EDS 113 Reflection Blog

About me

Hi! My name is Paulo Reyes, a Bachelor of Education Studies student in the University of the Philippines Open University. I made this blog as a partial fulfillment for my EDS 113 (Principles and Methods of Assessment) subject. In here, you will read my reflections, thoughts and insights regarding the aforementioned subject. Please join in my learning. Thank you for dropping by! 

Featured post

Module 6: Webnotes

Table of Specifications (TOS)- acts as a guide to what topics should be covered in the assessment relative to the learning domain each falls under.


Define phases of the water cycle
#1, 2, 3
Identify variables affecting the water cycle
#4, 5
Find examples of the water cycle


TOS can also be customized according to your needs. I made one for one of our assignments but this one is for the whole unit and not just for a single assessment.

Content Area
Identify basic needs of humans, plants and animals such as air, food, water, and shelter
Family Feud, Journal Activity
Group Report 1, Journal Activity
Application activity, Journal Activity
Explain how living things depend on the environment to meet their basic needs
Group Report 1, Journal Activity
Poster Making, Journal Activity
Recognize that there is a need to protect and conserve the environment.
Group Work 2, Journal Activity
Group Work 2, Assignment and Oral Recitation, Journal Activity

Module 5: Webnotes

Constructivism is basically a theory – based on observation and scientific study – about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. (Source)

Authentic assessment is also referred to as performance assessment which calls a student to demonstrate specific competencies in an oral or a written way. (Source)

Example of a performance assessment:

bez tytułu[1]

(Image Source)


IQST (n.d). A Constructivist Approach in Assessment. Retrieved on March 20, 2017 from

ConstructivistmineIt (n.d.). Assessment in constructivism. Retrieved on March 20, 2017 from



Module 4: Webnotes

Formal assessments have data which support the conclusions made from the test. We usually refer to these types of tests as standardized measures. These tests have been tried before on students and have statistics which support the conclusion such as the student is reading below average for his age. The data is mathematically computed and summarized. Scores such as percentiles, stanines, or standard scores are mostly commonly given from this type of assessment.

Informal assessments are not data driven but rather content and performance driven. For example, running records are informal assessments because they indicate how well a student is reading a specific book. Scores such as 10 correct out of 15, percent of words read correctly, and most rubric scores are given from this type of assessment.

Formative refers to the interpretations of data that are useful for improving instruction and learning

Summative refers to the interpretations of data in terms that represent the summary of student achievement, that is, what the students have learned or achieved at a given point in their education

Formal Formative Assessments involves:

  • Deliberate and planned gathering of information
  • Interpreting that information in terms of goals to be achieved and
  • Acting upon the information by restructuring instruction, curriculum, or other characteristics of the system


  • Peer assessment is the assessment of students’ work by other students of equal status.
  • A powerful meta-cognitive tool
  • It engages the students in the learning process and develops their capacity to reflect on and critically evaluate their own learning and skill development
  • Can be used formatively or summatively


Module 3: Webnotes

Purposes of Assessment

Assessment FOR Learning: formative assessment that occurs

during instruction to be used in the service of the next stage of


Assessment AS Learning: assessment that occurs when students

personally monitor what they are learning and use the feedback

from this monitoring to make adjustments, adaptations, and even

major changes in what they understand.

Assessment OF Learning: summative assessment designed to

certify learning and report to parents and students about their

progress in school.

Stages Where Assessments are Given

Before learning. Assessment before learning provides information that helps teachers determine the readiness of students for learning in any given class. Knowing what the class already knows (or doesn’t know) is an important prerequisite for planning what to teach and at what level the material is to be taught in order to achieve course objectives.

During learning. Assessment during learning provides information that helps you monitor student progress against the effectiveness of the instructional methods you are using. It is important to examine the reasons why instruction succeeds or fails—whether you are teaching the right content, skills, or attitudes at the right level and at the right time during the course of the learning. At this stage, you seek answers to questions regarding the monitoring of instruction—what should be taught next, whether some material needs to be reviewed or developed further, and, perhaps, what you do not need to teach despite your initial intentions. In addition, planned assessments during learning enable teachers to judge whether students need more involvement in instruction, which students need more or different instruction, and which are proceeding well enough to be assigned enrichment instruction.

After learning. This is the time assessment is used for decisions regarding determination and assignment of grades—weighing the importance and use of assessments collected earlier in the teaching of a unit, reporting on ways students are assessed, and reporting and interpreting assessment results. After learning is also the time to reconsider ongoing discussion regarding instruction and curricular revisions—such issues as the adequacy of measures being used, whether the curriculum is satisfactory for meeting school and community objectives, and the adequacy of the curriculum in meeting subject matter standards.


Earl, L. & Katz, S. (2006). Section 2: Three Purposes of Assessment. [PDF] In Rethinking classroom assessment with purpose in mind.

