1 Assessment and Examination serves its specific functions and are typically designed to measure specific elements of learning. Assessments are also used to identify academic weaknesses and strengths so that educators can define pathway for improvement that takes many forms and requires an assortment of refined strategies and techniques
1.8.2 Assessment of learning
Assessment of learning is generally depicting to assess what is being learnt. Suskie (2009) defines assessment of learning as what is called summative assessments (the kind obtained at the end of the course). This is assessment of what is learnt after a course or unit (Summative assessments eg exams) .
1.8.3 Assessment for learning
Hargreaves, E. (2005i defines assessment for learning as simply monitoring pupils’ performance against targets or objectives. For example, teachers wrote that Assessment for Learning described a process of the teacher. Setting targets based on initial assessment and providing learning experiences for children to meet targets Using learning objectives to increase student learning and improve performance related to external examination. assessment for learning (formative assessment) are typically designed to measure the extent to which students have mastered the learning outcomes of a rather limited segment of instruction. This helps redesign methodologies of teaching and learning to enable learners learn a concept before they move to new concepts(Formative and Diagnostic assessments )
1.8.4 Assessment As Learning- is the use of a task or an activity to alow students the opportunity to use assessment to further their own learning
1.6 Significance of Study
This study aims to provide sufficient data in considering the past and the current classroom assessment and grading practices of secondary school teachers in Fiji. The significance of classroom assessment and grading practices that are meaningful, relevant, and useful is crucial in enhancing learning for all students. Examining the factors used for grading students, types of assessment used and knowing the cognitive level of assessment used by teachers will allow appropriate actions to be taken to make assessment more reliable and consistent as desired by measurement theorists.
This study intends to provide opportunities to increase professional development resources, support for more collaborative educational practices and future consideration of best practices to meet the needs of students. In addition, through this research the assessment reform that happened and is happening will be evaluated and a check can be made to see how school teachers are progressing through the assessment and grading practices.
This study is important, as it would aid the authority concerned in the case of Fiji, the Ministry of Education, to brace all aspects of educational assessment such as the assessment policy to help design and implement appropriate programmes for learners to acquire necessary skills and attitudes needed in life. It would help decision makers to be informed and make decisions in the interest of learners. Thus, any gap arising in the achievement of quality education could be address as” we all want students who have high expectations of themselves as learners: students who feel confident about their capacity to learn, who set high goals for their learning and who work for themselves to construct enjoyable, challenging learning pathways to their future “(Absolum,2006)
The research is only targeted to three secondary schools in a particular location and in a particular context. Very little comparison could be made with the assessment and grading systems carried out in those three schools using the educational reforms carried out in the schools. All the teachers could have been part of this research and another schools could have been chosen but time was a factor
This is a policy–oriented research based on the educational reforms , in the sense that it is based on problem identification, gathering related and relevant information based on literature survey and proposing an improved approach in assessment and grading at the secondary school level. The research was done in the hub of Sigatoka with the three nearby schools which consisted of 40 teachers (secondary) and the focus was specifically on identifying the assessment practice and grading in secondary schools in Fiji. Due to not having ample of the literature pertaining to Fiji, review of the literature had to be directed to educational system outside Fiji. However, the comparative perspective was used to understand the Fiji’s situation better.
This study does not intend to prove that a form of educational assessment and grading protocol is superior. Rather it intends to propose to the stakeholders the needs of learners as they progress through the education system to enable them to be competent in their life. This would form the foundation in making decisions for reforms in educational assessment.
Due to not having access to all the data required on assessment and grading procedures, It was not possible to carry out a detailed assessment on all aspects related to assessment reforms in Fiji. As this research was carried out in mid of term 2, term 3 there was a lot of schoolwork, and at the same time the teachers were busy preparing their students with internal, trials, district and external examinations with the full Saturday classes, it was not feasible to undertake a more comprehensive field study. The time available for this study was limited in terms of duration as well as when schools were in sessions. In fact, only three schools were chosen to be studied rather than all the Secondary schools in Fiji.