Monday, August 14, 2017

Curriculum in realism

Beliefs in realism include the regularities of material environment are the chief source of all human experiences as well as in order to reach the level of real knowledge one must analyse and experience down to the level of sensations and if this is done there will be no difference of opinions among the individuals. Aims of the education according to realism are to give the pupil a complete knowledge and understanding of human society, human nature, motives, and institutions. Subject matter consists of modern languages because they enable individuals to read, write and conduct all types of social interactions. Branches of natural sciences are suggested to be offered in realism to give the pupil requisite skills and knowledge to apply in real situations. Regarding teaching methods, Synthetic method of teaching is applied in classroom. The teacher begins with parts and tries to show the whole under given conditions.  The teacher’ role in realism is dual as recognizing the demands of the students as well as every aspect of the teaching should be dominated by reality. The teacher is a helper of the students in discovery of realities. The role of learners according to realism is of a discoverer under the facilitation of the teacher. Their needs are given great importance in realism. Epistemology in realism is the knowledge discovered from the material things through inquiry and it is applicable in real situations. Ontology is about the nature of material things, their structure and changes in them due to environment. Axiology revolves around caring the environment and valuing the experiences in real situations. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Working collaboratively with teams

One of the dimensions of a professional learning communities is about working collaboratively on assigned specific tasks to be done by the workers in  teams. A collaborative team as defined by Hunt (2006) is a group of people with a single common goal to achieve for which all the individuals have to work. There is a genuine possibility for the group to achieve the goal. The individuals and groups perform various functions at workplace for a meaningful learning where they need to exercise some form of overall co-ordination to maintain focus on the common goal.
A collaborative team meeting is more than getting the members of a group together to share a collected data. Jessie (2007) claimed that in a collaborative team the individuals meet to achieve a common goal in which instead of sharing data about their practices they respond to data.  Responding to data requires a sense of mutual accountability and change in practices. Sergiovanni (1994) contented that members enjoy working together, being useful to each other as they engage in interdependent work and sharing commitments to a common good.

Learning within professional learning communities is viewed as a process of supporting and developing the capacities of a team to ensure the attainment of results which the members truly desire. The people need to be able to act together for learning which builds on personal mastery and shared vision. When teams learn together there cannot be seen only good results for the group but also the members professionally grow more rapidly.  Team learning starts with a dialogue and with the capacity of members of a team to keep assumptions apart and they enter into a genuine thinking together. Working collaboratively also helps the members to recognize the patterns of interactions in teams that lessen learning.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Interpretability

Linn & Gronlund (2000) defines the interpretability as the degree to which the scores of a test are assigned a meaning based on a criterion or norm for a particular purpose is known as interpretability.  Raw score is simply the number of points perceived on a test when the test has been scored according to the directions. For example, a student X answered 25 items correctly on an arithmetic test, therefore the students X has a raw score of 25. To make a raw score meaningful it is converted into a description of the specific task that the student can perform is the process of interpretability.
Criterion-referenced and standard-based interpretation
A test about the specific kind of domain is directed at a desire for criterion–referenced and standards-based interpretations. Criterion-referenced and standard-based interpretation of test results is most meaningful when the test has been designed for this purpose. This involves designing a test that measure achievement domain, which is homogeneous, delimited and clearly specified, enough items for each interpretation, Items neither easy nor difficult, Items not only selection type but all other types and Items directly provide relevance to objectives (Linn & Gronlund, 2000).
Norm-referenced interpretation
Swian et al (2000) asserts that norm-referenced interpretation tells us how an individual compares with other persons who have taken the same test. Simplest way of comparison in classroom is ranking from highest to lowest where an individual score falls. For more meaningful and well defined characteristics of interpretation, raw scores are converted into derived scores which are numerical reports of test performance on a score scale.
Uses of interpretability
Teachers keep records of the students, overtime and improve their instruction by interpreting the scores of a test. The students can see their level of performance related to other colleagues in their class looking at the interpretation of their test scores. Parents easily understand the actual performance of their children and decide what to do and what not to do. Administration uses the interpretation of a test scores to present the position of the school in terms of students learning. The Researchers make inferences by interpreting the scores of tests as their data collection tool (Linn & Gronlund, 2000).
Strengths
Swain et al (2000) shares the following strengths and weaknesses of interpretability of a test scores.
      More information can be presented to the audience using through small number of illustrations.
      Students achievements are qualitatively expressed other than numerical values.
       Students are measured relative to the average group.
      Tables for norms are already given, so looking at the tables, interpretation becomes easy.
Weaknesses
      If the task is not selected appropriate to the domain being measured the scores will be misinterpreted.
       A large number of items are needed to ensure correct interpretation, which takes time to carry out calculations.
       If item analysis is not done properly which means easy items are included, then the low achievers will not know about what they can do or cannot do.
      Norms are generalized for all students by a pilot test but not taken care of individual differences in overall educational settings.

    References
Linn, R. L., & Gronlund, N.E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8thed.). Delhi: Pearson Education.

