Evaluating and Selecting Assessments


Evaluatingand Selecting Assessments

Evaluatingand Selecting Assessments

Theimportance of education cannot be understated as far as the growthand development of any country or region is concerned. This isparticularly considering the increased globalization of the modernworld where almost every other part is connected to othersirrespective of the proximity. Scholars have noted that the qualityof life that an individual leads is largely influenced by the levelof education. Of particular note is the fact that some languages haveincreased in their usability across the globe, which is the case forEnglish. However, the success of English Language Learners, as inother cases, is primarily determined by the assessment techniquesthat are used. Assessment, according to Smith et al (2004) revolvesaround gathering of information pertaining to student learningusually with the aim of coming up with qualitative and quantitativejudgments pertaining to the things that the students have learned. Itis also noted that assessment practices have to be in line with thebeliefs of individuals regarding learning and knowing, otherwise theinferences that are made from the feedback and performance ofstudents will not be in line with the outcomes and goals that arevalued the most (Stiggins, 2002). Two of the most important checklistitems in the assessment of English Language Learners are content andimpact (Smith, 2000).

Validity,as a checklist item, revolves around the question on whether theassessment results are in line with the specified purpose for theevaluation and whether the assessment format is in line with thestated function. It is well acknowledged that every subject ordiscipline is aimed at achieving particular goals or objectives.Scholars have acknowledged that the goals keep on changing as thedemands of the world in which the knowledge and skill set would beapplied are modified with time (Smith, 2000). The determination ofvalidity of particular assessment criteria is accomplished through anexamination of the sufficiency of certain evidence for a certainsocial purpose and specifically refers to the appropriateness of theuses, conclusions, personal and social consequences that follow fromthe evaluation. Validity ensures that the assessment criterion usedis applicable to the particular circumstances at the time that it isprovided.

Reliability,on the other hand, underlines the dependability of the evidenceirrespective of judgments, tasks and time. Reliable evidencenecessitates consistent evaluation conditions for all students takingparticular tests. Reliability underlines the notion that if a similarassessment is undertaken on the same population or students using thesame tests but by a different person, the results would be the sameas the first assessment. In essence, reliability must involve someelement of accuracy and, therefore, provide an appropriate feedback.Essentially, the students and teachers would be clear on the issuesand areas on which they need to improve, as well as the elements thatwould need a simple polishing (Gottlieb,2006).Teachers would, therefore, make valid conclusions that would allowfor the consistent improvement of the lesson outcomes in both theshort-term and the long-term. it may be noted that the two assessmentchecklist items are interconnected, which should not be surprisinggiven that the two are aimed at allowing for the achievement ofrelevance and accuracy of assessment, while also safeguarding theachievement of meaningful education in the long-term (Gottlieb,2006).


Gottlieb,M. H. (2006).&nbspAssessingEnglish language learners: Bridges from language proficiency toacademic achievement.Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Smith,M.E., Teemant, A &amp Pinnegar (2004). Principles and Practices ofSociocultural Assessment: Foundations for Effective Strategies forLinguistically Diverse Classrooms. Multicultural Perspectives, 6 (2).38-46

Stiggins,R.J (2002). Assessment Crisis: The Absence of Assessment FORlearning, PhiDelta kappan,83, 758-765

Smith,M.E (2000). Classroom Assessment and Evaluation: A case study ofpractices in transition. Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(12)