Relationship between Instructional Objectives and Assessment
Instructional objectives and assessment are two learning aspects that are highly interrelated as they are both used to enhance students’ understanding. Even though the two aspects are used at different times during the learning process, they are all critical to the instructors as they provide meaningful learning strategies. Instructional objectives are used at the beginning of every learning activity, and it introduces the main objectives that the learner is expected to achieve at the end of the study.
Instructions objectives describe the outcomes intended to be achieved at the end of the study in performance terms. Instructional objectives serve numerous functions which are specific to the students. They ensure that the students get a glimpse of the main concept being taught through the topic, provide examples and distinguish the taught concept from other scientific concepts (p. 34). In addition, instructional objectives also explain the role of the concept in enhancing the understanding of the scientific event and applying the concept in solving problems. Some learning outcomes are stated in the general objectives section. They provide a representative sample of the level of performance that needs to be attained from the study. Such objectives provide an insight into the various concepts taught during the learning process and what the students can demonstrate after the learning process.
On the other hand, assessments are tests undertaken after the learning process is complete and is used to test the various aspects described in the instructional objectives. Assessments take numerous forms depending on the types of learning or concept taught. The practice aims to test the students’ understanding of the various concepts taught and their applicability (Gronlund 38). Assessments may be observational or technical, depending on the concepts being taught. The common assessments used in the learning process entail; Informal observations during instructions, achievement tests, performance assessments, and product or portfolio assessments. Therefore, instructional objectives prepare the learners to learn key concepts that will be tested after learning in a final assessment.
Importance of Using a Variety of Assessments During Learning
Assessments are used to examine different aspects of learning. Therefore, the various assessments are tailored to examine if a specific instructional or learning objective has been attained. Instructors should ensure that validity and reliability are maintained during the preparation of the assessments. Validity ensures that the assessment has a specific measure of testing attained while reliability ensures consistency and accuracy of learning measures are attained.
At different times during the learning process assessments are taken to guide the learning process and to test the knowledge that the learners have or have gained during the learning process. The procedures also vary in form based on the nature of the tested skills. While some assessments are informal and simple, others are formal and technical (Gronlund 37). Therefore, students should be made aware of the nature of the skills being tested to ensure the best performance during the assessment. For example, the instructors should inform the students when undertaking observational information assessments to ensure the learners prepare and give their best during their presentations. Such assessments are used to determine the level of knowledge gained by the students at every stage of learning.
Pretesting is done to test the level of knowledge that the learners have on the concept before it is taught to enable the teacher to understand how well the student is familiar with the concept before it is taught. Other assessments like classroom assessments, performance assessments, and product and portfolio assessments are undertaken for specific reasons and to assess the students on specific aspects of learning (Gronlund 39). Such assessments differ in the time they are issued and the context and abilities they are testing on students. Therefore, various assessments in learning enable the instructors to ensure that the students have gained the necessary knowledge and skills on the taught concepts. They can apply the information and experience to solve different problems they encounter both in class, in professional careers, and in their daily activities.
Gronlund, Norman E. Assessment of student achievement. Allyn & Bacon Publishing, 2008.