Theoretical Preconditions for [a] Change in the Student Assessment System: Toward Good Practices
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Student formal assessment is the core axis of the educational process that affects the whole teaching / learning activity, its quality, students’ success experience, their self-respect and self-esteem, and the perception of self-efficacy. By recognising prospects as the main learning objective and defining the outcome as personal and authentic learner progress, the assessment raises the need to pay a due attention to reflection, deep consideration, and feedback to all participants of the educational process. Against this background, doubts are started to be raised about appropriateness of the grade, currently being one of the most popular methods of the formal student assessment, leading to the scientific problem of this article. Over the last few decades, a shift in the assessment has been observed, from the focus exclusively on the end result to a stronger orientation toward the whole educational process, with an emphasis on motivating students to learn and strengthening their involvement in the educational process. These changes are illustrated by the Finnish good practice where, in an environment based on mutual trust and respect, and without questioning the importance and need for testing learners’ knowledge, abilities, and skills in the teaching / learning process, alternative assessment methods: portfolio assessment and learning conversations, are successfully used. To transfer examples of the good practice and adapt them to the national context, it seems reasonable to apply theories and models of change management. Achieving a targeted and effective change in the area of the assessment requires a process-focused approach to the change management.
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