I entitled this journal entry as such because my journey in this subject made me learn new things and perspectives while I also need to unlearn wrong misconceptions. Before taking this subject (Principles and Methods of Assessment), I thought I will get a thorough step by step procedure in making tests or quizzes. I thought it is a very technical subject. However, the main thing I learned from this is that teachers should decide the best assessment for their students- a tough responsibility that can make or break a life. I also thought before that assessment is just to put a numerical value to every student, now I learned that assessments are important part of the learning process.

                   When I looked back on how I was assessed before (school, work, personal and in all aspects), I think some assessed me properly and some didn’t. After all, assessment methods are never perfect since these are all designed for and by us- who are rarely perfect too.

                The reform in the assessment was a challenging task for me. First, I have too choose the best concepts i learned in the course which powered the reform I have to make. This made me assess which ones I truly believed after knowing the pros and cons of assessment types, methods and principles. Doing the reform pamphlet was hard too since I have to “advertise” what I believe and promote. However, the hardest part is the action plan which details my 3 to 5-year long research-based paradigm which I hoped to revolutionize the assessment methods in the country.

              I have to admit that knowing these things made me a little anxious about being a teacher. Providing the best instruction methods and choosing the best assessment types are two important factors in learning that I should not overlook along with other administrative tasks and classroom management that a teacher does. Teaching as the most novel job still stands for me because they make the greatest impact in the growth and development of our students, the same students that will make and carry the future of our nation.




Completing and doing assignment 2 helped me synthesize the key features and distinguishing characteristics of various types of assessments. It was a good mental exercise and review too. However, the main essence of knowing these types of assessments is to help me decide what type of assessment I should apply and give to my future students.  Assessment cycle is completed when the results of the assessments are thoroughly analyzed and used by respective stakeholders.

                I also realized that assessments are not just the end of instruction which is usually the common belief. Assessments are integral part of instruction right from the very start. I would think of assessment as teacher’s compass to guide the pace and direction of instruction.

                Lastly, I learned that people tend to revise and improve existing assessment methods based on how culture define intelligence and learning. Once, we believed that intelligence and learning should only focus on skills or factory model during the industrial revolution. So factory skills were the focus of assessment during that time. Then various researches tried to analyze intelligence and learning deeper, thus various written tests were developed. Now, we tend to look at intelligence and learning in a more diverse way thus we have differentiated assessments.

                Finally, this module helped me understand that it is not easy to judge someone’s intelligence and personality, their passion and motivations. We should keep this in mind inside and outside the classroom.

Module 4

               Now that we are in the last module for this course, I have recognized that bulk of the role of the teacher is conducting and providing assessments. These assessments are not only to grade students; most of it is designed to adjust the instruction and improve the teaching methods.

                In assessments, planning, designing and administering are just the tip of the iceberg. The main essence of these assessments is to provide meaningful feedback to students. The analysis and reporting that comes with meaningful feedback is what assessments important and complete. Unfortunately, these stages are the most neglected part. This made me ponder on the following questions:

How meaningful have scores been? Based on your personal experience, are scores able to effectively inform both teachers and students about learning progress in class? Do teachers and students share common interpretations of scores? Or has it been a more common case that scores are mere numbers that are processed to fill in report cards?

                As a student before, I was so focused with the numbers or the scores. We, as students, were trained to just count the red checks on the test paper. For difficult subjects, I focused more on the passing percentage than knowing what are my mistakes and what did I do or did not do to gain these mistakes. I think I don’t remember someone training me to think that way whenever I receive test results. However, I do not discredit all of my previous teachers for that. The feedbacks I receive for these difficult subjects (example Math) are more on a generalized aspect. I remember that most of my teachers would say “Ok class, most of you got this item incorrect. This is how you should do it…” Since the attack is general, the impact to me was not so much.

                When I was a teacher, I must admit I made the crime of just providing scores to the students with no individualized feedback. If most of my students fail, I would re-discuss the topic. With so many things to do, my mindset as a teacher before was just to finish what I am supposed to do.

