Other Issue

vol. 12, no. 1 (2015)
IAMURE International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research


Description

The IAMURE International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research aims to publish new discoveries in the various disciplines of knowledge which are contributed by member researchers from around the world. 

The IAMURE Journal is an international peer reviewed and multidisciplinary journal that provides a venue for scholars to publish their research findings for advocacy and utilization.


Publisher: International Association of Multidisciplinary Research


Category: Multidisciplinary |

ISSN 2244-0429 (Online)

ISSN 2243-8327 (Print)


Table of contents

Open Access Subscription Access


Articles


Preferences of Second Language Learners on Corrective Feedback and their Relationships to their English Academic Performances

Ma. Theresa B. Valerio

Discipline: Education, Languages, Linguistics

Going Beyond the Four Walls through Asynchronous Discussion Forum: Basis to Instructional Enhancement

Josephine luz S. De leon | Dynah D. Soriano | Ranie B. Canlas | Reymond Q. Fajardo | Janice M. Martinez

Discipline: Education Administration, Social Studies

An Android Application for Simplifying Boolean Functions

Jonathan O. Etcuban | Leah C. Ybañez | Franz Josef I. Caminade

Discipline: Mathematics, Computer Technology

Students’ Perspectives of Bullying Behaviors Experienced in Nursing Education: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study

Jude L. Tayaben | Doris S. Natividad | Rovencio E. Apilado

Discipline: Education, Nursing, Sociology

Supervisory Traits in Relation to Cross-Cultural Skills and Attitudes of Southeast Asian Educational Administrators

Fructuoso C. Baliton

Discipline: Education Administration, Sociology

Management by Values of Industrial Technology Teachers: Gearing up in the Forefront of ASEAN Integration

Sheila A. Bernaldez

Discipline: Education, Sociology

Development of an Alumni Database for a University

Jonathan O. Etcuban | Dennis S. Durano

Discipline: Education

Proficiency of Personnel: Key to Effective and Efficient Procurement

Razel P. Tayo

Discipline: Governance, Sociology

English Proficiency Training Program for Pre-Service Teachers: Development and Validation

Honorato R. Patubo

Discipline: Education Administration

All Comments (3)

SARAH MAY H. PALANCA
2 hrs ago

ASSESSMENT PRACTICES OF GRADE 6 SCIENCE TEACHERS

 

Abstract- This study determined the assessment practices of Grade VI Science teachers in Magallanes North and South Districts for the school year 2015-2016. The descriptive method was employed in the conduct of this study. Documentary analysis, unstructured interview and survey questionnaire were utilized to gather the needed data. The respondents were twenty seven elementary teachers in Magallanes District handling Science VI. The statistical tools utilized were weighted mean, frequency count, percentage and ranking. Results showed that the most dominant assessment tool is the paper and pencil test. The extent of use of the assessment tools by the teachers along written output is described as occasional. Teachers tend to use paper and pencil test because it is the easiest way to prepare and utilize. The performance level in science of Grade VI pupils is 81.37 and was described as Satisfactory. The topmost problem in assessment centers on the limited materials and resources.

 

INTRODUCTION

Science education aims to develop scientific literacy among learners that will prepare them to be informed and participative citizens who are able to make judgments and decisions regarding applications of scientific knowledge that may have social, health or environmental impacts. The science curriculum recognizes the place of science and technology in everyday human affairs. It integrates science and technology in the social, economic personal and ethical aspects of life. The science curriculum promotes a strong link between science and technology, including indigenous technology, thus preserving our country’s cultural heritage. (K to 12 Basic Education Program Curriculum Guide in Science).

Article XIV, Section 10 of the Philippine Constitution, states that the state shall give priority to research and development, invention, innovation, their utilization, to science and technology education, training, and services. It shall support indigenous, appropriate, and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities and their application to the country’s productive system and national life.

The Department of Education placed premium on the quality of Science and Mathematics instruction. It launched various training and programs for the improvement of Science and Mathematics. It found out recently that the Philippines lagged behind in science instruction. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 1999, the Philippines ranked 36th out of 38 countries in 2nd year high school. By 2003, the country yielded a similar devastating result, ranking 23rd in Grade 4 Science, among 25 countries.

     Classroom assessment is an integral part of curriculum implementation which involves both the teachers and the learners. It enables the teachers to track and measure the pupils’ progress and to adjust instruction accordingly. At the heart of this assessment framework is the recognition and deliberate consideration of the learners’ zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1978).

     Assessment is a process that is used to keep track of learners’ progress in relation to learning standards and in the development of 21st-century skills; to promote self-reflection and personal accountability among students about their own learning; and to provide bases for the profiling of student performance on the learning competencies and standards of the curriculum. Various kinds of assessments shall be used appropriately for different learners who come from diverse contexts, such as cultural background and life experiences.

     There are two types of classroom assessment, namely, formative and summative. It is characteristically informal and is intended to help students identify strengths and weaknesses in order to learn from the assessment experience. Summative assessment, on the other hand, measures whether learners have met the content and performance standards.

     In line with the implementation of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10533), the Department of Education is adopting the Policy Guidelines on Classroom Assessment for the K to 12 Basic Education Program. This is enforced through DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015. This creates confusion as to whether the Grades 5 and 6 will also use the new classroom assessment and grading system since these are still implementing the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC).

However, this was given clarification through the issuance of DepEd Order No. 29, s. 2015, which states that “All the provisions on classroom assessment and grading system in the mentioned order shall be in effect for all grade levels including Grades 5 and 6 which are still implementing the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC)”. This implementation of these guidelines on classroom assessment took effect school year 2015-2016. So presently, the teachers are expected to strictly adhere with the guidelines in assessing their students’ learning.

     According to the policy guidelines, learners from Grades 1 to 10 are graded on Written Work, Performance Tasks and Quarterly Assessment every quarter. These three are given specific percentage weights that vary according to the learning area. For Science, Written Work weighs 40%, Performance Tasks has a weight of 40% and Quarterly Assessment has 20%.

The assessment tools appropriate in assessing the performance of learners in Science is listed in the Enclosure to the DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015. However, teachers can still use other appropriate tools not mentioned in the enclosure which deemed specific to the assessment task.

One of the means to assess the learning of the Grade 6 pupils in Science is the National Achievement Test which is conducted at the end of every school year. During the NAT 2014, the Mean Percentage Score of Magallanes North District was only 69.43 while Magallanes South District was 74.25. Both did not meet the required MPS of 75%.

Through an informal interview conducted by the researcher, not all of the abovementioned assessment tools are utilized in the classroom. To assess the learning and achievement of their learners, they often used the paper-and-pencil test. It is in this regard that the researcher decided to conduct the study in order to determine the assessment tools utilized by the science teachers, its extent of use, and their common practice in assessment.

 

FRAMEWORK

Classroom Assessment is an integral part of curriculum implementation. It is a continuous, ongoing process that involves examining and observing children’s behaviors, listening to their ideas, and developing questions to promote conceptual understanding. It enables the teachers to track and measure the pupils’ progress and to adjust instruction accordingly.  Classroom assessment informs the learners, as well as their parents and guardians, of their progress.

Salandanan (2005) describes assessment as a process that involves gathering of information on different methods that can be utilized to achieve instructional objectives. This process is grounded on a set of criteria that point students to the desired performance level.

Black and William (1998) explain assessment as one that includes all activities that teachers and students carry out to collect information that will serve as bases to alter teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the assessment episode framework of Mavrommatis (2006), describes assessment as a very complex procedure as it comes in four consecutive phases-evidence collection, interpretation of this evidence, the teachers’ responses and finally, the impact of teacher’s responses on children.

Student assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning. Reynolds, Livingston, and Willson (2009); Mcmillan (2008); Nitko (2001) maintain the common argument that classroom assessment plays an important role in schools and as teachers spend a lot of their time engaged in assessment related activities they should master some basic assessment competencies.

Piaget emphasized that social interaction which is the primary source of cognition and behavior likewise produces learning. (Huitt and Hummel, 2003) Assessment processes have lots of opportunities for interaction either among peers; or between a teacher and a student.

Current learning theory emphasizes the importance of learning with understanding (Bransford et al, 2000). This means that curriculum and teaching approaches should emphasize understanding rather than memorization, should provide opportunities for in-depth study to allow for firm foundation of knowledge and conceptual development and should enhance student abilities to recognize and use meaningful patterns of information. Assessment processes, then should enable students to demonstrate deep understanding of concepts rather surface knowledge and recall of facts. Assessment should be able to reveal the quality of students’ understanding and thinking as well as specific content or processes.

Gutierrez (2007) pointed out that assessment is most effective when they are governed by some principles which give direction and serve as criteria for judging sound procedures and practices. These principles include: a) address learning targets or curriculum goals; b) provide efficient feedback on instruction; c) use of variety of assessment procedures; d) ensure that assessments are valid, reliable and fair; e) keep a record of assessment and f) interpret/communicate results of assessment meaningfully. These principles must govern the assessment practices of teachers. Regardless of their choice, traditional or authentic, assessment must always be purposeful, intentional and progressive.

