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I started reading Anne Davies “ Making classroom assessment work” and before getting into the book chapters, one thing that caught my eyes was the writing on the back cover saying “Quality classroom assessment methods, like good hiking boots, will support learner and give them a solid foundation for their lifelong journey. Now, this sentence totally fit my personal experience, because my whole high school and university experience build up on the assessment techniques that did not give any solid foundation. And why is that, the answer is actually in the Anne Davies book chapter 2, where she is talking about descriptive feedback and evaluative feedback. The only thing I was given was the evaluative feedback. Now the problem with that was that I had no clue of what I did good and I what did wrong and how much I did good and how I did wrong. And this is what we talked about in class about thinking of what were some positive/negative assessment experiences in our lives. And to learn more about the evaluative feedback I read the article “Assessment and classroom learning By Black, Paul, Wiliam, Dylan, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice Mar1998, Vol. 5, Issue 1” Now it was a long 65 pages article but the gist of the article was that evaluative feedback can completely interfere with student learning process and most of the time that interference is negative. On the other hand descriptive feedback give students chance to know something about themselves and it also provides evidence that teacher know their students and this also leads up to a class room environment that is feasible to every student. Although I am not a fan of evaluative feedback but I think it provides a great opportunity for peer assessment and learning with others. Because thats how I learned, whenever my teacher give me back any assignment I try to compare it to my classmate to assess what I missed and what needs to be done. And as Anne Davies mentioned in chapter 11 that there are many ways to assess and one of them is learning from others. I was reading an article on learning from others by Jeff Durham and he wrote some sentences that just clinged to mind and one of them “The beauty of wanting to learn from others is that you will remain open and willing to listen which, in return, will draw others towards you which will also open up many new doors and experiences”. And i think learning from other has all components of assessment embeded in i.e. assessment for, as, and of learning. And therefore, we should act upon any opportunity that gives us a chance to learn from others.

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One comment

  1. Great post Abdul!
    I completely agree with you when you mention that you prefer descriptive feedback as opposed to evaluative feedback. Throughout my schooling I was given both types of feedback, however, as you mentioned as well, evaluative feedback was more prominent than descriptive feedback. For me, the only time I was given descriptive feedback was when I had to write essays. At first I would create a rough draft, then a peer would read over it and give me feedback, then if I was finished the essay before the due date, my teacher would read it over and give me feedback prior to submitting it. This type of descriptive feedback definitely helped me with my essays and allowed me to expand my learning of what should be in an essay and how they should appear. As we are both mathematics majors, I think we would both agree that descriptive feedback is necessary in a mathematics classroom. When you mentioned your negative experience with assessment in class, I was shocked as to how you were marked solely on having the correct answer and not the solution method that you presented. As future math teachers, I think we could both agree that that is not the proper way to assess the students knowledge and understanding of mathematics. I think allowing students to work individually and with others in a mathematics classroom is important for their learning. I also believe that instead of simply giving a check mark or an ‘x’ beside a question that the student handed in, we should be giving descriptive feedback. One way that I learned mathematics was by making mistakes. I completely agree with what Davies has mentioned on page 16 in her book, “mistakes provide assessment evidence – they give learners feedback about what is not working and bring them closer to knowing what will work”. I agree with what you mentioned in your post about how evaluative feedback can have a negative interference with the students learning process, however I still think evaluative feedback is necessary in a mathematics classroom when we are associating grades with a students test, but I do think that we should be including descriptive feedback on those tests. Students will always be comparing their grade to the grades of their peers, and there can be negativity associated with that, such as students calling each other dumb, however as I have stated before, I still believe evaluative feedback is a necessary part in a mathematics classroom.

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