Design and Development of Instruction
In education, the term Instruction is used to refer to the subject one is being taught or is teaching in case of a teacher. By so, there are two main actions which guide the teacher and the learner in facilitating the teaching process and these are assessment and evaluation. Assessment is a tool used by teachers to determine the readiness of his or her learner to advance to the next level of learning for example the transition of one from High School to college after attaining a minimum entry level. Evaluation is a process where the teacher collects the feedback from the learners through the assessment done and uses the information for various activities for example generation of graphical individual performances so as to enhance learning.
Keywords: assessment, evaluation.
Design and Development of Instruction
In everyday teaching and learning process knowledge and skills are passed from one individual to another. In school the teacher is the one who gives instruction to the learners. He or she needs to check the understanding and progress of the learners. Therefore the teacher will design a set of questions from the content covered so that the learners may give answers from their understanding in class. They may also be required to do research to find solutions to the problem. This is called assessment. Assessment can be carried out periodically according to the teacher’s lesson plan or schemes of work. It may be in the form of class work, assignments, sit-in cats or exams at the end of semester or term. This process of the teacher and learner interaction takes after the formative evaluation since it entails the teacher giving out the content to the learner, determine the clarity as they interact through teaching and eventually invigilate the exams by monitoring.
There are various characteristics of evaluation. It is a continuous process. It should be carried out continuously as the learner passes from one class to another, from one stage to another or from one school to another. Teachers evaluate their learners at the end of topic before introducing a new topic with different concepts. This can also be done at the end of semester or academic year for conclusion of the semester or for entry purposes to the next class. It is comprehensive as it is not only deals with the academics of the learner but with all aspects of his growth, both the cognitive and non-cognitive domain. Learners are evaluated both in class work and out of class activities. At the end of term, learners participate in games and club competitions for example choir, drama and football and those who perform best are identified and awarded. It entails all means of collecting information on the progress on the learner. The teacher uses observation, tests, interviews, rating scales and value judgment to collect reliable and complete information about the learner. It involves making judgment and making decisions about the learner’s performance. The instructor studies the learner’s progress, notes challenges they encounter and takes corrective measures to improve their learning.
Assessment has various characteristics. It involves active student involvement. The learner contributes to the planning of the piece of assessment. They are involved in the decision making about the coverage of the test. It must be constructive. The information should be constructive and useful to both the learners and the teacher. Teachers use tests to identify learning challenges so that they can be addressed. This motivates learners for better performance. It also helps the teacher to improve their teaching methods. It is teacher driven. Even though the learners participate in the planning, the instructor holds the wheel in the navigation of procedures of assessment. The teacher is a professional in training to make decisions how to execute the assessment and how to manage the results. Finally, an assessment is purpose driven. The teacher plans the assessment to be able to fulfill a certain purpose; he or she ensures that the content tested satisfies the objective that was intended. If it is a summative type of assessment, the instructor ensures all the steps are taken for the results to be reliable and valid and the scores be objective with free from biasness. In case the assessment is of the formative type, the results are used to improve the teaching and learning process. The scores are guidance on how to proceed with instruction in the classroom.
Formative assessment allows for the teacher on his day to day activities of teaching to evaluate the students a couple of times in the classroom. This is done in a number of ways by different teachers but the common examples are; giving out assignments, conducting discussions and/or oral quizzes prompted to individuals. Summative assessment requires for the teacher or rather instructor in a learning institution to evaluate the learners at the end of the specified period as per the curriculum. Mostly is done at the end of semester or academic year. A good example is end of semester exams which tests all that was covered during the semester. Both the formative assessment and summative assessment help the instructor to gauge his or her learners’ content absorption rate. They both guide the instructor in planning on the instruction delivery process basing on the learners nature. Summative assessment unlike formative assessment which may be done on a daily basis or weekly is done on completion of a discipline e.g. end of term. In formative assessment, marks are awarded but no grading of marks is done whereas in summative assessment the marks are recorded and graded.
Summative assessment since it allows for grading of individuals plays a role in the instruction design process. For instance, if the average performance of individuals tend to not meet the average of the institution, the people concerned with the process of designing the instruction will be able to identify the most failed area and come up with another syllabus that is friendly to its’ learners. During delivery process, this type of assessment has a role of aiding the teacher in identifying the strength of his or her learners and therefore being in a good position to deliver content as it is required. Formative assessment in instructional design process provides the instructor with questions at the end of each topic which the learners can do so as to recap what the previous chapter was about. The delivery process in formative assessment has the role of equipping the instructor with what he/she is required to cover during a classroom session with his learners.
There are two types of evaluation namely, formative evaluation and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is any form of interaction in the classroom that creates information on learning of the students. This is used by the teacher and learners to modify and improve the teaching and learning process and strategies. Summative evaluation is one that is carried out at the end of an evaluation cycle. It is used to measure the worth of the tasks covered and assess the understanding of what students have learnt. These include topic tests and end semester exams.
There are various differences between these two types of evaluation. The main objective of formative evaluation is to assess the level of mastery of a concept or content and finding out any part that was not mastered. It generally focuses the teacher and the learner on particular learning to enhance mastery. For example a teacher may ask a few oral questions in class to assess the mastery of content covered during the lesson the learners. On the other hand, summative evaluation aims at more general assessment of the degree to which the educational objectives have been achieved during the entire course or period of study. In this case an instructor gives a test at the end of the topic to evaluate the learners on the chapter covered. While formative evaluation brings out areas that need to be improved or given more time for remediation, the objective of summative evaluation are certifying or grading learners, comparing curricula and judging the impact of effectiveness off learning. The teacher awards scores during tests and conducts an analysis of the scores to judge the understanding of the learners. Also, it should be notes that formative evaluation is an effort of a particular content in the short-term and focuses on specific abilities. However, summative evaluation is generally a long-term effort focusing on abilities that are transferable and their nature is mostly cognitive. For example a final project where learners use knowledge and skills acquired throughout the entire learning period to research and write the project report.
“Formative evaluation is also useful in analyzing learning materials, student learning and achievements, and teacher effectiveness. Formative evaluation is primarily a building process which accumulates a series of components of new materials, skills, and problems into an ultimate meaningful whole” (Guyot, 1978).
On the other hand, there are also various similarities between formative evaluation and summative evaluation. They are both methods of assessing the understanding of the learner on the content covered during the teaching and learning process. Although in a different time frame, both serve the purpose to check whether the objectives of study have been achieved.
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