I was in third form when I was penalized for not submitting my Geography class project on time. I tried to explain the reason for the late submission but I still lost marks for not meeting the stipulated deadline. I was angry and even thought I hated the teacher because she was being difficult- or so I thought. But guess what? I NEVER missed another deadline. Lesson learnt? RESPECT DEADLINES!
Sometimes our students view these projects/SBAs as teachers giving them too much work but the reality is: there are so much life skills to be learnt from undertaking these tasks. As educators it is our responsibility to ensure that our students understand the personal benefits of doing project-benefits that extends beyond a numerical grade that amounts to a pass or a fail.
It doesn’t matter what the method of assessment is as one format is preparation to successfully take on and complete the other. From early as Primary or Prep school, students are given projects of various natures to complete. This practice is carried over into the high schools and culminates into the eventual completion of several School Based Assessment Projects. Their class project experience should prepare them for this. Students’ ambitions will propel them to pursue tertiary level studies where they HAVE to do a research paper/thesis. Their SBAs would have aided in this preparation.
Is there a difference among these various forms of Assessment?
No. The same skill sets are utilized. The difference is that with the increase in each grade level, the tasks become more challenging but the same skill sets are further developed and new ones learnt. All forms of assessment (project SAB, Research paper) encourage independent learning where students will conduct a research to gather data, compile and document same based on guidelines given by teacher. They are usually assisted by someone in the process. E,g at the primary level, students are often assisted by their parents in the completion of their project; at the high school level, students are assisted by parents too but are highly supervised by their subject teachers; at the tertiary level, students are also supervised by their assigned lecturers.
It therefore means students should take these works seriously but will only do so if participants in the teaching and learning process help them to see the importance. Some of us are guilty of frivolity regarding how we treat some forms of assessment. If it is not being assessed externally, then it mitigates its importance. BUT! This practice is wrong. The same level of emphasis placed on the student completing a project in grade six, should be extended to the completion of SBAs in Grades ten and eleven. Nullifying the importance of one over the other, is robbing students of the opportunity to grasp the skills set at the varying level. Once this happens, the challenges are reflected in subsequent tasks.
The question is? Are these forms of assessment one and the same? The answer to that question is a resounding yes!
What are your thoughts? Do you think they are one and the same? I would like to hear from you.
*Images taken from google pictures