Assessment is a recurrent activity for teachers to improve the value of education and inspire students to learn. Gronlund and Waugh (2009) suggest that we “expand our concern to a teaching-learning-assessment process, with assessment as a basic part of the instructional program. As with all instructional activities, the main function of assessment is to improve learning and it can contribute to this end in a number of ways.” Assessment contributes to student motivation by providing short-term goals, clarifying learning tasks, and providing feedback.
Assessment can also aid in retention and transfer of learning through a focus on more complex learning outcomes. As such, assessment can be as much a part of the educational process as instruction. Neither instruction nor assessment can function independently. Instruction without assessment, or vice versa, would be futile. Human achievement without measurement is not achievement at all. Gronlund and Waugh believe that assessment is a “basic part of the instructional program.” Assessment results also help faculty members identify elements of instruction that are more productive with respect to desired learning gains. And while there are many opinions on assessment, perhaps the single most effective utilizable tool is self-assessment. If students learn to comment on a regular basis on their own strengths and weaknesses, dialog with the teacher can lead to successful, measurable achievement. Self-assessment, critical thinking, expression, and measurable achievement are (or should be) our ultimate goals.
Gronlund, N. E., & Waugh, C. K. (2009). Assessment of student achievement (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.