                I think teachers and students will never have the same interpretations of the scores. Teachers will always think in general, such as the common mistakes or misconceptions in the class and common misbehavior or wrong attitude in studying. Because teachers handle many classes with big student population, individualize or personalize feedback per student rarely happens. Students on the average will look on the scores as numbers to tell them if they pass or if they fail. Students fail to see or think how scores relate on how deep are their thinking and learning. Culture dictates our students to just look at the top ten lists per class and list of passers for licensure examinations. Focusing on their own learning and how they are progressing rarely happens. For a student, the score tells everything of their performance, just pass or fail.

                    How can we change the mindset in relating scores as overall performance into something deeper like evaluation of how deep learning is and metacognition? What practices that parents and teachers should apply in and outside the classroom?



After studying various types of assessments (modules 3A to 3E), I wonder how I will use these knowledge in actual practice? What are the main concepts that I should take away with me? Surely, I do not need to scrutinize the classification of my assessments or my co-teachers’. The bottom line of knowing these things is to improve my decision making in choosing the proper and best assessment for my future students.

In an attempt to apply what I have learned without current and actual teaching practice, I came up with the table below. As a future teacher, choosing my assessments will basically depend on my purpose, how often I will use it and how will I use the results of the assessments.  I have chosen the types of assessments based on three periods: before the start of the class, first 2 months of the school year and the whole school year. My assumption here is that I am teaching in a private institution with G11 or G12 students, thus I have included OJT.

Did I apply the various types of assessments we have learned? Let me know what I have missed.

Running Record/ Portfolio To get a quick profile of the students I will handle for the school year A month before the class not applicable As a new teacher, what I basically want to know are:
1. excellent performers in science
2. Ratio of middle performers (those that are not excellent but not poor performers as well)
3. poor performers  in science
4. those with recorded  behavioral problems
– with these data , I can design special teaching models specially on # 3 and 4
Student or Faculty Survey/ interview Some class characteristics are not recorded so I will use this method to gather data on the following data:
1. How do my incoming students assess their previous science class and teacher/s?
2. How do the previous science teacher assess the class in terms of behavior, performance, motivation and parent behavior
A month before the class not applicable For item # 1. I will gauge students’ behavior and attitude towards science from their answers so I would have basis on what they expect from my class
For Item 2: I will get data on other pattern of classroom behavior  and performance; on some instructional preference, some tips  and parent behavior that I should watch for (because this is a concern that a teacher should be prepared for specially in a private setting).
Anecdotal Record or Event / Time Sampling To gather information on the actual class I am handling First 2 months of class not applicable I would like to record how they react on various instructional methods I use; which time are they unusually sleepy or agitated; trigger points for some misbehavior as bases for my teaching startegie. These data are also good bases for some stategies I will use to improve motivation and performance
Observation and Student Activity Record To profile my students individually First 2 months of class not applicable This data will be an additional support
for my anecdotal and event and time sampling
Student or Faculty Survey/ interview To get my students’ perception in our science class
To compare my observations with other teachers handling my class
First 2 months of class not applicable My students may not be very honest with
their perceptions but I will still get a glimpse on how they value my class and probably apply some changes for improvement
Comparing my data with co- teachers will help me validate if my observations are right and i could also ask for some advise on strategies too
Preinstruction assessment methods/ Brainstorming To get a quick idea on what my students know about the topic we will discuss for tomorrow Daily or when there is new lesson the next day not applicable I will adjust my classroom activities which will fit with the level and depth of their knowledge on the lesson
Questioning in class/ Dialogue with student/Exit Cards/ Oral Recitation To identify and group the students based on their level of understanding of the lesson Daily For a newbie like me, I will make two to three groups of questions or activities: poor, average and advance which I have prepared the day before the actual class as contigency plans in case These grouping or different sets of activities will help me focus my attention to those who are lagging behind while keeping the advance group busy
if most of the class are in the poor level, I might as well repeat the lesson or provide more instructional activities to help them move to average or even excellent levels


Some are recorded as formative scores, some are not

Homework These will serve as reinforcement for the poor and average groups and additional points to the excellent group
If I am contended with how the class grasp the lesson, my homework will help them focus on the next lesson for the coming days
Daily/ when needed and/or when there is new lesson the next day Homework as a reinforcement: three levels which they have the option to choose from to earn points
Homework as advance study: no differentiation
For this, I am using the homework as a reinforcement of the lesson they fail to grasp totally  or as an advance study


