Summative Assessment

Performance in schools is usually based on the effectiveness of the learning outcomes. Within the instructional setting, evaluations are used by instructors to monitor student progress to enable the achievement of learning objectives. Well-constructed and comprehensive summative assessments are used to evaluate student progress at the end of an instructional period. As Orlich (2009) further, elaborates, the tests are cumulative and used to measure the student learning growth after instruction. As compared to formative assessment that is used by teachers to get immediate feedback and shape the learning process, summative assessment is used to help teachers organize their curricula and courses offered by the students. Ideally, at the heart of a comprehensive summative evaluation, standards, learning instructions, and grades form a significant part. In this context, this study will consider the English Summative-Assessment results to make a meaningful understanding of summative assessment. The results will be used to evaluate the significance of summative assessment within the instructional setting; assess its use in determining student performance and the effectiveness of the instructional strategies.

Summative Assessment Data Analysis

Essentially, the summative assessment data analysis can be assessed by answering two questions. Firstly, how did the students perform compared to the average objective score? After analyzing the summative assessment performance ratings, we deducted the following. Measuring the performance score against the objective score, a majority of the students scored above average. Two students scored 100 percent, which correlated with the objective score expectations. Ten students did not meet the objective score expectations. We cannot also ignore the two students who scored way below average by garnering 33 and 42 percent. After a close analysis, the two students are special needs with one being an IEP learner and the other one an ELL.

Appropriateness of the Summative Assessment

In a summative assessment, test scores function as feedback to promote future student progress, or as a final evaluation to assess the student degree of mastery. However, as Orlich notes if scores fail to represent accurately student performance and proficiency on a topic or unit of study, then the scores become meaningless. It is therefore critical for the scores to be consequential and correctly reflect the rationale of the assessment. In essence, validity in summative assessment is a key concept for the test to be considered an appropriate measurement of learning. In relation to the English Summative Assessment test, the validity of the test can be tested using two questions. Firstly, do the summative assessment scores reflect the goals of the learning objectives, standards, and the curriculum content? Secondly, does the test indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the students? Ideally, the curriculum standards expect the students to be able to apply strategies, draw upon their past experiences, knowledge, and their interaction with peers to demonstrate their understanding of the textual features, language structure, convention, media techniques, figurative language, and genre. The students must also be able to apply their spoken, written, and visual language to their normal life. The learning objectives focus on the ability of the student to demonstrate their mastery of literal and figurative language. In light of this, the summative assessment test aligns with the curriculum standards and the learning objectives in that; it tests the students understanding of the figurative language, their degree of mastery in applying the figurative language and their application of the figurative language in the outside world. The performance of the students informs the teacher that the curriculum content was effective in achieving the learning objectives. Similarly, the assessment also shows the students who did not perform well, enabling the teacher to take the necessary action. Ultimately, based on the fact that majority of the students scored above average on the objective, we can conclude that the summative assessment is an appropriate measurement instrument.

Alignment of Curriculum Content to the Summative Assessment

Within the instructional settings, the relevance of the curriculum content is critically important. Apart from aligning the curriculum content with the learning objectives, it is also important that it correlates with the life outside of class. For instance, in an English lesson, long lists of vocabulary that have no relevance to the topic of study should be eliminated to clear the way for meaningful learning. When testing for summative assessment, Orlich notes that, learning or teaching is utilized in a way that the teacher can be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the learning activities at the end of the unit of study. Unlike in formative assessment, the tests are not used to help in adjusting the curriculum content to suit the learners’ needs. Therefore, it is important for the curriculum content to align with the summative assessment if effective learning is to be achieved. In light of this, the summative evaluation in the English lesson is used as the basic principle in the delivery of the curriculum content. The learning activities are designed in a way to help the students achieve the predetermined learning outcomes. Ideally, the lesson begins with the identification of student prerequisite skills to form the basis of previous student knowledge. During this learning event, the students are also expected to participate in some forms activities in preparation of the final test. The PowerPoint presentation reviewing figurative language helps the students get an informed understanding of figurative language and identify its use. The guided practice, informed by the formative assessment, helps the teacher determine the students who are struggling with concepts and help them accordingly. The students also work in pairs to identify as many examples of figurative language as possible. The exercise prepares them to be able to handle the test that expects them to identify the figurative language used in the test as well as their ability to apply the knowledge in writing sentences showing examples of figurative language. 

