Assessment of Student performance and technology

Posted on: February 6, 2011

One of the good practices in undergraduate education is to exploit multiple ways to assess student performance. This will give chance for different students to be evaluated differently. For example, a student who scores low in an objective exam in a biology course, doesn’t necessarily means he is not good in biology. He might perform better in an oral presentation or higher level thinking problems. So a teacher should understand these diverse abilities of people thus, using different methods of students’ evaluation. Applying technology in education helps effectively to serve this purpose. For example, blogging can allow interaction between student and teacher in addition to student-student interaction which allow students to express their ideas, and ways of thinking. An article

The Chronicle of Higher Education about the use of web-cam to fine-tune student performance is a good example of the use of technology in education Using Web Video to Fine-Tune Student Performance which help students to look for a new perspective to self-evaluate and practice oral communication skills and open the opportunity for abroad, long-distance education.

6 Responses to "Assessment of Student performance and technology"

This reminded me of something I read earlier today on a facebook status for one of my friends, “Everybody is a genius at something. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life thinking it is stupid.”
I think there’s a lot of truth to that and your statement about evaluating students differently depending on their abilities. How do you make sure everyone is evaluated equally? This goes back to the question in last week’s class about should every college graduate have a core set of competencies? That bumbling idiot in the back of the room who looks a lot like me said something about different fields will have different sets of core competencies. That’s the great thing about higher education and especially graduate and professional school. You can concentrate on the subjects in which you excel. There is no required English class for an Engineering graduate student or a European History class for a Physical Therapist.

Certainly, I think all college graduates should know the difference between to, too, and two, and there, their, and they’re. Do I need to be able to identify a gerund phrase or know the name of the driver of Franz Ferdinand when he was shot, thus starting WWI? I think not.

I liked your statement about judging the fish. It directly applies to what i think. I believe there are some basics that each student should have, in mathematics, languages and science. Think about admission to graduate school, they don’t use a sole grade or criteria to accept you, but they take your performance in multiple tests, your grades and experience to get you accepted with focus on stuff that enables you to be competent in your field of study. Same thing can applied for evaluating students taking a course, but the difference here that we should consider the class’s nature in addition to students’ ability.

I like the point that you made about students being given a chance to demonstrate knowledge of subject orally in addition to in writing. Technology can enhance student assessment in that way.

Exactly, this is what i meant. In my point of view, this can apply to any subject or course.

Do you really think that students should be assessed differently on the same subject matter? Are you suggesting that students can opt for differing forms of assessment to demonstrate that they have learned concepts and can demonstrate application of skills? That is an interesting idea, what would this look like for you in a course you were teaching?

One of the seven good practices in education is to accept and respect diversity in student’s abilities. So variability in students’ performance assessment is one way you can do this. For example, In a pharamacology class (a solid course which is mostly objectively evaluated), we can designate different percentages for different) tasks with the highest percentage been on objective testing (say 60%). Allocating the remaining (40%) for oral presentations, use of some simulations programs in understanding drug mechanistics, which is directly related to technology, and class discussions through blogs. This will give a chance for a student with bad memorizing ability but with high thinking skill not only to score better but to attain better knowledge from such a heavy class.

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  • None
  • Regina Oyesanya: I thought GRAD 602 is the best class on campus. I'm not alone! Thanks Britt and Jeff :)
  • Britt Watwood: Pat yourself (yourselves) on the back. You all recharged Jeff and I as much or more than we charged you.
  • amal: I believe that too! It just takes time for us to accept new things..I have done experiments on virtual animals and human beings during my undergraduat


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