Result vs. Assessment: Are they really different?
In the educational landscape, we regularly cross paths with these related terms 'result' and 'assessment', leaving us to wonder about their true distinctions.
Let’s begin by reviewing their literal meanings as per the Oxford Dictionary.
In the context of exams, reviewing the definitions of 'result' and 'assessment', the Oxford Dictionary suggests that 'result' is the overall final score or grade obtained after exams, while assessment is the process of testing students’ knowledge, abilities, and progress.
Qualitative Nature of Education:
Factors like knowledge, ability, and progress in the definition of assessment (the process of testing students and judging their knowledge, ability, or progress) are qualitative as they cannot be measured numerically without defining the indicators that can be used to measure them numerically.
In the academic context, think of knowledge, ability, and progress as ingredients in a recipe. One might simply say a dish tastes "good", while someone might say it’s “mouthwatering”. This is because everyone has their subjective definitions of what flavors they like. Similar is the case with these concepts, where everyone will have their own definition of what is considered as being a highly knowledgeable person, for instance, when it comes to judging this quality in someone. So, to assess these qualities numerically, we need specific indicators, just as a recipe needs precise measurements to taste just right.
Assessments in school:
In the academic set-up, we often encounter the concept of ‘Continuous Assessments’, where students are tested multiple times at regular intervals in a given academic year.
But what these ‘assessments’ often produce through different tests, assignments, or presentations is a single score after submission, without any concrete and actionable aids for improvement.
So, are they really assessments?
The aim of educational institutions is not only to teach students but to facilitate their growth. When giving students the ‘result’ of their performance, the subject is reduced to a mere number/grade without any further elaboration to explore students’ strengths and areas of improvement within the subject.
Having said that, numerous school teachers go the extra mile to give students a qualitative evaluation, thus giving them a proper direction for growth.
To conclude, the distinction between ‘result’ and ‘assessment’ is essential in education. While results represent the endpoint or final grade, assessments encompass the elaborate journey; they provide valuable insights for growth and improvement to equip students with the tools needed to excel and flourish in their academic endeavors.
Let’s strive to assess performance and growth to climb the ladder of enrichment and success effectively!
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