Recorded as a formative score

Quiz To serve as a recorded formal assessment of the key concepts I taught for the week
To validate if my students are ready to take the next lesson
Twice a week The level of my quiz is ideally from average to excellent. I assume that at this stage, there are no poor performers in the class and that I am confident to give them a formal assessment that I can record


Recorded as a formative score

Simulations with Checklist To assess laboratory skills that my students learned which are needed in the  course For every laboratory skill introduced Since this is a set of skills and also procedural in nature, I cannot think of other ways to differentiate this part except for those who can follow and those who cannot I will give additional opportunity for those who cannot follow (ex: focusing the microssope)

This is also a basis If they can proceed to higher and more advance laboratory skill


not recorded

Laboratory Experiments To assess if they can apply the theory on actual application Occasional not applicable The results will help me identify and possibly group the students based on the levels of scientific skills and attitudes
I will design instructional strategies to those who have poor scientific skills and attitudes


Recorded as a formative score

Long or unit tests (combination of multiple choice, cloze test,  with essays) To assess the depth of  what they have learned after the unit Every end of the unit The long test will have easy average and difficult levels with varying points that the student may choose from Identify the students who have performed poorly and advise them on what they can do at home and on their own to catch up

Recorded as a formative score

Journals To assess how they value learning the previous lesson Every end of the unit not applicable To correct misconceptions that I may find in their journals
To improve my instructional strategies which aims to help student appreciate the value of Biology in their lives

Recorded as a formative score

Projects (both for group and individual) with peer and self assessments for group projects To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned Per Grading period I will provide options of projects they can choose from This will be part of their summative grade/ score
Final Exams To assess the depth of  what they have learned after the grading period Per Grading period The final test will have easy average and difficult levels with varying points that the student may choose from Identify the students who have performed poorly and advise them on what they can do at home and on their own to catch up
This will be part of their summative grade/ score
Running Record/ Portfolio To help me set aside time and see how my students progress from one grading to another Per Grading period not applicable Talk to the parents and students who are at risk of failing and provide them strategies and options to improve their grades
Learning Contracts with Self-assessment methods To help at risk students to monitor and rate their progress Per Grading period for at risk students not applicable I will check if their self assessment is changing their metacognition and self regulation

Recorded as a formative score

Debate To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned (will only apply to BIOETHICS chapter) Once I will provide options of topics they can choose from This will be part of their summative grade/ score
Field Trips output To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned once not applicable To correct misconceptions that I may find in thir outputs
To improve my instructional strategies which aims to help student appreciate the value conservation

This will be part of their summative grade/ score

OJT outputs To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned to actual practice once not applicable since the assessment is based on industry demands The results will be more useful in reviewing  and improving the curriculum of the school
This will be part of their summative grade/ score


BioSeminar with peer and self assessment To assess leadership skills needed in managing some projects or events once the tasks of each one may be more inclined to their dominating personality or multiple intelligence; example: managing the finances will be handled by those with logical-mathematical intelligences; those who are people smart will handle the invites and coordination This will be part of their summative grade/ score
Research/Term Paper with Recorded Oral Presentation To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned Semestral Project students have the power to choose their preferred topic for research This will be part of their summative grade/ score
Student Generated Assessments To assess how they apply, synthesize and evaluate the concepts they learned only when necessary; given to those who are at risk of failing students have the power to choose how to show their learning As an additional source to improve grades



I enjoyed doing assignment 1 because of two things: One-getting a real feel of doing an assessment plan and two- leading a group virtuallyJ.

With my two and half years teaching experience, I never experienced doing a complete assessment plan. I was only focused on the learning objectives, classroom activities and test or quizzes. Planning the assessment looks into the bigger picture of improvement rather than assessment as the end. Planning requires a lot of scrutiny and mastery of the lesson. I say scrutiny, because every detail should be reviewed and analyzed. The criteria part is difficult to do in my opinion because it considers fair grading that your students should be able to do at their age. I wouldn’t be surprised if the university-wide assessment planning requires months to finish. Aside from giving time to analyze each part, group confirmation and agreement usually takes longer time.

Leading the group virtually is exciting too. I usually lead some activities at work and it is easy because you can tell the person what you really like and want him to do in person. However online leading is challenging because I need to find ways to steer the group and remind them of our goal. I honestly think that I made more of leading than improving the assessment plan. I trusted my team with their knowledge and skills so I am confident that our assessment plan is excellent -it reflects our contribution and effort.


