Looking Back

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Today, I started reading the materials that were very kindly provided for by my teacher regarding assessments, evaluation, item bias, aptitude tests and a whole bunch of other terminologies that I would need to familiarize myself with. I wrote things down, as I normally would when reviewing, and when my hands and fingers got tired, I thought that I should take a break and look up my old write-ups and reread them. It was a good thing that I did, because while reading a few old entries, I came across something that I wrote on intelligence. I mentioned that, “test scores are not to be taken as the ONLY basis for an individual to be branded as intelligent”. This idea was once again reiterated by the numerous references that I chanced upon reading while looking up some of the terms. I believe that no single type of test can be the ultimate measure of one’s intelligence. I say this because based on past learnings, each individual can manifest several different types of intelligences ( as per Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences) and to say that one is intelligent purely on the basis of his cognitive abilities is unfair to those who may perhaps be better skilled in interpersonal relations or those who are gifted with the appreciation of the arts. This may explain why experts have come up with all sorts of assessments and tests. Take for instance, an aptitude test. It is designed to assess a student’s capability and competency to perform a certain task, whereas, diagnostic tests are intended to locate learning difficulties of students with the objective of targeting those patterns of errors for corrections.

There are tests that are aimed to assess one’s potential for specific learning like the Dynamic assessment and tests that assess students ability to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in one part of the program to other parts of the program or across the program as a whole.

Note too, that tests no matter how ” standard” they are may be subject to change or revisions especially when Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) are not met. And, as each individual is unique in his learning abilities, it is possible to say that these tests, assessments and evaluations of the individual’s measure of intelligence may vary in its validity.

To summarize, although I for one believe in the value of giving out different tests as means to measure one’s capability or competency, I would say that the sincerest way to measure one’s intelligence should not be limited to just getting good grades in exams, reports, theses etc. since not everything can be measured in a direct way– like ones’s perceptions, feelings and attitudes towards various situations or tasks. Besides, the goal of grading is to evaluate an individual’s performance but it may not always be the most reliable measure nor is it the only measure of one’s learning. (See: http://www.cmu.assessment/basics/grading).

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