Vandeyar and Killen (2003) argued that regardless of educational setting, high-quality assessment practices should satisfy essential principles such as validity, reliability, fairness, discrimination and meaningfulness. For Vandeyar and Killen, if teachers have a clear understanding of these principles; they can have an informed framework of using assessment results to make better informed decisions from assessment results.

Stiggins (2001) emphasized that there is a need to pay attention to how the information about the students is used, as failure to do so may lead to inaccurate assessment of students’ achievement and may ultimately prevent students from reaching their full academic potential.

Educators have had divided opinions on the best methods of assessing student learning outcomes. Although some educators advocate the use of traditional forms of assessments such as multiple choice tests and other forms of objective tests, others advocate for more contemporary approaches to assessments such as portfolios, journal critique, and research essays. Traditional forms of assessments are very efficient at measuring knowledge standards and targets especially when there is much knowledge to be measured. Such tests are used for measuring students’ knowledge, understanding and application, which are essential skills that students need in order to succeed in their studies (MacMillan, 2008).

Atim (2012) conducted a study which explored classroom assessment practices that promote equity and student learning. The findings revealed were: teachers use different assessment methods; teachers use different strategies to cater diversity in the classroom, and the assessment information is helpful in helping a teacher to find better methods of teaching which results in improving instruction.

In the study of Janer (2013), it was found out that personal factors such as gender, educational attainment, teaching experience and in-service trainings all positively relate to the assessment practices of science teachers. It was also found out that there are teachers who are fond of using the traditional assessment methods while others also use authentic assessments. She recommends that teachers continuously upgrade themselves by pursuing graduate studies and attend trainings to enrich existing knowledge on assessment and enhance their creativity in crafting valid and effective assessment tools.

Another similar study was that of Alkharusi, et. al. (2012) which explored the attitudes, competence, knowledge, and practices of teachers about educational assessment. It revealed that although teachers held a favorable attitude towards and perceived themselves as being competent in educational assessment, they demonstrated a low level of knowledge in educational assessment. It was also revealed that teaching load and teaching experience accounted for in some variations in teachers’ educational assessment practices.

Similarly, Craw (2009) conducted a study on the performance assessment practices of high school science teachers. Among the findings are:  teachers employed variety of performance assessments; teachers more frequently employed performance assessments that took up a defined amount of class time and were likely to use more open-ended, authentic forms of laboratory performance assessments.

Moreover, Lyon (2011) conducted a study on a Chemistry teacher in California. In his study, he described the alignment of the teachers’ beliefs about educational assessment and their classroom assessment practices. Results demonstrated that teachers tend to put a high emphasis on the alternative assessment strategies such as collaborative group work and problem solving to support the student’s learning.

The study of Frey and Schmitt (2010) examined classroom assessment practices of 3rd- through 12th grade teachers. It was found out that essays and written assignments were the most common assessment formats reported. It also found out that female teachers choose performance-based assessment more often than male teachers and use tests they made themselves less often. They also noted that performance-based assessments across grade levels and subject are significantly used. However, the traditional paper-and-pencil testing remains the predominant classroom assessment format.

Jin (2010) conducted a survey with college professors in China to investigate their training in the tertiary level foreign language. The study revealed that instructors adequately covered essential aspects of teaching theory and practice of language testing, but educational measurement and students’ classroom assessment practices received significantly less attention in the whole process.

Kibirige and Teffo (2014) conducted a study which investigated the actual assessment practices in science classroom and compared them with the ideal assessment practices according to the National Curriculum Statement policy documents. The study revealed that there was a huge difference between actual and ideal assessment practices in terms of their purpose of assessment, integrating assessment and learning process, outputs of assessment, the role of assessment, educator’s and learner’s portfolios, performance-based tasks, the use of rubrics, and from the assessment of learning outcomes.

A survey was conducted by Varatharaj, et. al. (2014) among the Cluster School Teachers in Malaysia to get their view on the assessment practice and the value they hold. It found out that the value they hold about assessment practices and the actual practices does not show a lot of difference.

Ndalichako (2013) examined classroom assessment practices of secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The major purpose was to establish the classroom assessment practices of teachers and the kind of support they receive from school authorities in conducting assessment. Findings of the study revealed that the traditional methods of assessments are dominantly used in schools. This also indicate that teachers are overburdened with a heavy teaching load making it difficult for them to effectively use assessment strategies that could provide a comprehensive picture of student’s learning.

The studies reviewed bears relevance to the present study in terms of the discipline being studied. All of these including the present study deal with assessment practices of the teachers. However, they differ in terms of sources of data, location, variables, research design and instruments used.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This study determined the assessment practices of Grade VI Science teachers in Magallanes District, Division of Sorsogon, school year 2015-2016. Specifically it determines the assessment tools used by the teachers and its extent of use; determine the the performance level of the Grade VI pupils in Science and the problems met by the teachers along assessment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

     The descriptive-survey design was used. It is descriptive since it endeavored to determine the tools used by the teachers and their assessment practices in the classroom. Documentary analysis, interview and survey questionnaire were utilized to gather the needed data. The respondents of the study are composed of twenty seven (27) elementary teachers in Magallanes District handling Science VI.

The data gathered were statistically treated using the weighted mean, frequency count, percentage and composite ranking.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

1. Assessment Tools Used by Grade VI Science Teachers along Written Output and Performance Task

Written Output. Table 1A reveals the various assessment tools used by Science teachers for written outputs.

 

 

TABLE 1A

 

Assessment Tools Used by Teachers

Along Written Output

 

Indicators

f

Rank

  1. Laboratory reports and documentation
  2. Paper and pencil test

18

27

4

1

  1. Concept maps

24

3

  1. Surveys
  2. Data recording and analyses

11

26

6

2

  1. Reaction/reflection papers

15

5

 

It can be observed from the table that the paper and pencil test is the commonly used assessment tool in Science. It ranked 1st in the list.  This result means that the teacher-respondents all utilized the paper and pencil test which is the dominant tool in assessment. This implies that teachers may continuously use the traditional paper and pencil test as an assessment tool to evaluate the learning of pupils because as manifested in the result it can be considered as one of the most effective tools. Also, on the part of teachers, it is very easy to prepare and to administer.

Frey and Schmitt (2010) supported this finding by the result of their study. It revealed that the traditional paper and pencil testing remains the predominant classroom assessment format.

On the other hand, data recording and analyses ranked 2nd while concept mapping ranked 3rd. This denotes that other tools are also used by the teachers aside from the paper and pencil test. This infers that teachers may also consider other ways of assessing pupils to consider the so called individual differences. Pupils by nature are different, that’s why they must be tested using tools that fit them best in order to acquire the expected reliable result of performance.  This result affirms the findings of the study conducted by Janer (2013).  She found out that there are teachers who are still fond of using traditional assessment methods while others also use authentic assessment. Teachers believe that authentic assessment methods are more effective in making the pupils relate the lessons to the real life situations. However, the tasks must be made meaningful in order to meet the objectives.

The other assessment tools used were laboratory reports and documentation, reaction/reflection papers and the surveys which were ranked 4th,5th, and 6th respectively. This means that these tools are not in the priority list of the tools that are commonly used by science teachers. Some teachers affirmed during interview that they found it difficult to administer such tools because of the inavailability of resources and materials necessary for the conduct of the task. This implies that although teachers found it difficult to do so, they may try their best to use these tools so that pupils may develop their critical thinking skills and broaden their knowledge and ideas.

Performance Task. Table 1B reveals the various assessment tools used by Science teachers for performance tasks that includes product and performance-based tasks (DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015).

 

TABLE 1B

Assessment Tools Used by Teachers

Along Performance Task

 

Indicators

f

Rank

A. Product

 

 

  1. Investigatory Project

16

2

  1. Models and Diagrams

26

1

  1. Prototype building

14

3

  1. Research papers

9

4

 

 

 

B. Performance-Based Task

 

 

1. Debate

16

8

2. Designing and implementation of action plans

14

10

3. Designing various models

24

3

4. Doing scientific investigations

23

4

5. Issue-awareness campaigns

19

7

6. Laboratory activity

20

5.5

7. Multimedia presentations

25

1.5

8. Simulation

15

9

9. Skills demonstration

25

1.5

10. Verification experiments

20

5.5

 

                Based from the table, as for the product, the teachers commonly used the models and diagrams construction which has the most number of responses and which is rank 1. The findings revealed that the models and diagram construction is the effective tool in assessing the performance of the pupils since this is the commonly used tool by the teachers. It denotes that teachers may constantly use this tool because this really enhances the cognitive and psychomotor skills of pupils.

Other tools such as the investigatory projects and prototype buildings which ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively are also used by the teachers. However, it can be gleaned from the table that not all of the teacher-respondents utilized these tools. They say that these tools are not easy to use in classroom assessment since these require adequate materials and ample time to accomplish thus utilizing these made them experience time management-related problems. Some of the pupils were not able to finish the assigned task on time. This implies that if possible, as science teachers, they may give chances to pupils to enjoy different activities according to their own interests. Exposure to different activities such as these may lead to pupils’ mental development. In addition, through the use of these activities, teachers may help pupils learn how to solve problems using scientific methods. Moreover, they will be able to arrive at the best and reliable conclusions.