When I was hired to be a science teacher in a small private school, the first thing my mother (who is a retired public teacher now) taught me is how to write a lesson plan.  It was not a nitty gritty discussion, just the basic contents: write the topic, the learning objectives, list the class activities and prepare the quiz. How little I know about the purpose and process of developing a lesson plan with very modest focus on writing the learning objectives.

After reading module 2C and other resources, I have summarized the key points of writing learning objectives. First the purpose, why do we have to write the learning objectives? The core of lesson planning is writing the objectives as clear and as complete as possible. Russell (2012) states that planning and writing the lesson objectives: (1) makes the teachers feel empowered in their teaching; (2) helps teachers establish a sense of purpose and subject matter focus; (3) provide them the opportunity to study the lesson before teaching it; (4) ensures them that their strategies will work and finally (5) will help them to link daily lessons to broader goals or curriculum. It should also be noted that learning objectives have profound positive effects to students. The file from Carnegie Mellon stated that good and clear learning objectives will help the students differentiate the types of knowledge; helps the students to practice the right skill; helps the teacher balance the instruction for novice, intermediate and experts; helps the students learn the material in variety of context and lastly, will help them build metacognitive skills.

Based on the various resources; learning objects should have the following components: (1) stating the audience: the students; (2) measurable and observable behavior or performance; (3) the condition where and when the performance / behavior should be observed; (4) the criterion/ parameter or degree that will tell when the behavior/ performance passes or fails and lastly; (5) the restraints or limitation when necessary.

I gathered various sources of learning objective. First, I checked a Biology book written from a foreign author:

Describe the fluid-mosaic model of a membrane structure.

Identify the three different types of membrane proteins.

Explain the technique of freeze fracture electron microscope

Second, I remembered getting sample lesson plans from DEP ED. Shown below are the objectives:

Describe the cell part involved the in obtaining energy

Describe the energy location and function of chlorophyll pigment

 State the requirements of photosynthesis

Third, I checked the DEP ED K-12 curriculum and copied the Learning Competencies and Performance Tasks (last two):

Explain the postulates of the cell theory

Describe the structure and function of major and subcellular organelles

Construct a 3D model of a plant/animal/ bacterial cell using recyclable materials

Construct a cell membrane model from indigenous or recyclable material

Based on the three sets of learning objectives, the behavior or performance of each are very evident. What are lacking are the degree of behavior/performance and the condition from where the behavior/performance should be observed. Since these are skeletal in nature, I suspected that these are general objectives. Cruickshank et al (2012) and Russell & Airasian (2012) both noted that general objectives are needed in some situations like stating State or National Objectives.  In my examples, all are written for general users: textbook for readers, DEPED lessons plans and K-12 curriculum for public use. I also noticed that general learning objectives failed to consider other domains of learning such as the affective and psychomotor. It is possible that these missing domains should only be included in instructional objectives or those for specific purposes such as the lesson plan. Most of the learning objectives too, for general purposes, are only at knowledge or comprehension levels.

I tried to check a copy of WLAP (Weekly Lesson Activity Plan) from a university and the learning objectives are as follows hoping to find a more specific learning objectives:

Explain what is Public Speaking and its benefits

Explain the origin of development of Public speaking as an academic endeavor

Describe the levels and elements of communication

Explain how the eight critical thinking skills can help you develop and evaluate speeches

To my dismay, these learning objectives from a WLAP are also too general for various reasons: only the behavior/ performance mentioned; lacks the affective and psychomotor skills needed and the level is also at knowledge or comprehension level.

Writing very specific learning objectives, though necessary, is counterproductive sometimes. Cruickshank et al (2012) summarized these: (1) specific learning objectives are difficult to write; (2) specific learning objectives oftentimes misses the bigger picture of the topic; (3) stating specific observations that a student should observe may not consider unintentional or accidental learning, for example: taking a walk in a garden may not always elicit positive reactions but also the negative ones; and lastly (4) experienced teachers rarely write very specific objectives.

So where do we focus, writing general or very specific objectives?


Russell & Airasian. (2012). Classroom Assessment: Concepts and Applications. New York. McGraw Hill Education.

