction with reliable appraisal: Some initial observations. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 15. 18-90. 16.

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