Five Key Ideas About Quality Assessment

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TOPIC ONE: Five key ideas about quality assessment

In Scherer’s (2009) article, the author is not stating that standardised testing has no value, but that it should be used in conjunction with other quality assessment measures. The following paper identifies five key aspects of what constitutes quality assessment.

We are reminded that the goal of testing is in ‘building proficiency in basic skills, closing achievement gaps, and fostering the top notch knowledge and skills that students will need in a competitive global society’ (Scherer, 2009, p. 5). Therefore, standardised tests alone are not an adequate benchmark in determining a student’s ability to learn. McMillan (2007) emphasises the importance of multiple assessment methods as an ‘umbrella concept that encompasses different techniques, strategies and uses’ (p. 5). By using multiple measures, a student will be assessed fairly.

To ensure quality assessments, teachers must become assessment literate. Teachers need to be ‘able to transform expectations into assessment exercises and scoring procedures’ (Stiggins as cited in McMillan, 2007, p. 17), enabling an accurate account of students’ abilities and, to communicated this information to students and stakeholders. In becoming assessment literate, education professionals will be able to ‘transform assessment into a form of teaching’, as well as, being able to ‘educate those in the general public, media, and policymaking positions who blindly accept the validity of any test for any purpose’ (Scherer, 2009, p. 5).

Therefore, assessment becomes a teaching tool and takes into consideration both cognitive and constructivist theories. These theories look to engage and motivate students in their learning experiences. Scherer’s (2009) article supports assessment as a teaching tool by encouraging student involvement in all facets of assessment design and implementation. Students’ who participate will have a clearer understanding of learning goals and...
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