Cruickshank el at. (2012). The Act of Teaching.  New York. McGraw Hill Education.


During the early years of my career as a teacher, I made the crime of doing assessment as part of the lesson flow just to know who learned and those who did not. I realized, after taking Module 2, that it shouldn’t be that way. From Module 1 to 2, I am seeing assessment now as a dynamic process that overarching the whole teaching and learning process. So, what composes assessment anyway? And for what purposes is assessment done?

Figure 1

Figure 1 from our Module looks too skeletal for me. It streamlines the components that should be in an assessment plan: Measures, Data, Interpretation and Decisions. This figures shows that assessments use measures to check the standards or expected outcomes. Data here, refers to test results from the assessment. Interpretation is the process of analyzing the data from the assessments. Finally, assessment involves decision making to improve the teaching and learning process. In a one-sentence definition based on this Figure 1, assessment is the process of interpreting data or results from various assessment methods against the measures or expected outcomes as a basis for decision making by the stakeholders to improve the teaching and learning process.

For me, Figure 1 lacks the component of careful selection and development of assessment methods. This should include the type of assessment to be used to emphasize that various assessment methods are necessary for more robust assessment. The figure should include learning experiences or teaching processes that lead to outcomes. The figure also lacks terms to highlight key processes and process owners.  Thus, my suggested Figure 1 is this:

Revised figure 1


Most resources I read has the following basic components of assessment: Program Outcomes/Measures that should be clear, measurable, attainable and aligned to the curriculum; Selection and Development of Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation of Data and finally Decision Making from the assessment methods. However, Higgerson (1993) pointed out some unique components of assessment which I did not find in most of the resources I read. One, assessment should be a campus priority. According to her most faculties and schools at the time of her writing see assessment as a burden or task, something unnecessary. Two, assessment process should be in a climate of trust. This is to reverse the usual tendency of faculty to think assessment as a way to criticize his/her teaching methods. This is related to her third component, assessment should be seen as an opportunity to improvement.  She pointed out that the tasks of assessment will be easier to carry out if all stakeholders will think assessment as a way to improve and not a way to criticize. Her fourth component, assessment process should be owned by the faculty, is something I do not agree. Though most of the assessment processes are made by the teacher, I believe that learning and education is a concerted effort of many individuals: learner, teacher, parent, government, policy makers and the public. Her last unique component is that assessment should emphasize on revision or making action plans, which is inevitable in a cyclic nature of assessment progression.

All the assessment components are involved in a cyclic pattern. Program Outcomes/Measure are initially designed followed by the Selection and Development of Assessment in accordance of the standard program outcome. After the assessment administration, Analysis and Interpretation of Data or test results are done to come up with decision making and action plans.

After reading the THREE PURPOSES OF ASSESSMENT by Earl and watching her webcast, my view on assessment changed. I made sort of mnemonics to help me  remember some key terms on the three purposes of assessment: OF LEARNING= summative or high stakes assessment for promotion; FOR LEARNING- to improve teaching methods and AS LEARNING= teaching metacognitive skills. Before my assessment practice is to just give a test and record it. Now I learned that I have to consider the purpose of giving assessments, what I want to know from the assessment results and to sit down and give time to ponder on the weakness of my teaching methods and work on it for improvement. I also thought assessment is made only to check which competency is not met. This is not true, assessment has a deeper purpose: that is to check my students’ how they monitor and regulate their thinking. Though the hardest, this should be the first priority in assessment. This involves in teaching them how to monitor their performance and learning. I should involve them in the assessment process to make them responsible. Two practices that I did not apply before which I will apply once I am a teacher: Close collaboration with co-teachers to get insights in assessing each of my students and writing or logging my Learning Journal as I improve my assessment methods and in my journey of teaching career.


https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/assessprogram/components.html (Components of the Program Assessment Process)

https://www.natcom.org/uploadedFiles/More_Scholarly_Resources/Chairs_Corner/Standards_for_Program_Review_and_Assessment/PDF-SPRA-Higgerson.pdf (Effective Components of an Effective Assessment Program- Higgerson)

Fundamental Components of Assessment (Westminster)

Earl, L. & Katz, S. (2006). Section 2: Three Purposes of Assessment. [PDF] In Rethinking classroom assessment with purpose in mind.