17 October 2010


Assessment and testing are important aspects in monitoring the progress of learners in teaching and learning environment.
According to Farrant(1988)assessment is done to test how much is known about something that has been learned by pupils. It impose weaknesses in learning and monitor teaching on what is not be taught ,maintain standards and discriminate between of different ability. In addition assessment predicts the suitability of individual children for particular courses or careers in future. Children are selected for further education in higher education or professional courses using their assessment scores. Above all assessment motivates both teachers and pupils in the teaching and learning progress.
Therefore the assessment is the tool which provide factual information about learners' abilities and performance which enables meaningful comparisons and classifications to be possible.
Most of schools assess pupils fortnightly or on termly basis for careful and objective assessment using reliable standards. As a teacher you may pleased by the child who is taught for example addition in mathematics and is mastering the techniques of his/her above age.
In using assessment technique the teacher plan revision tests of what they have done some other time. Its like a revision of the main concepts they have learnt in previous lessons. Because they will be used in the future lessons as a base from which to develop. Thus following the teaching principle which says, from known to unknown or simple to complex. It is also primordially of great significance to note that the 'known' concepts will guarantee learning progress because learners are not being pluged into jungle of unrelated novelty.
The teacher's assessment if carried out by carefully planned testing it provides a feedback of how successful is the teaching process on how well the learner is performing and where particular strengths and weaknesses lie. It is also a good yard stick for fairly reliable indication of the learner's progress.
However the school must conduct staff development work shops to help teachers to propery set well structured tests to eliminate questions which have more than one possible answer in multiple choice. Or questions which are frequently misunderstood by pupils or such questions which give advantages to certain group of learners on certain factors rather than those being tested.
Farrant(1988)provides rules that apply when compiling tests at school:
(1)Questions should test learning rather than memorisation.The question should not depend on knowing the answer to another. (2)Avoid poor wording or tricky questions that is any way confusing.
(3)Questions should have only one correct answer or be open ended and should cover as as much as possible of the learning to be tested rather than a few selected areas.
(4)Questions should be presented with the easier ones first, and then ask children to attempt all questions.
(5)Set a time limit only when speed is of great importance in an element of what is being tested. Otherwise allow the time required by slow learners to do all they can manage.
(6)Don't make answers offered in multiple choice questions, so obviously wrong that they can exclude by pupils without careful thoughts.
In primary schools teachers should test pupils with an objective and purpose to produce good results for children who can able to further their higher education and further their talents with confidence and clarity of the strengths in education system.

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