Goldner, S. (2014). Purposes of Classroom Assessment. [YouTube video].  GECDSB AER. (2011). Assessment FOR, AS, & OF Learning. [YouTube video].

Shermis, M. & Di Vesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action. MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Module 2: Webnotes

Types of evidences teachers and schools can use to determine the state or progress of students’ learning:

  • Surveys
  • Portfolio
  • Licensure Pass Rate
  • Review Rubric
  • Formative Assessment
    • Why
    • How
    • When
  • Achievement data
  • Attitudes
  • Engagement
  • Behaviors
  • Environmental factors
  • National assessment results
  • Overall teacher judgment
  • Standardized assessments
  • Data from previous schools
  • Student work – work completion rates and patterns, work books, notes, drafts of material, portfolios of work
  • student attendance data
  • student retention data
  • student engagement data
  • Demographics
  • Perception (what people involved in the learning process think about the school)
  • School processes
  • Formative assessment – intended to promote further improvement of student attainment
  • Summative assessment – intended to summarize student achievement. Summative assessment can also be used formatively, if it provides feedback to the student, teacher, school leader, Board of Trustees or Ministry of Education, so as to lead to further improvement

Ways of gathering evidence

  • Formative – those undertaken while student learning is taking place; the purpose or which is to improve teaching and learning; designed to capture students’ progress toward institution- or program-level outcomes based on criteria and standards of judgment
  • Summative – those obtained at the end of a course or program; the purpose of which is to document student learning for transcripts and for employers, donors, legislators, and other external audiences; designed to capture students’ achievement at the end of their program of study and their undergraduate or graduate education based on criteria and standards of judgment
  • Direct – evidence of student learning which is tangible, visible, self-explanatory; prompt students to represent or demonstrate their learning or produce work so that observers can assess how well students’ texts or responses fit institution- or program-level expectations
    • Example: performances, creations, results of research or exploration, interactions within group problem solving, or responses to questions or prompts
  • Indirect – evidence which provides signs that students are probably learning, but the evidence of exactly what they are learning is less clear and less convincing; capture students’ perceptions of their learning and the educational environment that supports that learning, such as access to and the quality of services, programs, or educational offerings that support their learning
    • Example: student satisfaction, alumni, and employer surveys
  • Objective – one that needs no professional judgment to score correctly (although interpretation of the scores requires professional judgment); examples: multiple-choice, true-false exams
  • Subjective – yield many possible answers of varying quality and require professional judgment to score
  • Traditional – the kinds of tests that have been around for decades; e.g., objective tests, ‘blue book’ essay questions, and oral examinations
  • Performance – ask students to demonstrate their skills rather than relate what they have learned through traditional tests; e.g., field experiences, laboratory and studio assignments, projects.  Also called authentic assessments when asking students to do a real-life task.  Have two components: (i) the assignment or prompt that tells students what is expected of them and (ii) a scoring guide or rubric used to evaluate completed work.
  • Embedded – program assessments which are embedded into course work
  • Add-on – assessments which are in addition to course requirements; e.g., assemble a portfolio, take a standardized test, participate in a survey
  • Local – created by faculty and/or staff
  • Published – those published by an organization external to the institution and used by several institutions
  • Quantitative – use structured, predetermined response options that can be summarized into meaningful numbers and analyzed statistically; place interpretative value on numbers; e.g., the number of right versus wrong answers
  • Qualitative – use flexible, naturalistic methods and are usually analyzed by looking for recurring patterns and themes; e.g., reflective writing, notes from interviews and focus groups; place interpretative value on the observer; e.g., observations of group interaction or an individual’s performance in a simulation


Why is evidence-gathering important for meaningful assessment?

  • Teachers continuously consider a variety of data and other evidence to improve student performance. Here is a typical scenario – a teacher notices something interesting in a student’s achievement data and wonders if there is an explanation
  • Evidence gathering helps in assessing the right skills. Some students might have learning opportunity in only certain fields while some have learning issues in a variety of fields.
  • Gathering evidences enables teachers to prove hypotheses that can be confirmed through assessment
  • Tracking of progress and achievement
  • To have enough information to explain why students achieved their results and what they could do to improve.

Final Thoughts for EDS 113

As a training expert and future instructional designer, this subject taught a lot of valuable lessons and techniques that I can use for my job. I am taking home concepts and learnings that are going to be useful to me in fulfilling my role in our organization. This subject has equipped me with what I need to improve the learning experience of my current and future students.

Before taking this subject, I thought assessments are just designed to gauge the understanding of the students. Now I know that assessments serve a purpose that is bigger than that. Good assessments are integrated well in the curriculum itself and are part of the whole learning process. It is not just a stage that every students need to go through for them to be endorsed to the next phase of learning.

