Quantative Assessment as a Grading Method

Introduction

The system of educational appraisal is a method to encourage students to learn more and get more positive assessment. Every country has a specific system of education as well as an individual system of appraisal. Different approaches can be learned and discussed, conferences on education and the latest trends help professionals to develop their teaching skills and share their own experience with colleagues. However, the most common method of grading students is Quantative assessment which is based on figures and statistics.

Definition and concepts of assessment

Quantative assessment is the evaluation of a student’s achievement on a course presented in the form of numerical data, statistics, or graphs. As a rule, quantative assessment is used in different technical sciences and branches. The appraisal is used to make students aware of their progress on the subject or a course as a whole. It is obvious that this type of grading is not the only possible while dealing with appraising. The quantative assessment enables teachers to grade students with a view to their skills and achievements. Moreover, it makes possible to grade students with diverse learning needs accordingly.

Ways of implementation

Teachers can establish and use separate grading sheets for every student individually. This means that the process of grading would take more time and effort when using separate grading sheet for every student. However, it is possible to separate the class into several groups according to their learning needs. Allen (2005) indicates in his article about purpose of grades that some teachers “fail to give grades to students that are as valid as they should be” (p. 218). It happens because of a certain habit of teachers to grade them as invalid, though they can be graded as well as other valid students. On the contrary, if a student is a gifted person, should he or she be graded on the common terms as well as students with ordinary academic skills? This is the burning issue of quantative assessment. Individual approach to students with diverse learning needs can improve the grading system in class and education as a whole.

Education and Quantative Assessment

Assessment and reporting

According to information presented in the book by Krause, Bochner, and Duchesne (2006), reporting is an integral part of the assessment as a process and its result (p. 403-404). The phase of recording and reporting assessment results is the key term when talking about quantative assessment. It is important to collect information, evaluate students’ knowledge and achievements, and report on assessments of students in the class. As a rule, assessments are conducted in the form of tests which are aimed to display the knowledge acquired by students during a definite lesson or a course.

The reporting of assessments is presented to students, parents, and other parties concerned. It is obvious that a certain system of grading and reporting should be established. This means that the procedure of reporting assessments should be as clear and understandable as the process of testing.

Types of assessments

There are different types of assessments in terms of purposes and results, though not all of them can be considered as quantative assessment. The article by George (1994) introduced cooperative learning methods and traditional ones; the students were separated into two groups and two kinds of learning methods were implemented in each group. It turned out that the traditional learning methods which included the grading strategy of improving students’ results were more effective in terms of outcomes. Students need some motivation and, as the practice showed, the grades can be considered one of the most appropriate motivations.

Aims of appraisal

The most obvious aim of appraisal shows that a motivation in the form of grades can be rather effective and influence the results of examination tests and other kinds of assessment techniques. As introduced in the article by Madigan and Brosamer (1991, p. 91), some specific methods can be included into the process of appraising students’ written works. Madigan examined that a separate criteria of assessing writing skills with a view to the content of two paragraphs of the paper (1991, p. 92). This research showed that even the short piece of paper can be evaluated separately and the results would be valid as well as results concerning the whole paper (Madigan, 1991, p. 91).

Students with various learning needs and abilities should be graded in different way than student that can be considered ordinary or mediocre. Sometimes, quantative assessment can be used to grade students with specific learning needs and abilities, though it is necessary to establish an alternative grading criterion for this purpose. The quantative assessment is a grading with numerical data involved in order to give a scale of results.

Ways of Quantative Assessment

Electronic grading

Bryant (2005) introduced the results of her research which made it possible the large-sized group to be graded appropriately (2005, p. 271). The writer has introduced electronic discussion; this means that an audience participated in the process of discussion, but it should have been appraised as well. The grading criteria encouraged students to participate more actively in the electronic discussion (Bryant, 2005, p. 273).

Electronic quantative grading can be not as effective as the formative assessment because the latter includes personal reaction of the educator in the course of discussion or writing, or some other activity in the class. The electronic grading can be regarded as quantative assessment only while grading students of mainly equal academic abilities. As a standard grading system can be established, introduced, and used in the educational process.

Personal reaction

Personal attitude of the educator is important as well as the criteria preferred for grading. The strict grading can influence those students that have ordinary or even insufficient skills or knowledge of the subject, while a lenient scale of grading influenced the students with mediocre academic abilities in worse way (Johnson & Beck, 1988, p. 127).