The research papers which has the least number of responses was the last in rank. Based from the table, only nine of the respondents utilized the research papers in assessing the learning of the pupils. This task also requires ample time and attention thus making it difficult to administer. This implies that despite the difficulties met by the teachers in administering this tool, they may still continue to use this because reading from resource materials or surfing in the internet may widen the knowledge of pupils. They may learn how to organize ideas coming from the different resources as well.

     As to the performance-based assessment, the commonly used tools are the multimedia presentations and skills demonstrations which are tied in rank 1.5. This means that the teachers are comfortable in utilizing these assessment tools. They consider these as effective ways to assess the learning of the pupils. They believe that when integrated with multimedia, pupils are more eager and more interested to perform their tasks. This was particularly during the unstructured interview conducted. This infers that teachers may continually use this assessment tool to maintain the eagerness of pupils to perform their tasks. Also, teachers may be more creative in using multimedia presentation so that pupils may stay highly motivated and work harder to achieve the best performance.

Designing various models ranked 3rd in the list while doing scientific investigations ranked 4th. This means that the teachers also use these tools as appropriate as well as effective ways to assess the pupils and track their performance.

These were followed by the laboratory activity tied with verification experiments in rank 5.5. This means that teachers exposed their pupils to hands-on activities that would make them relate the lessons to the real scenario.

Meanwhile, it can be noted that the issue-awareness campaigns which is rank 7, debate in rank 8 and simulation in rank 9 and designing and implementation of action plans in rank 10 were only utilized by less number of respondents. As they say, it is because of the applicability and suitability of the tools to the competencies that need to be measured.

     Moreover, it can be observed from the table that the teachers utilized both the product and performance-based tasks in assessing the pupil’s learning or performance in science. According to the study of Craw (2009), one benefit of using performance assessment in science education is that it supports inquiry-based teaching. Teachers reported a variety of inquiry abilities and 21st century skills that are supported by the use of performance assessment.

 

2. Extent of Use of Assessment Tools Used by Grade VI Science Teachers along Written Output and Performance Task

Written outputs. Table 2A reveals the extent of use of assessment tools by Grade VI Science teachers along written outputs.

TABLE 2A

 

Extent of Use of Assessment Tools

Along Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

Description

  1. Laboratory reports and documentation
  2. Paper and pencil test

2.33

4.70

Seldom

Always

  1. Concept maps

3.15

Occasional

  1. Surveys
  2. Data recording and analyses

1.63

3.74

Seldom

Often

  1. Reaction/reflection papers

2.41

Seldom

Overall Weighted Mean

2.99

Occasional

 

 It can be gleaned from the table that the paper and pencil test which has a weighted mean of 4.70 was perceived as always used. This means that the teachers commonly used paper-pencil test in assessing the performance of the pupils. Teachers are already used to the paper and pencil test as the readily available assessment tool. This implies that since it is considered the most easiest way to assess pupils’ performance, teachers may continuously use this method. But in consideration to other learners, teachers may not stick to this tool because some learners are not good in paper and pencil but they excel in practical works. Teachers may realize that one assessment tool does not fit all. The findings of Ndalichako (2013) also revealed that the traditional methods of assessment are dominantly used in schools.

The data recording and analyses which has a weighted mean of 3.74 was interpreted as often. This means that this tool is often used by the teacher-respondents next to the paper and pencil test. This implies that teachers may always consider this tool because this will really help the pupils to look for the answers of their own based from the given data. They may also learn to discover, find solutions to problems. These will probably develop their critical thinking skills.

Meanwhile, the concept maps which has a weighted mean of 3.15 was interpreted as occasionnaly used by the teachers. The laboratory reports and documentations which has weighted mean of 2.33, surveys which has a weighted mean of 1.63 and the  reaction/reflection papers which has a weighted mean of 2.41 are all interpreted as seldom utilized by the Science teachers. This means that they use these only when given the time or the chance to use them. Based from the conducted interview, teachers indicated that it is because there are topics that these tools are not applicable to and they have doubts on the utilization of these tools. Other teachers also mention that due to scarcity of needed materials and facility they are not able to fully utilized such tools. This implies that if chances arise and the topics are suited to this kind of assessment tools, teachers may take the chances to maximize the use of these so that pupils may also experience other ways of assessing their learning, they may also find it exciting and enjoyable enough to discover their hidden talents and skills. Furthermore, teachers may also be resourceful in gathering needed materials so that the use of these assessment tools will be possible.

Lyon (2011) described the alignment of the teachers’ beliefs about educational assessment and their classroom assessment practices. Results demonstrated that teachers tended to put a high emphasis on  the alternative assessment strategies as compared to the traditional assessment practices. However, teaching loads and other school responsibilities could cause conflicts between teachers’ assessment practices, in that, teachers usually lack time to enact all assessment practices that align with their beliefs on assessment.

This could also be attributed to the fact that the teachers shared. They said that even in written tasks there are other tools which are not utilized because of the other loads aside from actual teaching.

Performance Tasks. Table 2B reveals the extent of use of assessment tools used by Science teachers for performance tasks that includes product and performance-based tasks.

As shown in the table, when it comes to product, the teachers seldom use the prototype building with a weighted mean of 2.11 and the research papers with a weighted mean of 1.59. The investigatory project with a weighted mean of 2.52 is occasionally used by the teachers while the models and diagrams construction is used often by the Science teachers.

This means that these tools are not always utilized by the teachers. This implies that the teachers must find ways to apply these tools whenever possible and applicable to the topic. They mention that they find it dificcult to administer these tools because of the length of time required to finish the activity.

TABLE 2B

Extent of Use of Assessment Tools

Along Performance Task

 

Indicators

WM

Description

A. Product

 

 

  1. Investigatory Project

2.52

Occasional

  1. Models and Diagrams

3.67

Often

  1. Prototype building

2.11

Seldom

  1. Research papers

1.59

Seldom

Overall Weighted Mean

2.47

Seldom

 

 

 

B. Performance-Based Task

 

 

1. Debate

2.52

Occasional

2. Designing and implementation of action plans

2.19

Seldom

3. Designing various models

3.15

Occasional

4. Doing scientific investigations

3.00

Occasional

5. Issue-awareness campaigns

3.00

Occasional

6. Laboratory activity

2.93

Occasional

7. Multimedia presentations

3.52

Often

8. Simulation

2.19

Seldom

9. Skills demonstration

3.48

Occasional

10. Verification experiments

2.78

Occasional

Overall Weighted Mean

2.87

Occasional

 

In the performance-based task, the multimedia presentations having a weighted mean of 3.52 was often used by the Science teachers. This means that the teachers are fond of using multimedia in terms of measuring the performance of the pupils. They believe that through  the use of multimedia, the pupils tend to be more active and more motivated to participate in the assessment process, thus making it easier to administer such tool. This implies that teachers may continually use the multimedia to evaluate the performance of pupils considering that based from the result, it is the most effective way to assess the learning of pupils.

Furhermore, most of the tools like the debate (2.52), designing various models (3.15) doing scientific investigations (3.00), issue-awareness campaigns (2.78), laboratory activity (2.93), skills demonstration (3.48) and the verification experiments (2.78) were all interpreted as occasionally used while designing and implementation of action plans and the simulation both with weighted means of 2.19 were interpreted as seldom used. This means that even though most of the teachers utilized the earlier mentioned tools, they do not apply them on a regular basis. There are times that these tools were not utilized in a particular grading period. As mentioned by the respondents in the interview, it is because of the suitability of the tools to the topic, the time and the availability of the materials on hand.

It can also be observed from the table that most of the assessment tools mentioned are not always used by the teachers. This means that among the tools listed, there is only one tool that dominated which is the paper and pencil test. Although, the teachers utilized the other tools, it cannot be denied that the utilization did not reach its maximum level and that the tools which can assess the performance of the pupils in Science did not really serve their purpose.

These findings can be supported by the study conducted by Kleinert, Kennedy and Kearns (1999) which revealed that teachers expressed levels of frustration in the use of alternative assessments. Some major issues that teachers have against the use of alternative assessments are that they require more time for students to complete and for teachers to supervise and assess. They usually prefer the paper and pencil test especially when they found it difficult to prepare alternative methods of assessments. They are comfortable with the paper and pencil tests since they are already used to it. They also found it easier to prepare and administer and also manageable to score.

Moreover, Barksdale-Ladd and Thomas (2000) mentioned  that teachers should take assessment as part of student’s work and that teachers should use multiple assessment methods to evaluate student’s learning. Thus, teachers must not only be contented in using the traditional paper and pencil test but to see to it that  varied and appropriate assessement tools are utilized in the assessment process.

In addition to this, Janer (2013) recommends that teachers continuously upgrade themselves. This may be done by pursuing graduate studies and attending trainings to enrich existing knowledge on assessment and enhance their creativity in crafting valid and effective assessment tools.

