Assignment and examination are two of the most common evaluation tools to assess students’ progress in their learning. More so, an important intention to evaluate student learning is to gauge whether the learners are accomplishing the learning objectives set out for them.
Assignment based evaluation Vs Exam based evaluation
Now the big question is – which one is more effective? An assignment-based evaluation or exam based evaluation.
Research and records show that for the last 40 years in the UK and other countries, assignment based evaluation or end of module assessment by coursework in higher education (Postgraduate, Master degree & Ph.D.) has dramatically increased. This has been evidenced in various academic research articles. It is also noted that a higher percentage of learners themselves choose to be assessed by coursework or assignment. The research further indicates that assignment based evaluation tends to yield a higher score than evaluation by examination alone. A known researcher in this topic in 2015, – John T.E. Richardson, found that student exam based evaluation performance is more generalized. The researcher highlighted in his findings the lack of feedback in exam based evaluation and its limitation in properly evaluating the breadth and depth of the learning per se. The researcher further discussed that rather than facilitating good learning, exam-based evaluation simply test knowledge on that particular time, it implies that the examination experience of the students does not properly contribute to learning compared to the way an assignment based evaluation does. However, exam-based evaluation cannot be dismissed; a blended approach may be adopted. Coursework assessment needs to be given a higher consideration because it provides a better learning experience to students.
Advantages of Assignment based evaluation
Needless to say, assignment based evaluation will facilitate higher teaching and learning opportunities for students to critically think, acquire new ideas, deal with issues, manage events, and ask intelligent questions. Assignment results in improved learning skills of students in general. Below are some of the distinct advantages of assignment based evaluation:
At Westford University College (WUC), we have adopted an assessment based evaluation method to assess our students’ learning. We regularly evaluate our MBA students with assigned coursework (assignment) to understand their writing and research skills, knowledge of the topic, and overall progress in their course. We believe that high quality and equitable assessments are essential to delivering effective learning.