ENHANCING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE OF STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS WITH ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Mr. Godfred Kwame Abledu: Koforidua Polytechnic-Ghana
A paper presented at a day’s seminar organized by the Ghana Mathematics Society for all levels of Mathematics Education on the theme: Revamping Mathematics Education across board.
On 20th of March, 2009 at All Nations University-Koforidua.
The aim of this paper is to provide a guide to the use of the range of alternative assessment tools available. The paper also examines the issues considered significant in the use of alternative assessment for teaching and learning mathematics in Ghanaian schools.
Alternative assessment is any assessment method that is an alternative to traditional paper-and-pencil tests. Alternative assessment requires students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that cannot be assessed using a timed multiple-choice or true-false test. It seeks to reveal students' critical-thinking and evaluation skills by asking students to complete open-ended tasks that often take more than one class period to complete. This form of assessment is usually customized to the students and to the subject matter itself. It involves students and teachers in the continuous monitoring of students' learning. It provides teachers with feedback about their effectiveness as teachers, and it gives students a measure of their progress as learners
The paper posits that in order to evaluate our programmes and the progress students are making, we must look beyond the current traditional assessment alone, and find better ways of assessing students’ creativity, ability, and sensitivity in mathematics. The paper emphasizes the need for assessment to provide a comprehensive view of pupils’ all-round performance in mathematics. The paper is also of the view that knowing mathematics is doing mathematics. There is therefore the need for teachers to create situations where students can be active, creative, and responsive to the physical world.
The paper concludes by stating the belief of the author that in order to learn mathematics, students must construct it for themselves, and therefore recommended Alternative Assessment as an ideal activity for such processes.
Key words: alternative assessment, traditional assessment, teaching and learning, comprehensive, performance.
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