3. Extent of Assessment Practices of Grade VI Science Teachers Along Preparation of Assessment Tools, Administration, and Feed Backing

 

Preparation of Assessment Tools for Written Output. Table 3A shows the extent of assessment practices of teachers on the preparation of assessment tools for written output.

Based from the result in Table 3A, the assessment practice in terms of preparation of assessment tools has an overall weighted mean of 4.20 which was described as highly practiced.

Also, as shown in the table, almost all teachers consider the ability of their pupils in devising a tool as revealed by the weighted mean of 4.52 which is described as very highly practiced. This means that the teachers see to it that the tool they will be develop must be suited to the ability of the learners.

TABLE 3A

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Preparation of Assessment Tools

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I refer to the PELC when devising assessment tool.
  2. I consider the ability of the learners in devising a tool.

4.48

 

4.52

HP

 

VHP

  1. I construct a model answer for scoring essay questions.

3.63

HP

  1. I define a rating scale for written output in advance.

3.89

HP

  1. I orient the students on the criteria for a written output.

4.48

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.20

HP

Legend:     VHP - very highly practiced   WM – weighted mean    

             HP – highly practiced        D – description

           

Moreover, teachers do not just develop a tool without considering the ability of the pupils. No tool suits all learners and that using the same tools for the whole class does not guarantee a good assessment result. According to some teachers, they apply the differentiated instruction where the pupils are grouped according to their ability and are given activities appropriate to them. But they also added that the teacher must see to it that the pupils are not offended or become inferior knowing that they are being labeled. This implies that teachers may continue to consider the ability of pupils when conducting an assessment because pupils are known to have different levels of thinking. Assessment will become useful when the need of every pupil is being addressed and the necessary remediation will be applied and implemented.

The rest of the indicators fall under the description highly practiced. These were the following: Teachers refer to the PELC when devising assessment tools with a weighted mean of 4.48, described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are guided by the PELC when constructing a tool. They do not simply create an assessment tool without basis. This enables them to arrive at utilizing a tool appropriate for its purpose. Similarly, in planning a lesson, teachers believe that when they are guided by the PELC, they know that they are on the right track of providing the pupils with the assessment tools that would measure their learning on a particular competency skill. This implies that the PELC played an important role in determining the competencies to be taught and to be measured as well. During the interview, they mentioned  that the PELC is mandated by the bureau as part of the guidelines that must be followed by the teachers.

Orienting the students on the criteria for a written output has the weighted mean of 4.48 and was interpreted as highly practiced. This means that the the teachers orient the pupils first before giving them tasks. This implies that the teacher always employs this practice knowing that the pupils will be guided on their task. They also noted in the interview that doing this makes the pupils aware of what to do and what to accomplish.

Constructing a model answer for scoring essay questions has a weighted mean of 3.63, and defining a rating scale for written outputs in advance has a weighted mean of 3.89. Both these indicators were described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are prepared for the evaluation of the outcome since they have already a reference for evaluation. Also when the pupils are informed of the criteria, they can have a basis for the kind of output they are going to present. The teachers also affirm that by employing this practice, they could check the output of their pupils right after they finish the task, thus, giving them longer time to provide feedback after having assessed the outputs.

Administration of Assessment Tools for Written Output.  Table 3B reveals the extent of practices of teachers on the administration of assessment tools for written output.

 

 

 

TABLE 3B

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Administration of Assessment Tools

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I administer announced quizzes or written tasks.

4.48

 

HP

 

  1. I administer a task by group.

4.00

HP

  1. I supervise the pupils while doing the task.

4.67

VHP

  1. I assist the pupils who need assistance in doing the task.

4.59

VHP

  1. I give quiz every after the lesson.

4.15

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.38

HP

Legend:     VHP – very highly practiced         WM – weighted mean     

             HP – highly practiced              D – description

 

     

For the administration of the assessment tools, the overall weighted mean is  4.38 which was also described as highly practiced.

Among the five indicators, no. 3 and 4 were very highly practiced by the teachers as revealed by weighted means of 4.67 and 4.59, respectively. This means that the teachers supervised their pupils while doing the tasks and gave assistance to those who need it. This stresses the significant role of the teachers as the facilitators and managers inside the classroom. It is necessary that while doing the task, teachers not only stay in one area but rather monitor the pupils while doing the activity. This would ensure that all the pupils are really doing their tasks and that they are given assistance in case they found difficulties in accomplishing the given activity. In an interview, the teachers mentioned that while doing the activity, assigning group leaders also helps in monitoring the progress of their own group. This implies that teachers may constantly oversee their pupils in performing their tasks particularly those slow learners to help them get along with the group and let them feel the sense of belonging. This would somehow help them build self-confidence and might improve their performance.

Meanwhile, the rest of the indicators are highly practiced by the teachers. Indicator no. 1 has a weighted mean of 4.48. This means that the teachers also employ the practice of administering announced quizzes. Whenever they will give a test to assess the pupils, the teachers inform the pupils. Knowing that they will take a test, they will prepare and review their lessons to gain high scores. This was also agreed by the teachers in an interview when they said that giving surprised tests does not ensure that the pupils will always have good assessment results.  They affirmed that it is better to inform the pupils first so that they can study their lessons.

Indicator no. 2 which has a weighted mean of 4.00 tells that the teacher highly practiced admstering a group task. A group task is a task that must be done and accomplished by the pupils in a group. This provides the pupils with some benefits like developing their cooperative and collaborative skills, students are involved in their own learning, quiet students are given the chance to speak and be heard in small groups, alternative ideas and points of view can be generated. Also, the teachers believe that whenever the pupils are doing group activities, they are taught to have the sense of responsibility in helping each other accomplish the task.

The last indicator which is giving of quiz every after a lesson has a weighted mean of 4.15 also decribed as highly practiced. Quizzes or evaluation test measures the performance level of the pupils about the lesson. It also measures the mastery level of the class thus providing the teacher the choice as to whether reteach or proceed to a new lesson.

Feed Backing for Written Output.  Table 3C reveals the extent of practices of teachers on feed backing mechanisms employed by the teachers along written outputs.

It can be observed from the table that all of the indicators were described as highly practiced. Indicator no. 5 got the highest weighted mean of 4.41 described as highly practiced.

TABLE 3C

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Feed Backing Mechanisms

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I reteach the lesson when the assessment result is below the mastery level of the class.

4.30

 

 

HP

 

 

  1. I provide oral and written feedback to pupils.

3.89

HP

  1. I discuss the results of the assessments with pupils e.g. clarify wrong responses.

4.26

HP

  1. I solicit suggestions from the pupils as to how they can improve their performance based on the assessment result.

3.93

HP

  1. I communicate classroom assessment result to parents through a conference or meeting.

4.41

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.16

HP

Legend:     HP – highly practiced         WM – weighted mean     

             D – description

           

 

This means that the teachers conduct conferences to communicate with the parents and inform them about the performance of the pupils. This implies that they gave importance to the open communication between them and parents. Based form the results of the informal interview, they mentioned that through a conference or a meeting, they are able to discuss some concerns regarding the pupils not only on how they behave in the classroom but more importantly on how the pupils perform in class. This also gave them the opportunity to  ask the parents about the study habits of the child at home.

 Indicator no. 1 which tells that the teachers to reteach the lesson when the assessment result is below the mastery level obtained a weighted mean of 4.30. It was also interpreted as highly practiced. This means that the teachers do not only prepare a daily lesson based from the PELC but that they prepare lessons based on the results of the assessments as well. It is important that a teacher sees to it that the competencies are mastered by the pupils before proceeding to the next competency or topic. The teachers also affirmed during the interview that mastery of the lessons especially if these are prerequisite topics is important because it could be a spring board to the next topics. However, they mentioned that this practice are sometimes time-consuming since there are competencies which took longer time for the pupils to master.

The next indicator is the discussion of the results of the assessments to the pupils which has a weighted mean of 4.26 and described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are not only concerned about giving tests or tasks but see to it that the results are also being tackled especially on clarifying wrong responses. The teachers believe that doing this gives the pupils the chance to evaluate their performance and strive to be better in the next task. However, they also mentioned that the way that the teachers discuss the assessment result must not degrade the pupils. It must provide them the opportunity to ask questions andclarify things that they got confused within their lessons.

Indicator no. 4 has a weighted mean of 3.93, also described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers not only discuss assessment results but he also solicit from the pupils as to how they can improve their performance. This implies that the teacher involves the children in evaluating their performance. In the interview, the teachers noted that when the pupils are given the chance to express themselves freely thus knowing their capabilities more and helping them improve their own performance.

