Cogitating about the assessment and its role, it is possible to outline several important outtakes. First of all, it remains practical for students as it contributes to the categorization of knowledge structuring information acquired previously. At the same time, the given tool helps to identify the existing gaps in knowledge and helps to eliminate them by offering multiple learning strategies. That is why, from this perspective, the assessment becomes a practical and necessary tool for students.
At the same time, today, there are multiple demands regarding the authenticity of learning, which introduces specific requirements to the employed methods. For this reason, it should be said that the discussed assessment truly lends itself to the given issue because of the clarity of instructions, the opportunity to acquire relevant information, and contribute to the further improvement of outcomes by using data for educational purposes (Nickell, 1999). The given element is fundamental for any assessment and should be observed to guarantee its successful implementation.
However, there are debates about whether the assessment is a tool promoting critical thinking or simple memorization. The analysis shows that it is impossible to give a clear answer to this question as it depends on the peculiarities of students and their approach to learning (Banks & Banks, 1999). Individuals might use memorization techniques or critical thinking to solve tasks and acquire appropriate results; however, it does not decrease the practical utility of the tool and its ability to contribute to the achievement of existing educational goals.
At the same time, the assessment is designed in a way that covers the current MA and national standards. Traditionally, the methods of assessment and the evaluation criteria are offered regarding the existing program and demands to the quality of provided knowledge (Banks & Banks, 1999). For this reason, the coverage of national standards is fundamental to guarantee the relevance and credibility of findings.
The assessment’s impact on the collaboration between students is another disputable issue. The desire to show outstanding results might trigger the emergence of both collective and individualistic patterns, which depends on the current situation, atmosphere, or goals. However, in general, it is possible to admit that in the majority of cases, the assessment can lead to improved collaboration between students and help them to form relations that would be useful for their future learning activities.
The benefits of the assessment mentioned above can justify its use in the classroom. First of all, it can help students to structure the information they already have or acquire a new one by memorizing important facts. At the same time, as stated before, it might have a positive impact on the development of critical thinking among learners and their collaboration. Finally, it is capable of indicating the current gaps in knowledge and showing ways to overcome them, which is vital for the achievement of positive outcomes.
However, as with any other assessment tool, the given one can be improved. It is possible to provide students with more opportunities for practicing critical thinking as it is an important element of the educational process and meets the ideas of authenticity. For this reason, the introduction of additional sections or criteria evaluating the ability to think critically can encourage students to engage in this sort of activity and prefer it to other techniques such as memorizing, which might have a not so powerful impact on their ability to acquire new information and use it effectively.
Banks, J., & Banks, C. (1999). Teaching strategies the social studies. Longman.
Nickell, P. (1999). The issue of subjectivity in authentic social studies assessment. Social Education, 65(6), 353-355.