Assessment for Learning
University of Malta (Valletta Campus)
Assessment for learning has great potential to improve teaching and learning by requiring both students and teachers to become more reflective about their roles in the learning environment. Moving from ‘learning to assess’ to ‘learning through assessment’ make students more responsible for their learning and requires changes in pedagogical and assessment strategies. As learning environments become more digital, new methods and tools are available and required to meet the needs of an increasingly global and technological society, where critical thinking and problem solving should be key elements in education. This paper reports on the use of peer-assessment in an e-learning course in higher education, in a student-centred assessment approach that promoted in students a deeper insight into the quality of their own work through the assessment of their peers’ work. Students took responsibility for assessing their peers’ work using previous defined and understood assessment criteria. The results showed that students became more aware of their level of performance and how they could improve their performance. This practice research provides evidence of how the participatory role of students in assessment processes can promote a sense of ownership and autonomy in the learning process and its outcomes.
Formative assessment is often seen as a form for educators to understand how students are progressing in the course contents. However, we argue that formative assessment can be even more important for students to learn, raise awareness and gain confidence in their ability to learn. In this paper, we present a project carried out on the Moodle platform over a semester of 2021-2022. Students could answer each test freely and the teacher had access to logs resulting from student activities. The variables number of tests answered, number of response attempts and time spent in each test were analyzed. Depending on the results obtained, three patterns of student behavior were identified: proactive – they perform all the tests, challenging themselves to reduce time, the number of attempts and errors; pragmatic - perform the number of tests that allows them to obtain positive feedback, managing time and the number of attempts well; resigned - they do not perform or do not complete the tests, because they are convinced that they are not capable of learning, avoiding taking risks. The teachers’ satisfaction was evaluated, through questionnaires and interviews, regarding the use of Moodle tests to carry out the formative evaluation. It was concluded that the platform allows a good degree of freedom for the configuration of tests and construction of questions, allowing their analysis and validation, in Moodle itself. It was also concluded that formative assessment is a good tool accessible to teachers to help every student succeed in their learning.