The last indicator is that the teachers provide oral and written feedback to pupils. It obtained a weighted mean of 3.86 which is also described as highly practiced. Providing feedback is letting the pupils know how well they are doing as they learn. This can be done through oral appraisal or through writing. Some teachers mentioned in the interview that they give feedback individually while some used to give feedback to a group or whole class. They also added that feedbacking must not intend to humiliate the pupil but rather it must give them motivation to strive harder. The fact that that the pupils know they are doing well motivates them to learn more. Also, if they have the idea that they committed mistakes, feedbacking can give them the chance to take corrective measures. In the article “Best Practices in Assessment of Student Performance” (http://www.otago.ac.nz), one of the principles followed by the University of Otago was that “all internal assessment should inform learning”. Good feedback occurs soon after the task is completed by the students, provides clear indications of the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s work, gives clear guidance on how to perform better on future similar tasks, and helps to motivate the students to put further effort into learning.

Preparation of Assessment Tools for Performance Task. Table 3D reveals the extent of assessment practices of teachers on the preparation of assessment tools for performance tasks.

 

 

TABLE 3D

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Preparation of Assessment Tools

for Performance Task

 

SARAH MAY H. PALANCA
2 hrs ago

ASSESSMENT PRACTICES OF GRADE 6 SCIENCE TEACHERS

 

Abstract- This study determined the assessment practices of Grade VI Science teachers in Magallanes North and South Districts for the school year 2015-2016. The descriptive method was employed in the conduct of this study. Documentary analysis, unstructured interview and survey questionnaire were utilized to gather the needed data. The respondents were twenty seven elementary teachers in Magallanes District handling Science VI. The statistical tools utilized were weighted mean, frequency count, percentage and ranking. Results showed that the most dominant assessment tool is the paper and pencil test. The extent of use of the assessment tools by the teachers along written output is described as occasional. Teachers tend to use paper and pencil test because it is the easiest way to prepare and utilize. The performance level in science of Grade VI pupils is 81.37 and was described as Satisfactory. The topmost problem in assessment centers on the limited materials and resources.

 

INTRODUCTION

Science education aims to develop scientific literacy among learners that will prepare them to be informed and participative citizens who are able to make judgments and decisions regarding applications of scientific knowledge that may have social, health or environmental impacts. The science curriculum recognizes the place of science and technology in everyday human affairs. It integrates science and technology in the social, economic personal and ethical aspects of life. The science curriculum promotes a strong link between science and technology, including indigenous technology, thus preserving our country’s cultural heritage. (K to 12 Basic Education Program Curriculum Guide in Science).

Article XIV, Section 10 of the Philippine Constitution, states that the state shall give priority to research and development, invention, innovation, their utilization, to science and technology education, training, and services. It shall support indigenous, appropriate, and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities and their application to the country’s productive system and national life.

The Department of Education placed premium on the quality of Science and Mathematics instruction. It launched various training and programs for the improvement of Science and Mathematics. It found out recently that the Philippines lagged behind in science instruction. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 1999, the Philippines ranked 36th out of 38 countries in 2nd year high school. By 2003, the country yielded a similar devastating result, ranking 23rd in Grade 4 Science, among 25 countries.

     Classroom assessment is an integral part of curriculum implementation which involves both the teachers and the learners. It enables the teachers to track and measure the pupils’ progress and to adjust instruction accordingly. At the heart of this assessment framework is the recognition and deliberate consideration of the learners’ zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1978).

     Assessment is a process that is used to keep track of learners’ progress in relation to learning standards and in the development of 21st-century skills; to promote self-reflection and personal accountability among students about their own learning; and to provide bases for the profiling of student performance on the learning competencies and standards of the curriculum. Various kinds of assessments shall be used appropriately for different learners who come from diverse contexts, such as cultural background and life experiences.

     There are two types of classroom assessment, namely, formative and summative. It is characteristically informal and is intended to help students identify strengths and weaknesses in order to learn from the assessment experience. Summative assessment, on the other hand, measures whether learners have met the content and performance standards.

     In line with the implementation of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10533), the Department of Education is adopting the Policy Guidelines on Classroom Assessment for the K to 12 Basic Education Program. This is enforced through DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015. This creates confusion as to whether the Grades 5 and 6 will also use the new classroom assessment and grading system since these are still implementing the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC).

However, this was given clarification through the issuance of DepEd Order No. 29, s. 2015, which states that “All the provisions on classroom assessment and grading system in the mentioned order shall be in effect for all grade levels including Grades 5 and 6 which are still implementing the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC)”. This implementation of these guidelines on classroom assessment took effect school year 2015-2016. So presently, the teachers are expected to strictly adhere with the guidelines in assessing their students’ learning.

     According to the policy guidelines, learners from Grades 1 to 10 are graded on Written Work, Performance Tasks and Quarterly Assessment every quarter. These three are given specific percentage weights that vary according to the learning area. For Science, Written Work weighs 40%, Performance Tasks has a weight of 40% and Quarterly Assessment has 20%.

The assessment tools appropriate in assessing the performance of learners in Science is listed in the Enclosure to the DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015. However, teachers can still use other appropriate tools not mentioned in the enclosure which deemed specific to the assessment task.

One of the means to assess the learning of the Grade 6 pupils in Science is the National Achievement Test which is conducted at the end of every school year. During the NAT 2014, the Mean Percentage Score of Magallanes North District was only 69.43 while Magallanes South District was 74.25. Both did not meet the required MPS of 75%.

Through an informal interview conducted by the researcher, not all of the abovementioned assessment tools are utilized in the classroom. To assess the learning and achievement of their learners, they often used the paper-and-pencil test. It is in this regard that the researcher decided to conduct the study in order to determine the assessment tools utilized by the science teachers, its extent of use, and their common practice in assessment.

 

FRAMEWORK

Classroom Assessment is an integral part of curriculum implementation. It is a continuous, ongoing process that involves examining and observing children’s behaviors, listening to their ideas, and developing questions to promote conceptual understanding. It enables the teachers to track and measure the pupils’ progress and to adjust instruction accordingly.  Classroom assessment informs the learners, as well as their parents and guardians, of their progress.

Salandanan (2005) describes assessment as a process that involves gathering of information on different methods that can be utilized to achieve instructional objectives. This process is grounded on a set of criteria that point students to the desired performance level.

Black and William (1998) explain assessment as one that includes all activities that teachers and students carry out to collect information that will serve as bases to alter teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the assessment episode framework of Mavrommatis (2006), describes assessment as a very complex procedure as it comes in four consecutive phases-evidence collection, interpretation of this evidence, the teachers’ responses and finally, the impact of teacher’s responses on children.

Student assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning. Reynolds, Livingston, and Willson (2009); Mcmillan (2008); Nitko (2001) maintain the common argument that classroom assessment plays an important role in schools and as teachers spend a lot of their time engaged in assessment related activities they should master some basic assessment competencies.

Piaget emphasized that social interaction which is the primary source of cognition and behavior likewise produces learning. (Huitt and Hummel, 2003) Assessment processes have lots of opportunities for interaction either among peers; or between a teacher and a student.

Current learning theory emphasizes the importance of learning with understanding (Bransford et al, 2000). This means that curriculum and teaching approaches should emphasize understanding rather than memorization, should provide opportunities for in-depth study to allow for firm foundation of knowledge and conceptual development and should enhance student abilities to recognize and use meaningful patterns of information. Assessment processes, then should enable students to demonstrate deep understanding of concepts rather surface knowledge and recall of facts. Assessment should be able to reveal the quality of students’ understanding and thinking as well as specific content or processes.

Gutierrez (2007) pointed out that assessment is most effective when they are governed by some principles which give direction and serve as criteria for judging sound procedures and practices. These principles include: a) address learning targets or curriculum goals; b) provide efficient feedback on instruction; c) use of variety of assessment procedures; d) ensure that assessments are valid, reliable and fair; e) keep a record of assessment and f) interpret/communicate results of assessment meaningfully. These principles must govern the assessment practices of teachers. Regardless of their choice, traditional or authentic, assessment must always be purposeful, intentional and progressive.

Vandeyar and Killen (2003) argued that regardless of educational setting, high-quality assessment practices should satisfy essential principles such as validity, reliability, fairness, discrimination and meaningfulness. For Vandeyar and Killen, if teachers have a clear understanding of these principles; they can have an informed framework of using assessment results to make better informed decisions from assessment results.

Stiggins (2001) emphasized that there is a need to pay attention to how the information about the students is used, as failure to do so may lead to inaccurate assessment of students’ achievement and may ultimately prevent students from reaching their full academic potential.

Educators have had divided opinions on the best methods of assessing student learning outcomes. Although some educators advocate the use of traditional forms of assessments such as multiple choice tests and other forms of objective tests, others advocate for more contemporary approaches to assessments such as portfolios, journal critique, and research essays. Traditional forms of assessments are very efficient at measuring knowledge standards and targets especially when there is much knowledge to be measured. Such tests are used for measuring students’ knowledge, understanding and application, which are essential skills that students need in order to succeed in their studies (MacMillan, 2008).

Atim (2012) conducted a study which explored classroom assessment practices that promote equity and student learning. The findings revealed were: teachers use different assessment methods; teachers use different strategies to cater diversity in the classroom, and the assessment information is helpful in helping a teacher to find better methods of teaching which results in improving instruction.