Formative assessment is the best example of personal reaction because this method enables teachers to interfere in the educational process and correct some mistakes and direction in the course of presenting information. This assessment cannot be considered quantative because numerical data cannot be given as an appraisal of a student’s work in form of formative assessment.

Interpretation of data collected from assessments

The system of education enables students to take different tests and other ways of assessment. The most common way of interpretation of data collected from these assessments includes judging the performance of each student relative to the other. This type of interpretation is known as a norm or a standard which presupposes a referenced assessment when each student is awarded a grade.

Alternatively, students can be judged according to previous performances and works which make their portfolio. In norm referenced assessment, the average performance of the class is noted and this mark is taken as the benchmark to which all other students are judged (Wilson, 2005, p. 1). There is a criterion referenced assessment when the teacher or educator wants to pinpoint if a student has been able to understand a particular concept.

With the introduction of laws in most countries that protect the needs of a special category of students, emphasis has been placed on assessing their performance on standards that have been identified for this kind of category (Dilts, Haber, & Bialik, 1994, p. 13-18). The criterion-referenced assessments have replaced the traditional norm-referenced assessment test as it is compared on the performance of each person on an individual basis.

Despite the grade that the students get, each work on improving their own grades, this generates and encourages each student towards self-improvement, as opposed to competing with each other. There is also the curriculum-based assessment which is aimed at investigating in a more critical manner, the extent to which objectives in regard to teaching have been met.

Such assessments are used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of students and teachers take the right measures in addressing these faults (Alexander, 2006, p. 120). There are advantages associated with curriculum-based assessments which include the direct feedback that can be given out to the teachers and frequent modification of strategies that are associated with performance. Last but not least it is necessary to mention ipsative assessment which mainly concerns the progress of each and every student (Glass, 1984, p 12).

Conclusion

To conclude, the quantative assessment cannot be used while grading students with diverse academic abilities. It is necessary to establish separate systems of grading and various grading criteria for students with writing disabilities, and other malfunctions which can cause problems in the educational process, and, moreover, in the process of grading.

For the quality of education to be upheld, we must take into consideration the use of effective assessment and reporting, this will ensure that the welfare of the student is also upheld. Motivation in the classroom can be encouraged with the appropriate assessment procedures as well. The practice of grading show that quantative assessment criteria should be improved or even changed in order to take into account all categories of student including students with writing disabilities, and those who have diverse learning needs.

The assessment and reporting tools and techniques used by education experts and teachers should be able to grade the students accordingly. We should also take into account the quality of teachers and the working environment that the teachers expose the students to. A good school environment ensures that the rights of the students are maintained while the passage of knowledge is also encouraged.

Motivation of the students will go a long way in making sure that the learners are able to understand and ask the teacher where the do not. The system of education should be able to channel and nurture the talent of each and every student so as to be able to ensure that everyone lives up to their potential. Findings that have been done by researchers should be enforced in educational systems as they will bring change to the lives and lead to a better workforce in the future. Assessments are not important if the students are not willing to take part in improving the educational system.

Reference

Alexander, P. (2006). Handbook of Educational Psychology. London: Routledge

Allen, J. D. (2005). Grades as Valid Measures of Academic Achievement of Classroom Learning. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 78 (5), 218

Bryant, B. K. (2005). Electronic Discussion Sections: A Useful Tool in Teaching Large University Classes. Teaching of Psychology, 32 (4), 271-275. Web.

George, P. G. (1994). The Effectiveness of Cooperative Learning Strategies in Multicultural University Classrooms. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 5(1), 21-30

Glass, G. V. (1984). Evaluation Studies Review Annual. London: Sage Publications

Johnson, B. G., Beck, H. P. (1988). Strict and Lenient Grading Scales: How Do They Affect the Performance of College Students with High And Low SAT Scores? Teaching of Psychology, 15(3), 127-131

Krause, K., Bochner, S., Duchesne, S. (2006). Educational Psychology for Learning and Teaching 2nd edition. (Chapter 11 – Assessment and Reporting), 403-443

Madigan, R. J., Brosamer, J. J. (1991). Holistic Grading Of Written Work in Introductory Psychology: Reliability, Validity, and Efficiency. Teaching of Psychology, 18(2), 91-97

Dilts, D. A., Haber, L. J., and Bialik, D. (1994). Assessing What Professors Do: An Introduction to Academic Performance Appraisal in Higher Education. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group

Wilson R Mark. (2005). Systems for State Science Assessment. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press

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