Importance Of Assessment In Teaching

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Assessment is an essential component of teaching. Recently, the importance of assessment has increased even further. Genesee and Upshur (1996) refer to students’ achievement as one of the most important focus of classroom-based assessment. They believe that “teachers need to know what and how much students have learned in order to monitor the effectiveness of instruction, to plan ongoing instruction, and for accountability purposes” (p. 47).
Assessment can be done at different stages:
Assessment at the end of each unit of instruction is probably useful for both internal and external purposes; in other words, it is of interest to, teachers for planning instruction, students for organizing their own learning, school authorities for accountability,
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Is it possible to assess the ongoing activities of the students with these forms of assessment? How is it possible to evaluate the students' activities in a formative way by using some tests or quizzes? Is there any opportunity for the students to work with each other collaboratively in this way of assessment? Is there any place for the creativity of the learners in this way of assessment? Since teachers usually apply such paper and pencil tests to examine the outcome or (product) of learning, so how do such tests assess the process of learning? This fundamental question led most researchers to call for a new paradigm in language teaching and assessment whereby the learner would be able to learn and assess the process of learning (Teasdale & Leung, 2000; Lynch, 2001; Leung & Lewkowicz, 2006). So, the needs for a paradigm shift from "positivism" to "constructivism" attracted the attention of researchers in the field (e.g., Lynch, 2005; Leung & Lewkowicz,…show more content…
(Cited in O'Malley & Pierce, 1996). On the other hand, Richards and Renandya (2002) call these alternatives for traditional forms of assessment as "authentic forms of assessment". They believe that in recent years, there has been a growing interest in the application of assessment procedures that are radically different from traditional forms of assessment. They mention that authentic forms of assessment such as portfolios, interviews, journals, project work, self-assessment, and peer-assessment have been increasingly common in the ESL classrooms. Moreover, they refer to the rationale behind using authentic ways of assessment in this way: They point out that teacher-centered methodology, which largely ignores individual differences and the contribution of the learners in the learning process is, unfortunately, still ubiquitous in many ESL classrooms. Therefore, ignoring individual differences and the contribution of the learners in the learning process were two main reasons that caused the experts to show their interest in alternative or authentic forms of
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