Assessment Tools for Evaluating Instruction and Assessing Student Learning

Evaluation and assessment are crucial aspects of the teaching and learning process. I will begin by distinguishing between evaluation and assessment as defined by Newby, Stepich, Lehman, Russel and Ottenreit-Leftwich (2011) in Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning. Then I will discuss two techniques I have employed to evaluate my instruction, namely student tryouts and talking with students. Lastly, I will discuss a standard and an alternative assessment procedure. In this context, assessment of students is used as part of the process of evaluating materials, instruction, and curricula. I will demonstrate how evaluation aids in the process of ensuring that curricula, instruction, and decisions made in the lesson are sophisticated and well crafted.

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The Role of Assessment in the Education Process

I’m not quite sure if I completely agree with how Newby et al.  (2011) distinguish between assessment and evaluation. They define evaluation as “the process of gathering information from multiple sources in order to judge the merit or worth of a program, project, or entity” with the goal of improving “the instruction’s development and implementation”. Assessment, on the other hand, is defined as “the process of gathering evidence of what learners know and can do” as a means of “gaining a full understanding of the merit of specific instructional materials”. My concern with the definitions outlined by Newby et al. is the idea that evaluation is solely judging the value of curricula, materials, and teaching techniques, and assessment is solely judging learners’ performance as a reflection on the quality of curricula, materials, and teaching techniques.

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