Assessing student progress

SINCE learning at the tertiary level is now student-centred, we encourage students to self-monitor their progress in the courses they enrol in.

In fact, they are assigned reflection stories as part of their studies.

It is recommended that course instructors give guided reflection tasks because when students write reflections with a clear purpose, they will be able to critically reflect on their progress.

Instructors are also encouraged to be creative in designing video or infographic-based assignments to prevent students from getting bored or tired of writing pages and pages of words.

Bear in mind that we are dealing with a generation that is tech-savvy so there is a need to have an element of digital intelligence, instead of merely getting them to write.

Periodical reflections serve as evidence that can inform instructors of the students’ progress in achieving the course learning outcomes.

They also inform the students themselves of how much they have learnt and what they are lacking, thus functioning as an effective form of self-assessment.

In sum, reflections can serve as a guide for instructors to map out teaching activities and for learners to see their progress. It is a win-win activity for both.

In schools, we recommend that teachers make it a point to give their students immediate, constructive feedback.

Always be as specific as possible to make learning more meaningful.

This serves as a formative evaluation of their work, which allows for improvement and better quality work.

Don’t only highlight what is wrong, but also shed some light on the things that need to be enhanced.

If the feedback is all about pointing out their mistakes, students might be demotivated.

We suggest using the “merit and mission” method.

“Merit” refers to the positive points while “mission” is about making the work better.

The feedback given must always align with the objectives and criteria of the expected achievement set out in the lesson or task.

Effective feedback not only motivates and challenges learners to do better, but it also ensures consistency in grading and helps teachers identify what students have mastered and what they got wrong.

Improvements in the work submitted will result in criterion-referenced score interpretations with evidence that students have met the requirements to achieve full mastery of the lessons.


School of Education

Universiti Utara Malaysia

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