The purpose of assessments - Deepstash

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Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

The purpose of assessments

Good assessment programs use a range of strategies and tasks, in varying contexts, to understand what students know and can do.

Tasks must also be “fit for purpose”. A task assessing base knowledge will look different from one assessing creativity.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

http://theconversation.com/exams-might-be-stressful-but-they-improve-learning-35614

theconversation.com

3

Key Ideas

Exams focus on breadth

In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn.

Exams enable assessors to test the students’ breadth of understanding of topics.

Exams enhance learning

Studying for exams deepens learning.

  • Searching through one's memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens the memory pathway.
  • Learning is particularly strong when students self-test rather than passively learning by rote.

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Single & Double Loop Learning

The first time we aim for a goal, follow a rule or make a decision, we are engaging in single loop learning. 
If we question our approaches and make honest self-assessments, we shift...

How Success Becomes an Impediment

Many skilled people excel at single loop learning where they become accustomed only to success. 

They aren’t used to failing, so they struggle to learn from their mistakes and often respond by blaming someone else.

“their ability to learn shuts down precisely at the moment they need it the most.”

The Key to Double Loop Learning
Push the single loop to the point of failure, to strengthen how you act in the double loop.
  • Stop getting defensive. Instead, collect and analyze relevant data, draw conclusions and test  them.
  • Change your mental models. Problem-solving isn’t a linear process where you can make one decision and then sit back and await success.
  • Fail early. Fail fast. If you learn to deal with failure you can have a worthwhile career.

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Re-reading and highlighting

Both of these study strategies are relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text over and over again won’t do much for recall unless it’s spaced out over time. 

Different learning styles

Systematic studies of learning styles have consistently found no evidence or very weak evidence to support the idea that matching the material to a student’s learning style is more effective.

Right or left-brained

There is no conclusive evidence that people preferentially use the left or right hemisphere.

Certain functions are processed more by one region of the brain than others, and this is known as lateralization. But we all use our entire brain equally.

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Note Taking

Students who take notes during a lecture or presentation achieve more than those who just passively listen.

Note-taking makes one's attention focused on the ideas being discussed, and also le...

Note Taking Cues

When the instructor says 'this is important' or 'note this', or gives a non-verbal cue that the content being discussed is important, it can enhance the student's note-taking. They can also listen to the cues to help them organize their lessons.

Revision of notes

Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.

  • Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.

  • Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.

  • Hand-written notes are well-thought-out, summarized and have a lot of graphic information that is missing from laptop notes.