Swain, S. K., Pradhan, C., & Khotoi, S. P. K. (2000). Educational measurement: Statistics and 
            guidance. Ludhiana: Kalyani. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Objectivity: A characteristic of a good test

The degree to which a test’s results are obtained the same by scoring different scorers without influences of their biases or beliefs on scoring is known as objectivity. Most standardized test of aptitude and achievement tests are high in objectivity. In essay type tests requiring judgmental scoring, different persons get different results or even a same person can get different results in different times (Linn & Gronlund, 2000). For example, a student writes an answer involving all required information to a particular question using different headings and subheadings.  Two persons check that response. One person likes the answer in headings and subheadings and another person likes the answers in essay form without headings. The person who likes the headings and subheadings will assign more marks while another will assign less mark. The test lacks in objectivity.
Objectivity of a test is determined by carefully studying the administration and scoring procedures to see where judgment is basic or bias may occur. Objective type tests such as true/false, multiple choice and so on are developed to overcome the lack of objectivity in tests. In essay type tests objectivity may be increased by careful phrasing of questions and by a standard set of rules for scoring (Swain et al, 2000).
Uses/ importance of objectivity
The teachers can judge and improve their own teaching and learning process through finding real strengths and weaknesses among the learners. Scorers of the tests reach a consensus about the performance/achievement of a student in a particular area of content being objective in scoring. The parents looking at the true results of test which have been assigned the scorers objectively may arrange for further improvement of their children if their children need an extra input. The Administration use trained clerks and machines to score the test in case of objective type test (Swain et al, 2000).
Factors affecting objectivity
Beliefs and biasness of the scorers affect the scoring or style of scoring of a score influences the scoring process which affects the objectivity of a test. Ambiguous directions in tests and unavailability of a sound criteria regarding scoring a test also affects the scoring which lead a threat to objectivity. Scoring of the tests by untrained teachers also affect the objectivity (Linn & Gronlund, 2000). 
Merits
      Objectivity reduces biasness of scorer in the test results.
      Reliability of test scores is ensured.
      Scoring essay type tests are improved
      Instructions are given clearly how to score the responses to items and other related topics are shared during scoring of test.
      Scorers are given training to score and interpret the test results (Rehman, 2007).
Limitations
Objectivity lacks in teacher made tests particularly when untrained teachers score the test. Whatever the measures taken, there is still lack of objectivity in essay type tests than objective type tests, so the students with poor writing skills will be suffered. If scoring is done by clerks, professionalism of the teacher is challenged (Swain et al, 2000).
References
Linn, R. L., &Gronlund, N.E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8thed.).Delhi: 
            Pearson Education.
Rehman, A. (2007). Development and validation of objective test items analysis in the subject                         physics for class IX in Rawalpindi city. Retrieved May 12, 2009 form International                
           Islamic university, Department of Education Web site:             

Swain, S. K., Pradhan, C., &Khotoi, S. P. K. (2000). Educational measurement: Statistics and 
            guidance. Ludhiana: Kalyani. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Practicality/usability: A characteristic of a good test

According to Rehman (2007), Usability or practicality is another important characteristic of a good test. It deals with all practical considerations that go into decisions to use a particular test. While constructing or selecting a test, practical considerations must be taken into account. Rehman (2007) has given the following five practical considerations of a test.
Ease of administration
The test should be easy to administer so that the tester may easily administer. For this purpose there should be simple and contain clear instructions. There should be little number of subsets and appropriate (not too long) time for administering the test.
Time required for administration
In order to provide appropriate time to take the test, if the time is reduced, then reliability of the test will also reduce. A safe procedure to allocate as much time as the test requires for providing reliable and valid results. Between 20 to 60minutes is fairly good time for each individual score yielded by a published test.
Ease of interpretation and application
Another important aspect of practicality of test scores is interpretation and application of test results. If they are misinterpreted that will be harmful for the students. On the other hand if they are misapplied or not applied at all, then the test is useless.
Availability of equivalent forms
Equivalent forms tests help to verify the test scores. Retesting at the same time on the same domain of learning eliminates the factor of memory among the students.  The availability of equivalent forms of the test should be taken into mind while constructing/selecting a test.
Cost of testing
A test should be economical in terms of preparation, administration and scoring.
Importance of practicality of a test
The teachers, particularly untrained teachers can easily administer the tests which have been constructed/ considering practicality. The parents can be informed with right test results if the practical considerations have been taken care while constructing a test, which they will use in decision making about their children. Economical tests may save unnecessary expenses on stationery, print materials, photocopies and so on. True interpretations of test scores will be used by the students in their own plans and decisions (Linn & Gronlund, 2000).
Limitations
 There are chances of giving wrong directions to students by untrained teachers while constructing or administering the tests.
      If time is reduced for taking test, the reliability of the test is reduced.
      Chances of misinterpretation and incorrect scoring in the absence of uniform criteria.
      Cost of testing is sometimes given far more weight than it deserves. Tests are relatively inexpensive and cost may not be a major consideration (Swain et al, 2000).
References:
Linn, R. L., &Gronlund, N.E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8thed.). Delhi: 
          Pearson Education.
Rehman, A. (2007). Development and validation of objective test items analysis in the subject                       physics for class IX in Rawalpindi city. Retrieved May 12, 2009 form International Islamic                 university, Department of Education Web site:                                
Swain, S. K., Pradhan, C., &Khotoi, S. P. K. (2000). Educational measurement: Statistics and                       guidance. Ludhiana: Kalyani.