The Importance Of Classroom Assessment

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1.1 Background of the Problem
Classroom assessment of students learning is an important component of any education system. The overall aim of assessment is to enhance attainment of educational objectives through meaningful learning. There is a global mistrust of paper and pencil based examination. This kind of assessment is however, criticised for its detrimental effects on students’ learning. Adams (1996) point out that paper and pencil particularly tests and examinations focus on irrelevant concepts that do not impact directly on students’ lives; they encourage superficial, rote learning and negligence of higher order thinking skills such as reasoning, problem solving and independent inquiry.
The use of alternative
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The assessment formats of the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) are still focusing on written examinations in both continuous and summative assessments. Studies have revealed that written examinations do not promote a participatory and constructivist learning process that is effective in instilling skills and competencies to the learners; instead they are mainly used to determine the grades and indicate learners’ academic performance (Kafumu, 2010). National Examination results (performance) are more valued for a candidate to continue with further studies or for him or her to get a…show more content…
On the other hand, students who are taught only to pass examinations, which rarely assess higher level skills, are definitely unable to demonstrate their competencies and transfer the acquired knowledge to real life situation. The aims and objectives of the new curriculum of (2005) emphasize knowledge and skills generation. The skills can be partly generated through the use of alternative assessment.
Together with these aims of new curriculum, no studies have been conducted to determine the implementation of alternative assessment in secondary schools to fulfil the aims and objectives of new syllabuses. The study was therefore designed to determine teachers’ practices in implementing alternative assessment in secondary schools. The focus was to assess teachers’ perceptions of alternative assessment, the types of alternative assessment used, students’ involvement in these new assessment types, and the challenges encountered by biology teachers during the implementation process.
1.3 Purpose of the

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