Assessment The Department of Physics has initiated a systematic and systemic approach to assessment. Assessment has a multitude of definitions. However, the one definition that seems to encompass all the relevant components of learning and continued learning is:
"Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning.” - Huba, M. E. and Freed, J. E. (2000). Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses -- Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning. Boston, Allyn and Bacon.
True assessment should direct attention to what is important in the educational process, what students do and how they do it, and how they can demonstrate that they can continue that process of learning and enhancing their own lives and careers. Let us recall that the word education comes from the Latin origin: educare - to draw out. There have been many innovations in assessment such as portfolio assessment, self- and peer assessment, authentic assessment and so on, however they seem to focus more on what can be measured, and how reliable and valid the tests are, but less on the processes of learning and on how students will learn after the assessment. Such a process of assessment should also train students to develop their own set of assessment related practices that they will be able to use throughout their lives.
Our approach combines the existing techniques with a view of integrating the results into a framework that allows us to gauge into an individual student’s learning during the semester.
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