In the study of Janer (2013), it was found out that personal factors such as gender, educational attainment, teaching experience and in-service trainings all positively relate to the assessment practices of science teachers. It was also found out that there are teachers who are fond of using the traditional assessment methods while others also use authentic assessments. She recommends that teachers continuously upgrade themselves by pursuing graduate studies and attend trainings to enrich existing knowledge on assessment and enhance their creativity in crafting valid and effective assessment tools.

Another similar study was that of Alkharusi, et. al. (2012) which explored the attitudes, competence, knowledge, and practices of teachers about educational assessment. It revealed that although teachers held a favorable attitude towards and perceived themselves as being competent in educational assessment, they demonstrated a low level of knowledge in educational assessment. It was also revealed that teaching load and teaching experience accounted for in some variations in teachers’ educational assessment practices.

Similarly, Craw (2009) conducted a study on the performance assessment practices of high school science teachers. Among the findings are:  teachers employed variety of performance assessments; teachers more frequently employed performance assessments that took up a defined amount of class time and were likely to use more open-ended, authentic forms of laboratory performance assessments.

Moreover, Lyon (2011) conducted a study on a Chemistry teacher in California. In his study, he described the alignment of the teachers’ beliefs about educational assessment and their classroom assessment practices. Results demonstrated that teachers tend to put a high emphasis on the alternative assessment strategies such as collaborative group work and problem solving to support the student’s learning.

The study of Frey and Schmitt (2010) examined classroom assessment practices of 3rd- through 12th grade teachers. It was found out that essays and written assignments were the most common assessment formats reported. It also found out that female teachers choose performance-based assessment more often than male teachers and use tests they made themselves less often. They also noted that performance-based assessments across grade levels and subject are significantly used. However, the traditional paper-and-pencil testing remains the predominant classroom assessment format.

Jin (2010) conducted a survey with college professors in China to investigate their training in the tertiary level foreign language. The study revealed that instructors adequately covered essential aspects of teaching theory and practice of language testing, but educational measurement and students’ classroom assessment practices received significantly less attention in the whole process.

Kibirige and Teffo (2014) conducted a study which investigated the actual assessment practices in science classroom and compared them with the ideal assessment practices according to the National Curriculum Statement policy documents. The study revealed that there was a huge difference between actual and ideal assessment practices in terms of their purpose of assessment, integrating assessment and learning process, outputs of assessment, the role of assessment, educator’s and learner’s portfolios, performance-based tasks, the use of rubrics, and from the assessment of learning outcomes.

A survey was conducted by Varatharaj, et. al. (2014) among the Cluster School Teachers in Malaysia to get their view on the assessment practice and the value they hold. It found out that the value they hold about assessment practices and the actual practices does not show a lot of difference.

Ndalichako (2013) examined classroom assessment practices of secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The major purpose was to establish the classroom assessment practices of teachers and the kind of support they receive from school authorities in conducting assessment. Findings of the study revealed that the traditional methods of assessments are dominantly used in schools. This also indicate that teachers are overburdened with a heavy teaching load making it difficult for them to effectively use assessment strategies that could provide a comprehensive picture of student’s learning.

The studies reviewed bears relevance to the present study in terms of the discipline being studied. All of these including the present study deal with assessment practices of the teachers. However, they differ in terms of sources of data, location, variables, research design and instruments used.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This study determined the assessment practices of Grade VI Science teachers in Magallanes District, Division of Sorsogon, school year 2015-2016. Specifically it determines the assessment tools used by the teachers and its extent of use; determine the the performance level of the Grade VI pupils in Science and the problems met by the teachers along assessment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

     The descriptive-survey design was used. It is descriptive since it endeavored to determine the tools used by the teachers and their assessment practices in the classroom. Documentary analysis, interview and survey questionnaire were utilized to gather the needed data. The respondents of the study are composed of twenty seven (27) elementary teachers in Magallanes District handling Science VI.

The data gathered were statistically treated using the weighted mean, frequency count, percentage and composite ranking.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

1. Assessment Tools Used by Grade VI Science Teachers along Written Output and Performance Task

Written Output. Table 1A reveals the various assessment tools used by Science teachers for written outputs.

 

 

TABLE 1A

 

Assessment Tools Used by Teachers

Along Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I refer to the PELC when devising assessment tool.
  2. I consider the ability of the learners in devising a tool.

4.63

 

4.56

VHP

 

VHP

  1. I construct a model output as reference for scoring a performance task.

Indicators

f

Rank

  1. Laboratory reports and documentation
  2. Paper and pencil test

18

27

4

1

  1. Concept maps

24

3

  1. Surveys
  2. Data recording and analyses

11

26

6

2

  1. Reaction/reflection papers

15

5

 

It can be observed from the table that the paper and pencil test is the commonly used assessment tool in Science. It ranked 1st in the list.  This result means that the teacher-respondents all utilized the paper and pencil test which is the dominant tool in assessment. This implies that teachers may continuously use the traditional paper and pencil test as an assessment tool to evaluate the learning of pupils because as manifested in the result it can be considered as one of the most effective tools. Also, on the part of teachers, it is very easy to prepare and to administer.

Frey and Schmitt (2010) supported this finding by the result of their study. It revealed that the traditional paper and pencil testing remains the predominant classroom assessment format.

On the other hand, data recording and analyses ranked 2nd while concept mapping ranked 3rd. This denotes that other tools are also used by the teachers aside from the paper and pencil test. This infers that teachers may also consider other ways of assessing pupils to consider the so called individual differences. Pupils by nature are different, that’s why they must be tested using tools that fit them best in order to acquire the expected reliable result of performance.  This result affirms the findings of the study conducted by Janer (2013).  She found out that there are teachers who are still fond of using traditional assessment methods while others also use authentic assessment. Teachers believe that authentic assessment methods are more effective in making the pupils relate the lessons to the real life situations. However, the tasks must be made meaningful in order to meet the objectives.

The other assessment tools used were laboratory reports and documentation, reaction/reflection papers and the surveys which were ranked 4th,5th, and 6th respectively. This means that these tools are not in the priority list of the tools that are commonly used by science teachers. Some teachers affirmed during interview that they found it difficult to administer such tools because of the inavailability of resources and materials necessary for the conduct of the task. This implies that although teachers found it difficult to do so, they may try their best to use these tools so that pupils may develop their critical thinking skills and broaden their knowledge and ideas.

Performance Task. Table 1B reveals the various assessment tools used by Science teachers for performance tasks that includes product and performance-based tasks (DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2015).

 

TABLE 1B

Assessment Tools Used by Teachers

Along Performance Task

 

Indicators

f

Rank

A. Product

 

 

  1. Investigatory Project

16

2

  1. Models and Diagrams

26

1

  1. Prototype building

14

3

  1. Research papers

9

4

 

 

 

B. Performance-Based Task

 

 

1. Debate

16

8

2. Designing and implementation of action plans

14

10

3. Designing various models

24

3

4. Doing scientific investigations

23

4

5. Issue-awareness campaigns

19

7

6. Laboratory activity

20

5.5

7. Multimedia presentations

25

1.5

8. Simulation

15

9

9. Skills demonstration

25

1.5

10. Verification experiments

20

5.5

 

                Based from the table, as for the product, the teachers commonly used the models and diagrams construction which has the most number of responses and which is rank 1. The findings revealed that the models and diagram construction is the effective tool in assessing the performance of the pupils since this is the commonly used tool by the teachers. It denotes that teachers may constantly use this tool because this really enhances the cognitive and psychomotor skills of pupils.

Other tools such as the investigatory projects and prototype buildings which ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively are also used by the teachers. However, it can be gleaned from the table that not all of the teacher-respondents utilized these tools. They say that these tools are not easy to use in classroom assessment since these require adequate materials and ample time to accomplish thus utilizing these made them experience time management-related problems. Some of the pupils were not able to finish the assigned task on time. This implies that if possible, as science teachers, they may give chances to pupils to enjoy different activities according to their own interests. Exposure to different activities such as these may lead to pupils’ mental development. In addition, through the use of these activities, teachers may help pupils learn how to solve problems using scientific methods. Moreover, they will be able to arrive at the best and reliable conclusions.

The research papers which has the least number of responses was the last in rank. Based from the table, only nine of the respondents utilized the research papers in assessing the learning of the pupils. This task also requires ample time and attention thus making it difficult to administer. This implies that despite the difficulties met by the teachers in administering this tool, they may still continue to use this because reading from resource materials or surfing in the internet may widen the knowledge of pupils. They may learn how to organize ideas coming from the different resources as well.

     As to the performance-based assessment, the commonly used tools are the multimedia presentations and skills demonstrations which are tied in rank 1.5. This means that the teachers are comfortable in utilizing these assessment tools. They consider these as effective ways to assess the learning of the pupils. They believe that when integrated with multimedia, pupils are more eager and more interested to perform their tasks. This was particularly during the unstructured interview conducted. This infers that teachers may continually use this assessment tool to maintain the eagerness of pupils to perform their tasks. Also, teachers may be more creative in using multimedia presentation so that pupils may stay highly motivated and work harder to achieve the best performance.