Now that I have finished taking this course, I feel that I am more equipped in doing my job. I started applying what I have learned such as giving feedback to learners, using TOS in making assessments, giving self- and peer-assessments to name a few. I will continue to apply what I have learned from this module and test the concepts in every classroom interaction I will have in the future.


To Teacher Malou,

Thank you for a wonderful learning experience. I really learned a lot from you this term. Until next time…

Assessments and Feedback

If there is one thing I dread about taking an assessment, that is the lack of feedback after taking it. Most of the time, teachers just announce the score of the students after marking the assessments. This is not followed by a discussion about what the students missed. This results to misconceptions that are not being corrected. Students may think that their answer was correct even though it is quite the opposite.

Giving timely feedback to students helps in correcting misconceptions. Students may have misunderstood certain topics or concepts which can be identified using the assessment. After getting the result of the assessment, it is important to analyze it as soon as possible and discuss the results to students. It will be great if the teacher will discuss the result to students individually but if that is not possible, the teacher can just summarize the opportunities observed and discuss it to the whole class.

Students also need to work on the opportunities presented in the teachers’ feedback. This is because they are the ones who will benefit from it ultimately. To help students, we need to make them see the value of the feedback given to them. We need to highlight the importance of addressing these issues and how it affects their learning. Here are some suggestions that may help:

  • Integrate feedback to the assessments themselves. Make it so the feedback for each section is essential for the next one (Nicol, 2008)
  • Have students document how they used feedback (Nicol, 2008)
  • Give provisional grades and leave a feedback on how their grade can be improved (Taras, 2003)



Nikol, D. & Draper, S. (2008). Redesigning Written Feedback to Students When Class Sizes are Large

Taras, M. (2003). To Feedback or Not to Feedback in Student Self-Assessment.

To assess or not to assess

I have been studying for the most part of my life. Needless to say, I have been assessed countless of times before. For exams that were unannounced, I just use my so called ‘stock knowledge’. It rarely let me down in the past. Some exams that I have taken were announced ahead of time so I prepared for those by reading my notes, books, and other reading resource. This has been a habit of mine because as early as kindergarten, we were taught to take down notes during discussion as the questions will be derived from them. After all, teachers normally do not include questions that were not covered in the discussions.


If you asked me when I was in high school what kind of assessment I preferred, I would say the ones that include close-ended questions and essays. This is because I grew up taking them in school so I got used to it. But if you ask me the same question now, my answer will be different. I now prefer to take performance-based assessments as those really reflect whether or not I learned. It also excites me when the stakes are high. This is because I love being challenged. High-stakes assessment intimidated me when I was a younger as I was afraid of the consequences if I fail. But after becoming an educator myself, I realized that it is okay to provide and take high-stakes assessment as long it is properly designed and the teacher does not use it as an excuse to deviate from the teaching agenda.


I give high-stakes, summative assessment to my students too but I favor giving formative assessments. To me, the former is necessary to confirm if the learners have met the objectives and the latter will help me prepare the students for the summative assessment and the real world. I believe that a good mix of formative and summative, whether or not they are high-stakes or low-stakes, is important in teaching. These assessments may make students feel threatened but that could be avoided by explaining why we do the assessments, what is in it for them, and how the previous lessons discussed prepared them to take the said assessments.

Assessments Redefined

When I was a younger learner, I viewed assessments as a way to impress people especially my parents. Back then, I only saw it as an opportunity to get a high or perfect score. It never occurred to me that the purpose of the assessment is to help me with my learning.

Back then, we refer to assessments as ‘tests’. It is meant to test the students how well they know about the subject. We competed against one another to get the highest score. For us, it was a tool that we can use to impress our parents and probably get an incentive after showing our grades to them. We were too exposed to summative and formal assessments that those are the only types of assessments I remember taking. This is also probably why students get anxious when they hear that there is an incoming test. Students were afraid to fail the assessment as this would mean they will get a lower grade. I think no one wants to bring home a report card that shows how bad the student performed in school, right?

Had I realized sooner that assessments have different purposes and that there are different ways teachers can assess students, I would appreciate the learning process more than getting good grades. I would have looked at assessments in a different perspective and aim to learn than get good grades. I would have participated more in class activities and discussion knowing that it is an assessment in itself. In the end, I would still have taken home good or better grades but the learning experience that came with it would have been more beneficial.

As an educator in the corporate setting, I have the power to come up with my own assessments that I could use to help the learners perform better. Knowing that there are lots of ways to assess learners, I would create assessments that do not just focus the final grade of students at the end of each module. I will create informal assessments that would help me understand which concepts they are having a hard time understanding and adjust my instructional methods to accommodate the determined learning problem. I will also spend more time in conducting formative assessments which can help the learners better understand their opportunities and help them address those. By doing these, I would be producing learners that are competitive and aware of their own learning opportunities.

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