A continuous assessment is more important than the rating mode, according to experts

How to know that the student is meeting school expectations? The notes they are the best tool for parents to know their child's progress in the classroom. Suspense, approved, notable, outstanding, or a numerical system that covers from 0 to 10. However, some people believe that these mechanisms have been obsolete and propose their withdrawal, in the case of the Catalan Government's Teaching Department, who for the 2018-2019 academic year has eliminated grades from 0 to 10 in secondary education.

A measure that in the opinion of experts such as Anna Espasa, professor of Psychology and Education Sciences, and Nati Cabrera, assistant director of Teaching and professor of the same Studies, should not be the center of the debate. From his point of view what should really be relevant is the continuous evaluation that closely follows the performance and the acquisition of competences by the student.

Communication with the student

Both experts of the Open University of Catalonia they wonder what it means for the student to get a 3, a 4.7 or an 8.2. From your point of view you have to question what message is sent to the student when he is given these qualifications and how it can help him in his academic success. In this course, secondary education in Catalonia will offer its students the following grades: excellent achievement, remarkable achievement, satisfactory achievement and non-existent achievement.

In any case, the debate should focus on the progression of the student and the accompaniment that the latter receives from the teacher. Teachers should monitor how the student is progressing and what they can do differently to improve their current situation. In short, be by your side so that the message transmitted to you allows your developing and do not stay in telling him how he is doing in a certain subject.

The key is a continuous assessment and that allows the continuous formation throughout the student life. This system must be able to detect the problems presented by the student and help him overcome them. A feedback that allows the increase of the capacities of young people, a consolidated progress between the teachers and their pupils where they are told "how is progressing and what can do differently or better to keep moving forward".

Evaluation and rating

The debate between evaluation and qualification has already appeared. María del Carmen Ruiz Córdoba, expert in education, difference in one of its publications between both terms. From his point of view, the second of these words refers to the assessment of the student's progress, that is, a qualitative or quantitative expression of the student's activity.

For its part, the evaluation It has to focus on the collection of information, accompanied by a subsequent interpretation according to certain desirability patterns. In this way, a value judgment is issued that allows the orientation that has the purpose of making decisions about the student. A formula to make decisions about student performance that allows for improvement.

Both processes must be part of the same mechanism that allows both the student and the teacher to know how the student is doing in the school year. From the notes that are provided with the qualification the evaluation must be exercised and to detect what has happened so that this situation has been reached. Well because the student has reached the objectives in an excellent way, and therefore it is necessary to maintain this situation, or because the opposite situation has occurred and action must be taken in this regard.

Damián Montero

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