Recommended Modification and its Appropriateness

In curriculum content, the modification is usually regarded as an effective way to make learning more accessible to the students and ensure their needs and interests are well addressed. Similarly, as Knapp & Turnbull (2014) elaborates, curriculum modification involves adjusting the learning activities or outcomes to meet the student needs. Virtually, there are several ways to modify the curriculum content. Nonetheless, within the context of the English Summative assessment, the most viable and feasible curriculum modification is accommodation and adoption to address the needs of the special needs learners. Ideally, as Smart (2009) explains, accommodation allows changes in the delivery of instruction without changing the curriculum content. The tasks and difficulty levels remain the same, but the teacher offers assistive materials or technologies to aid the students in completing the test at the same level as their peers. The students who performed poorly in the English summative assessment are IEP and ELL students. In order to address their learning needs, the teacher could have assigned a book complete with auditory support to help them acquire knowledge at the same level with the others. However, it is important to note that the method has a misgiving; it encourages lag-behind in the curriculum content delivery. Similarly, adoption of curriculum content allows the teacher to adjust the conceptual difficulty of the content of the curriculum. According to Blatchford, Chan & Maurice (2016), the method is goal-driven in that, the teacher must specify the intended learning outcomes for the particular students, use different teaching materials, and activities for the students. The method is ideal for ELL and IEP students because the teacher can adjust the tasks that the student is expected to perform as well as the content of the writing. In particular, the teacher should assign the special needs students content that they can be able to learn, in simple language but still acquire the same knowledge as others albeit small changes.

Effectiveness of the Instructional Strategy

Essentially, students learn best when are fully engaged in during the learning process. Students must also be given the opportunity to explore, discuss, examine, defend, and experiment with various concepts and skills for them to be ready to learn. Within the instructional settings, instructional strategies are procedures used by teachers to help students become strategic and independent learners. The strategies also become learning strategies when students demonstrate the ability to select appropriate methods of learning and apply them effectively to achieve learning outcomes. As conceptualized along this continuum, there are several instructional strategies, each differing with its appropriateness to the instructional setting. For instance, the instructional approach used in the English lesson is a group discussion. Ideally, group discussions are a student centered approach, where students are divided into small teams and encouraged to discuss a given subject or unit (Orlich, 2009). Similarly, it is also important to note that, the teacher often dominates the groups’ discussions with their guided practice. After giving a lecture, the teacher encourages the student to participate in the discussion as he supervises and guides them to make the learning activity successful. Usually, the method is highly effective when the topic of discussion requires brainstorming on the part of the student for new concepts or topics. The strategy allows the teachers and students to get a clear picture of what the student knows or does not know regarding a specific topic. Along with that, the method is ideal because the teacher can assist students with learning difficulties to achieve a higher order of cognitive objectives.

Recommended Modification and its Appropriateness

The use of group discussion as an instructional strategy is to encourage active participation of the students in the learning activities, as well as to enhance information retention. Similarly, group discussions are encouraged so that students can learn from their peers since they are likely to understand concepts when learned from their age mates. This means students should work together and support each other during the instructional activities for teaching to be effective. In light of the English summative assessment, the teacher would have incorporated more modifications during the group discussion. For instance, during the presentation, the teacher could have a designated reader for the IEP learners to read them instructions orally. The other modification that the teacher would have incorporated is changing the seating arrangement to allow the special needs students to sit next to the other students who can share class notes with them for effective learning.

References

Blatchford, P., Chan, K. W., Maurice, G., Lai, K. C., & Li, Z. (2016). Class size: Eastern and Western perspectives. London: Routledge. 

Knapp, J., & Turnbull, C. (2014). An ABA Curriculum for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Aged Approximately 1-4 Years: A Step-by-Step Treatment Manual Including Supporting Materials for Teaching 140 Foundational Skills. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Orlich, D. C. (2009). Teaching strategies: A guide to effective instruction. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Smart, J. C. (2009). Higher education: Handbook of theory and research. Dordrecht: Springer.

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