Life skills education assessment
By the end of the session the participant should be able to:
- identify methods of assessing life skills
- apply assessment methods in the assessment of life skills
DEFINITION OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment is the means by which the teacher establishes how far the learner has acquired the desired knowledge skills and attitudes. Assessment should therefore be geared towards the achievement of the stated specific objectives
Importance of assessment
The teacher measures in the most reliable way to what extent the Life skills Education objectives have been achieved or attained. The reasons for this include:
- Helps the teacher to measure how much each learner has understood and accordingly plan for further activities
- Establish the mastery of life skills and acquisition of attitudes that have been acquired
- To determine how much knowledge learners have grasped (level of content mastery)
- Check on the effectiveness of the use of resources and methods of instruction
- Provide a basis for the learner motivation
- Provide information to school administration parents and other stakeholders for necessary action
Life skills education can be assessed through formative evaluation. This type of assessment is known as continuous assessment test. It is used to gauge the progress of the learner periodically. The tests are carried out throughout the teaching process. These tests consist of:
- Quizzes: These are short answer questions which the teacher uses to determine the level of mastery of specific content
- Assignment: These are out-of-class activities given as regularly as possible or as required.
- Oral questions: these are questions that the teacher will ask on a continuous basis to assess learners progress during the lesson
- Tests and examination: the teacher makes tests to evaluate learners' progress after a skill/ number of skills (topic) has been taught. They may be given in the course of the term, end of the term and of the year.
The teacher may use different test items for example:
- Objectives tests- these include short structure items
- Multiple choices
- True/false items
- Fill in the blanks
- Subjective tests
- Essay items
- Project assignments
Assessing the behaviour change
Life Skills Education is about behaviour and attitude change and formation. The teacher should therefore use her/his own judgement and other ways of assessing and monitoring the learner's behaviour over a period of time. Some of the effective tools of assessing behaviour change are observation, demonstration, listening, oral questioning and answers, participating in conversations, singing songs, role playing, drawing among others.
This requires the Life Skills Education teacher to watch and listen carefully to the learners as they carry out life skills activities during the lesson or as they go about their day to day activities. Peer observation should also be encouraged. The teacher should set out clear objectives to be aware of what he/she is looking for. When observation is effectively carried out, it can help the Life Skills Education teacher to tell what skills the learners already have, those they are lacking and those giving them difficulties. The teacher can use:
- Observation schedule
It is a guide outlining characteristic and behaviour that the learners manifest at various points in time during performance of specific activities individually or as a group, the teacher records observations made on the behaviour of the learner.
|Name of the learner
|Behaviour to be observed
Information obtained from such observation could be used as a basis for personal guidance and counselling.
It is a simple technique that can be used to determine the possible behaviour of a learner during the lesson. It contains a list of attributes of an individual’s behaviour and requires the teacher to carefully observe and tick whatever behaviour is portrayed during the lesson. The teacher makes a summary and draws a conclusion.
The learners too can be helped to develop and use their own check list to monitor their progress in self awareness, relating with others and making effective decisions.
For example in the case of effective communication skills the following characteristics can form items in a check list.
|Is interested in what he/she is saying
|Cares for him/ herself
Conclusion: The learner above has acquired some skills in communication. However, he/she needs to work on his attitudes towards others, responsibility, and be interested in his/her work.
Checklists like the one above can assist the teacher to determine areas to emphasize on in order to enable the learners develop relevant life skills.
This is a list of questions on various aspects of a person’s situation or issue. It requires the respondent to give an honest opinion or views. This helps the teacher to have an insight into the situation at a hand and prepare appropriate programmes and materials. In Life Skills Education questionnaires can be used before teaching to find out the needs, characteristics, experiences and knowledge level of the learners.
During teaching, questionnaires enable the teacher to find out how various learners are progressing and responding to the learning activities. After the teaching, questionnaires can be given to the learners to provide feedback on how they are applying the Life Skills learnt and difficulties they are encountering in the process. This helps the teacher take appropriate action.
The project encourages learners to learn through their own investigations rather than through passive absorption of the teacher’s words. The success of a project depends on the learner’s effort but also requires a lot of supervision from the teacher. The learners should be assign work as individuals or as groups. They should be given adequate information with regard to the scope of the project and the mode of reporting the findings. Sources and materials required. The following criteria should be considered for assessing a project.