Designing various models ranked 3rd in the list while doing scientific investigations ranked 4th. This means that the teachers also use these tools as appropriate as well as effective ways to assess the pupils and track their performance.

These were followed by the laboratory activity tied with verification experiments in rank 5.5. This means that teachers exposed their pupils to hands-on activities that would make them relate the lessons to the real scenario.

Meanwhile, it can be noted that the issue-awareness campaigns which is rank 7, debate in rank 8 and simulation in rank 9 and designing and implementation of action plans in rank 10 were only utilized by less number of respondents. As they say, it is because of the applicability and suitability of the tools to the competencies that need to be measured.

     Moreover, it can be observed from the table that the teachers utilized both the product and performance-based tasks in assessing the pupil’s learning or performance in science. According to the study of Craw (2009), one benefit of using performance assessment in science education is that it supports inquiry-based teaching. Teachers reported a variety of inquiry abilities and 21st century skills that are supported by the use of performance assessment.

 

2. Extent of Use of Assessment Tools Used by Grade VI Science Teachers along Written Output and Performance Task

Written outputs. Table 2A reveals the extent of use of assessment tools by Grade VI Science teachers along written outputs.

TABLE 2A

 

Extent of Use of Assessment Tools

Along Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

Description

  1. Laboratory reports and documentation
  2. Paper and pencil test

2.33

4.70

Seldom

Always

  1. Concept maps

3.15

Occasional

  1. Surveys
  2. Data recording and analyses

1.63

3.74

Seldom

Often

  1. Reaction/reflection papers

2.41

Seldom

Overall Weighted Mean

2.99

Occasional

 

 It can be gleaned from the table that the paper and pencil test which has a weighted mean of 4.70 was perceived as always used. This means that the teachers commonly used paper-pencil test in assessing the performance of the pupils. Teachers are already used to the paper and pencil test as the readily available assessment tool. This implies that since it is considered the most easiest way to assess pupils’ performance, teachers may continuously use this method. But in consideration to other learners, teachers may not stick to this tool because some learners are not good in paper and pencil but they excel in practical works. Teachers may realize that one assessment tool does not fit all. The findings of Ndalichako (2013) also revealed that the traditional methods of assessment are dominantly used in schools.

The data recording and analyses which has a weighted mean of 3.74 was interpreted as often. This means that this tool is often used by the teacher-respondents next to the paper and pencil test. This implies that teachers may always consider this tool because this will really help the pupils to look for the answers of their own based from the given data. They may also learn to discover, find solutions to problems. These will probably develop their critical thinking skills.

Meanwhile, the concept maps which has a weighted mean of 3.15 was interpreted as occasionnaly used by the teachers. The laboratory reports and documentations which has weighted mean of 2.33, surveys which has a weighted mean of 1.63 and the  reaction/reflection papers which has a weighted mean of 2.41 are all interpreted as seldom utilized by the Science teachers. This means that they use these only when given the time or the chance to use them. Based from the conducted interview, teachers indicated that it is because there are topics that these tools are not applicable to and they have doubts on the utilization of these tools. Other teachers also mention that due to scarcity of needed materials and facility they are not able to fully utilized such tools. This implies that if chances arise and the topics are suited to this kind of assessment tools, teachers may take the chances to maximize the use of these so that pupils may also experience other ways of assessing their learning, they may also find it exciting and enjoyable enough to discover their hidden talents and skills. Furthermore, teachers may also be resourceful in gathering needed materials so that the use of these assessment tools will be possible.

Lyon (2011) described the alignment of the teachers’ beliefs about educational assessment and their classroom assessment practices. Results demonstrated that teachers tended to put a high emphasis on  the alternative assessment strategies as compared to the traditional assessment practices. However, teaching loads and other school responsibilities could cause conflicts between teachers’ assessment practices, in that, teachers usually lack time to enact all assessment practices that align with their beliefs on assessment.

This could also be attributed to the fact that the teachers shared. They said that even in written tasks there are other tools which are not utilized because of the other loads aside from actual teaching.

Performance Tasks. Table 2B reveals the extent of use of assessment tools used by Science teachers for performance tasks that includes product and performance-based tasks.

As shown in the table, when it comes to product, the teachers seldom use the prototype building with a weighted mean of 2.11 and the research papers with a weighted mean of 1.59. The investigatory project with a weighted mean of 2.52 is occasionally used by the teachers while the models and diagrams construction is used often by the Science teachers.

This means that these tools are not always utilized by the teachers. This implies that the teachers must find ways to apply these tools whenever possible and applicable to the topic. They mention that they find it dificcult to administer these tools because of the length of time required to finish the activity.

TABLE 2B

Extent of Use of Assessment Tools

Along Performance Task

 

Indicators

WM

Description

A. Product

 

 

  1. Investigatory Project

2.52

Occasional

  1. Models and Diagrams

3.67

Often

  1. Prototype building

2.11

Seldom

  1. Research papers

1.59

Seldom

Overall Weighted Mean

2.47

Seldom

 

 

 

B. Performance-Based Task

 

 

1. Debate

2.52

Occasional

2. Designing and implementation of action plans

2.19

Seldom

3. Designing various models

3.15

Occasional

4. Doing scientific investigations

3.00

Occasional

5. Issue-awareness campaigns

3.00

Occasional

6. Laboratory activity

2.93

Occasional

7. Multimedia presentations

3.52

Often

8. Simulation

2.19

Seldom

9. Skills demonstration

3.48

Occasional

10. Verification experiments

2.78

Occasional

Overall Weighted Mean

2.87

Occasional

 

In the performance-based task, the multimedia presentations having a weighted mean of 3.52 was often used by the Science teachers. This means that the teachers are fond of using multimedia in terms of measuring the performance of the pupils. They believe that through  the use of multimedia, the pupils tend to be more active and more motivated to participate in the assessment process, thus making it easier to administer such tool. This implies that teachers may continually use the multimedia to evaluate the performance of pupils considering that based from the result, it is the most effective way to assess the learning of pupils.

Furhermore, most of the tools like the debate (2.52), designing various models (3.15) doing scientific investigations (3.00), issue-awareness campaigns (2.78), laboratory activity (2.93), skills demonstration (3.48) and the verification experiments (2.78) were all interpreted as occasionally used while designing and implementation of action plans and the simulation both with weighted means of 2.19 were interpreted as seldom used. This means that even though most of the teachers utilized the earlier mentioned tools, they do not apply them on a regular basis. There are times that these tools were not utilized in a particular grading period. As mentioned by the respondents in the interview, it is because of the suitability of the tools to the topic, the time and the availability of the materials on hand.

It can also be observed from the table that most of the assessment tools mentioned are not always used by the teachers. This means that among the tools listed, there is only one tool that dominated which is the paper and pencil test. Although, the teachers utilized the other tools, it cannot be denied that the utilization did not reach its maximum level and that the tools which can assess the performance of the pupils in Science did not really serve their purpose.

These findings can be supported by the study conducted by Kleinert, Kennedy and Kearns (1999) which revealed that teachers expressed levels of frustration in the use of alternative assessments. Some major issues that teachers have against the use of alternative assessments are that they require more time for students to complete and for teachers to supervise and assess. They usually prefer the paper and pencil test especially when they found it difficult to prepare alternative methods of assessments. They are comfortable with the paper and pencil tests since they are already used to it. They also found it easier to prepare and administer and also manageable to score.

Moreover, Barksdale-Ladd and Thomas (2000) mentioned  that teachers should take assessment as part of student’s work and that teachers should use multiple assessment methods to evaluate student’s learning. Thus, teachers must not only be contented in using the traditional paper and pencil test but to see to it that  varied and appropriate assessement tools are utilized in the assessment process.

In addition to this, Janer (2013) recommends that teachers continuously upgrade themselves. This may be done by pursuing graduate studies and attending trainings to enrich existing knowledge on assessment and enhance their creativity in crafting valid and effective assessment tools.

3. Extent of Assessment Practices of Grade VI Science Teachers Along Preparation of Assessment Tools, Administration, and Feed Backing

 

Preparation of Assessment Tools for Written Output. Table 3A shows the extent of assessment practices of teachers on the preparation of assessment tools for written output.

Based from the result in Table 3A, the assessment practice in terms of preparation of assessment tools has an overall weighted mean of 4.20 which was described as highly practiced.

Also, as shown in the table, almost all teachers consider the ability of their pupils in devising a tool as revealed by the weighted mean of 4.52 which is described as very highly practiced. This means that the teachers see to it that the tool they will be develop must be suited to the ability of the learners.

TABLE 3A

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Preparation of Assessment Tools

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I refer to the PELC when devising assessment tool.
  2. I consider the ability of the learners in devising a tool.

