During the lesson, I learnt that assessments are important because they support the holistic development of the students. It is through assessments that we would know to what extent the students learn what has been taught, as well as how we can improve our teaching strategies to make them learn better. Assessments can come in the form of rubrics and qualitative and quantitative feedback. They can also be conducted anytime and anywhere, formally or informally.
Dr Yeap brought us to measure the height of one of the pillars. He also provided us with some instruments such as measuring tapes and set squares. He did not tell us how we should measure the pillar but let us explore the different ways of measuring it. After that, we went back to the room to discuss whether the methods used are appropriate for measuring the pillar. The following questions were also given to us to ponder:
(a) I could have thought of these methods myself;
(b) These methods make sense;
(c) These methods do not make sense.
The above activity mentioned not only allows us to conduct peer and group assessments, it allows us to assess whether the students know how to use the instruments, provided by the teacher, correctly. It is also an example of a performance task. Therefore, if it is being used for assessment, it becomes a performance assessment.
Not all skills can be tested through pencil and paper tests. Thus, students, especially the pupils in the lower primary, are given performance tasks to assess whether they can perform them appropriately and correctly at their level. Not only does performance task tell teachers and parents how much the students have learnt, it also gives them an insight on how they learn and what can be done to help them to enhance their learning.