Assessing of student in a classroom is a continuous process of determining students learning and performance in a classroom .conventionally the process entails setting criteria, standards and quality expected to be met by students, learners and teachers then a systematic gathering of information, analysis and interpretation of the gathered data and information is done to determine the attainment of the specified standards and expectations (David 15). The information is then used to make decision on areas to improve in order to attain better performance. The process of assessment is a crucial process in any institution of learning and it requires close monitoring and management (Howard 50).
According to Howard (2007 55) this process follows a series of steps to simplify its complexity these steps are: task designing which entails setting of standards and expectation expected of the learners. ii) Interpretation and assessment of results to determine whether they meet the expectations. Iii) feedback and grading, use of the assessed information to provide feedback in other cases to issue grades.Technology can be effectively used in different ways to support these steps of the assessment process.
Technology is used to support task design in several ways; it supports the presentation of tasks by teachers to students and allows for flexibility in timing of assessment. students also gain more control of their learning and assessment thus increasing their ability to have self – regulation .technology in its own capacity enhances the ability of teachers to closely monitor and asses student progress this is achieved by recording of tasks and activities performed by students this is done with the aide of automatic time logging of activities and assignment submission (Howard 102). Through the close monitoring teachers can be able to identify individual student needs and address student problems at individual level. The use of software which includes virtual worlds, simulation software and Web 2.0 formats e.g. wikis, online discussions, social software; blogs has enhanced the fast dissemination of knowledge and skills to a vast range of audience (Howard 136).
Formative assessment of students through quizzes homework and assignments helps to determine students understanding of content, encourage students to take much consideration on the assignments issued hence enhancing their performance in the exams (David 38). The objective testing can be done in virtual learning environments.
The use of technology enhances the authenticity of the process of assessment and makes the presentation of tasks to students more understandable e.g. use of multimedia technology increases the students’ ability to understand the content. (Howard 209)
Technology also plays a major role in Interpretation and assessment which in essence is summative assessment of knowledge, skills and data (Howard 207). This step should be as accurate and a true representation of the knowledge and skills that the students have gained through the program (David 98). This can well be supported by technology through the use of charts showing the students’ progress, achievement and performance. The use of technology will help in ensuring that the programs are not centered on achievement alone but also help in student development and learning process.
Through assessment students become more responsible and reduce work load on teachers who no longer have to take more responsibility to students’ performance (David 186).
The use of technology for assessment comes with several benefits student learning is enhanced due to improved class attendance and preparation, students are also able to understand and comprehend contents due to easy repetition of activities, there is more class room participation, there are increased peer interactions and discussions and better learning and student satisfaction (Howard 2007).
Technology has the ability to increase teaching because immediate feedback is available thus students have the ability to influence the pace of instruction.it also enhances easy collection of data on student performance demography and hence better assessment of student needs.it also helps In reduction of paper work associated with test administration, practice sheets and performance recording and analysis (Howard 83).
Some of the major disadvantages of the use of technology is that the users especially tutors, teachers and even principals have to be well conversant with the technologies used for evaluation and assessment for it to be effective (Howard 84).
The other disadvantage is the evaluation and review of software to be used, whether it meets the required standards and curriculum this could prove a challenge in the delivery of content.
However teachers should not only use technology for assessment of learning this is because the use of technology may erode the culture of reading among the students. The students should be able to utilize other available ways of knowledge and skills acquisition aside from pure technology e.g. physical education.
David, Allen. Assessing student learning: from grading to understanding. Teachers college Press.1998.
Howard, Pitler. Using technology with classroom instruction that Works.ASCD publishers.2007.