Assessment Principles @ FP
2.0 Importance Of Assessment

Assessment is the determining factor for the achievement of educational goals set forth in the vision and mission of FP UTM. Assessment influences many decisions that involve the issuance of grades, attachment, conferment of awards, teaching and curriculum requirements.

Accordingly, the following three questions should be used as a guide for academic staff in conducting fair assessment component in the learning process.

i. Have I conducted my teaching process according to my plan?
ii. Have my students mastered the knowledge and skills as prescribed in the course outline?
iii. Is there a more effective teaching method to enhance the quality of learning?

3.0 Construct Alignment for Assessment, Learning Outcomes and Teaching Strategy

Assessment serves to prove students' particular field of knowledge and skills while teaching strategies are to ensure that students learn what should be learned. To achieve these objectives, assessment, learning outcomes and teaching strategies need to be aligned so that they reinforce each other and learning goals can be achieved.

To ensure that the three components are aligned, three questions must be answered by every academic staff.
i. Learning Outcomes: What do I want my students to know and be able to do at the end of the course?
ii. Assessment: What kind of tasks that can prove students have mastered the prescribed learning outcomes?
iii. Teaching Methods: What kind of activities inside and outside the classroom that can further strengthen the achievement of learning outcomes and prepare students for summative assessment?


4.0 Principles of Assessment at the Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education recognizes the role of Assessment for Learning (AfL) as a formative assessment to identify progress and achievement. Therefore, the implementation process of AfL adheres to three basic principles of assessment which become the basis for good assessment practice at different levels of teaching and learning process in postgraduate programs.

4.1 Assessment is an important component of teaching and learning cycle

This principle can be achieved through:

i. clear statement between learning outcomes and learning experiences with assessment tasks. Students understand the assessment process through clear explanation of tasks and how the tasks relate to the learning outcomes, standards and criteria in which students will ultimately be judged based on the criteria.
ii. activities in the assignments are able to assess achievement / performance of the learning objectives / skills / attributes based on clear and precise statements of standard of a course.
iii. assessment tasks which assess higher level thinking skills and not only assess the ability to memorize information.

4.2 Design of task fulfils the purpose of assessment

The aims of assessment include;
i. enhancing students development through meaningful experiential learning.
ii. providing feedback to students about learning progress.
iii. informing faculty about the effectiveness of teaching.
iv. providing information to faculty for the purpose of (i) determining final grade
for a course, (ii) deciding the conferment of the degree of Master of Education/ Doctor of Philosophy, and (iii) enhancing the quality and academic
standards in the faculty.

Those aims are achieved through;
i . assessment process that supports learning activities and measures students achievement by providing students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills mastered.
ii . assessment process which provides descriptive information to students about their progress based on the criteria set out in the rubric.
iii . assessment feedback which describe in detail and constructive, return in a timely manner to enable students making improvement in the next assignment.
iv . assessment feedback which is used by academic staff to make further reflection related to evaluation of their teaching effectiveness.
v . planning of assessment task which given fair weightage in order to balance the summative assessment.
vi . detail design of assignments which giving clear explanations.
vii . continuous monitoring in terms of academic ethics and integrity by academic

4.3 Assessment practice and process are transparent and fair

This principle is achieved when;

i . standards and assessment criteria for each assignment are clearly stated and communicated to students at the beginning of the semester.
ii . assignments provided do not indicate bias towards a specific group of students.
iii . planned tasks have taken into account the workload of students in terms of work and time required.
iv . penalty must be consistently applied and based on the general policy of the faculty as being notified earlier to the students.

Based on these three fundamental principles, the assessment procedures at the Faculty of Education will be using criterion-referenced assessment. Consequently, grades awarded to the students will be based on the expected performance standard which has been set. Thus, postgraduate student assignments for semester 1, 2014/2015 onwards will be replaced from norm-referenced assessment to the criterion-referenced assessment. However, the faculty has decided to implement it on trial mode for semester 2, 2013/2014.