4.48

 

4.52

HP

 

VHP

  1. I construct a model answer for scoring essay questions.

3.63

HP

  1. I define a rating scale for written output in advance.

3.89

HP

  1. I orient the students on the criteria for a written output.

4.48

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.20

HP

Legend:     VHP - very highly practiced   WM – weighted mean    

             HP – highly practiced        D – description

           

Moreover, teachers do not just develop a tool without considering the ability of the pupils. No tool suits all learners and that using the same tools for the whole class does not guarantee a good assessment result. According to some teachers, they apply the differentiated instruction where the pupils are grouped according to their ability and are given activities appropriate to them. But they also added that the teacher must see to it that the pupils are not offended or become inferior knowing that they are being labeled. This implies that teachers may continue to consider the ability of pupils when conducting an assessment because pupils are known to have different levels of thinking. Assessment will become useful when the need of every pupil is being addressed and the necessary remediation will be applied and implemented.

The rest of the indicators fall under the description highly practiced. These were the following: Teachers refer to the PELC when devising assessment tools with a weighted mean of 4.48, described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are guided by the PELC when constructing a tool. They do not simply create an assessment tool without basis. This enables them to arrive at utilizing a tool appropriate for its purpose. Similarly, in planning a lesson, teachers believe that when they are guided by the PELC, they know that they are on the right track of providing the pupils with the assessment tools that would measure their learning on a particular competency skill. This implies that the PELC played an important role in determining the competencies to be taught and to be measured as well. During the interview, they mentioned  that the PELC is mandated by the bureau as part of the guidelines that must be followed by the teachers.

Orienting the students on the criteria for a written output has the weighted mean of 4.48 and was interpreted as highly practiced. This means that the the teachers orient the pupils first before giving them tasks. This implies that the teacher always employs this practice knowing that the pupils will be guided on their task. They also noted in the interview that doing this makes the pupils aware of what to do and what to accomplish.

Constructing a model answer for scoring essay questions has a weighted mean of 3.63, and defining a rating scale for written outputs in advance has a weighted mean of 3.89. Both these indicators were described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are prepared for the evaluation of the outcome since they have already a reference for evaluation. Also when the pupils are informed of the criteria, they can have a basis for the kind of output they are going to present. The teachers also affirm that by employing this practice, they could check the output of their pupils right after they finish the task, thus, giving them longer time to provide feedback after having assessed the outputs.

Administration of Assessment Tools for Written Output.  Table 3B reveals the extent of practices of teachers on the administration of assessment tools for written output.

 

 

 

TABLE 3B

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Administration of Assessment Tools

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I administer announced quizzes or written tasks.

4.48

 

HP

 

  1. I administer a task by group.

4.00

HP

  1. I supervise the pupils while doing the task.

4.67

VHP

  1. I assist the pupils who need assistance in doing the task.

4.59

VHP

  1. I give quiz every after the lesson.

4.15

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.38

HP

Legend:     VHP – very highly practiced         WM – weighted mean     

             HP – highly practiced              D – description

 

     

For the administration of the assessment tools, the overall weighted mean is  4.38 which was also described as highly practiced.

Among the five indicators, no. 3 and 4 were very highly practiced by the teachers as revealed by weighted means of 4.67 and 4.59, respectively. This means that the teachers supervised their pupils while doing the tasks and gave assistance to those who need it. This stresses the significant role of the teachers as the facilitators and managers inside the classroom. It is necessary that while doing the task, teachers not only stay in one area but rather monitor the pupils while doing the activity. This would ensure that all the pupils are really doing their tasks and that they are given assistance in case they found difficulties in accomplishing the given activity. In an interview, the teachers mentioned that while doing the activity, assigning group leaders also helps in monitoring the progress of their own group. This implies that teachers may constantly oversee their pupils in performing their tasks particularly those slow learners to help them get along with the group and let them feel the sense of belonging. This would somehow help them build self-confidence and might improve their performance.

Meanwhile, the rest of the indicators are highly practiced by the teachers. Indicator no. 1 has a weighted mean of 4.48. This means that the teachers also employ the practice of administering announced quizzes. Whenever they will give a test to assess the pupils, the teachers inform the pupils. Knowing that they will take a test, they will prepare and review their lessons to gain high scores. This was also agreed by the teachers in an interview when they said that giving surprised tests does not ensure that the pupils will always have good assessment results.  They affirmed that it is better to inform the pupils first so that they can study their lessons.

Indicator no. 2 which has a weighted mean of 4.00 tells that the teacher highly practiced admstering a group task. A group task is a task that must be done and accomplished by the pupils in a group. This provides the pupils with some benefits like developing their cooperative and collaborative skills, students are involved in their own learning, quiet students are given the chance to speak and be heard in small groups, alternative ideas and points of view can be generated. Also, the teachers believe that whenever the pupils are doing group activities, they are taught to have the sense of responsibility in helping each other accomplish the task.

The last indicator which is giving of quiz every after a lesson has a weighted mean of 4.15 also decribed as highly practiced. Quizzes or evaluation test measures the performance level of the pupils about the lesson. It also measures the mastery level of the class thus providing the teacher the choice as to whether reteach or proceed to a new lesson.

Feed Backing for Written Output.  Table 3C reveals the extent of practices of teachers on feed backing mechanisms employed by the teachers along written outputs.

It can be observed from the table that all of the indicators were described as highly practiced. Indicator no. 5 got the highest weighted mean of 4.41 described as highly practiced.

TABLE 3C

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Feed Backing Mechanisms

for Written Output

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I reteach the lesson when the assessment result is below the mastery level of the class.

4.30

 

 

HP

 

 

  1. I provide oral and written feedback to pupils.

3.89

HP

  1. I discuss the results of the assessments with pupils e.g. clarify wrong responses.

4.26

HP

  1. I solicit suggestions from the pupils as to how they can improve their performance based on the assessment result.

3.93

HP

  1. I communicate classroom assessment result to parents through a conference or meeting.

4.41

HP

Overall Weighted Mean

4.16

HP

Legend:     HP – highly practiced         WM – weighted mean     

             D – description

           

 

This means that the teachers conduct conferences to communicate with the parents and inform them about the performance of the pupils. This implies that they gave importance to the open communication between them and parents. Based form the results of the informal interview, they mentioned that through a conference or a meeting, they are able to discuss some concerns regarding the pupils not only on how they behave in the classroom but more importantly on how the pupils perform in class. This also gave them the opportunity to  ask the parents about the study habits of the child at home.

 Indicator no. 1 which tells that the teachers to reteach the lesson when the assessment result is below the mastery level obtained a weighted mean of 4.30. It was also interpreted as highly practiced. This means that the teachers do not only prepare a daily lesson based from the PELC but that they prepare lessons based on the results of the assessments as well. It is important that a teacher sees to it that the competencies are mastered by the pupils before proceeding to the next competency or topic. The teachers also affirmed during the interview that mastery of the lessons especially if these are prerequisite topics is important because it could be a spring board to the next topics. However, they mentioned that this practice are sometimes time-consuming since there are competencies which took longer time for the pupils to master.

The next indicator is the discussion of the results of the assessments to the pupils which has a weighted mean of 4.26 and described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers are not only concerned about giving tests or tasks but see to it that the results are also being tackled especially on clarifying wrong responses. The teachers believe that doing this gives the pupils the chance to evaluate their performance and strive to be better in the next task. However, they also mentioned that the way that the teachers discuss the assessment result must not degrade the pupils. It must provide them the opportunity to ask questions andclarify things that they got confused within their lessons.

Indicator no. 4 has a weighted mean of 3.93, also described as highly practiced. This means that the teachers not only discuss assessment results but he also solicit from the pupils as to how they can improve their performance. This implies that the teacher involves the children in evaluating their performance. In the interview, the teachers noted that when the pupils are given the chance to express themselves freely thus knowing their capabilities more and helping them improve their own performance.

The last indicator is that the teachers provide oral and written feedback to pupils. It obtained a weighted mean of 3.86 which is also described as highly practiced. Providing feedback is letting the pupils know how well they are doing as they learn. This can be done through oral appraisal or through writing. Some teachers mentioned in the interview that they give feedback individually while some used to give feedback to a group or whole class. They also added that feedbacking must not intend to humiliate the pupil but rather it must give them motivation to strive harder. The fact that that the pupils know they are doing well motivates them to learn more. Also, if they have the idea that they committed mistakes, feedbacking can give them the chance to take corrective measures. In the article “Best Practices in Assessment of Student Performance” (http://www.otago.ac.nz), one of the principles followed by the University of Otago was that “all internal assessment should inform learning”. Good feedback occurs soon after the task is completed by the students, provides clear indications of the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s work, gives clear guidance on how to perform better on future similar tasks, and helps to motivate the students to put further effort into learning.

Preparation of Assessment Tools for Performance Task. Table 3D reveals the extent of assessment practices of teachers on the preparation of assessment tools for performance tasks.

 

 

TABLE 3D

 

Extent of Practice of Teachers Along

Preparation of Assessment Tools

for Performance Task

 

Indicators

WM

D

  1. I refer to the PELC when devising assessment tool.
  2. I consider the ability of the learners in devising a tool.

4.63

 

4.56

VHP

 

VHP

  1. I construct a model output as reference for scoring a performance task.