Reverend Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu, Head of the National Office, West African Examination Council (WAEC) has advocated more capacity training for teachers to competences required for effective teaching and learning assessment.
He said there was a need for teachers, as models in the teaching of self guide to students and pupils, to upgrade their capacity for quality assessment which remains critical to achieving quality education.
Mr. Ollennu said at the opening of the Second WAEC monthly seminar held in Accra on Friday, under the theme, “Assessment of Learning: a metacognitive approach to teaching, learning and assessment.”
Assessment of learning involves teachers using evidence about students’ knowledge, understanding and skills to inform their teaching. Sometimes referred to as ‘formative assessment’, it usually occurs throughout the teaching and learning process to clarify student learning and understanding.
Rev. Ollenu explained that Assessment of Learning was a means of collecting and interpreting evidence for the purpose of summarizing learning at a given point in time to make judgments about the quality of student learning.
“This assessment is more summative as it compares a student’s achievement with standards and also has results communicated to students and parents.”
In his presentation, Professor Yaw Kafui Etsey of the University of Cape Coast noted that there was the need for teachers to be ready to change from the traditional module of assessment to newer models that could improve teaching and learning.
“The teacher is to model and teach the skills of self assessment, guide students in setting their own goals and develop their specific, manageable worthwhile learning goals as well as to monitor their progress,” he said.
He explained that the concept of Assessment of Learning was a developing process by supporting students metacognitively to actively engage in monitoring their own learning.
“Assessment of learning gives students the opportunity to look at their learning and reflecting on their own abilities with instructor guidance, and through focused activities, learners are encouraged to think about and assess their learning,” he said.
In addition, he said “it helps students to take on more responsibilities for their own learning and also monitoring future goals”.
According to Prof. Etsey that approach would help to increase learner autonomy, advance understanding on a subject, involve students in critical reflections and also demonstrate to students the concepts of subjectivity and judgment.”
He said it was ideal for students to take active part in assessing their own learning and that could be done through assessing their own assignment, tests and projects through criteria provided by the teacher.
“This practice will help students to develop critical thinking skills,” he said.
He recommended the practice of assessment of learning at all the educational levels to help improve on the performance of students.
“This will not only help students in their basic level education but also give them the opportunity to use these skills as they venture into various future goals.
By Baaba Crentsil