6 a i). Define the term “assessment” as it pertains to the teaching of history and government and examine its significance.
Assessment is a systematic process used to determine the extent to which educational objectives are achieved. This is done through measurement and evaluation, Although the terms “measurement” and ”evaluation are often used interchangeably, there is a slight distinction between the two, Measurement involves the construction, administration and scoring tests in order to come up with quantitative descriptions of student performance and it is more specific than evaluation, Evaluation on the other hand means the processes in which value judgment plays a key role in such areas as grading and promoting students. Such judgment is based on a composite of different types of measurement obtained from tests, projects, laboratory work, reports and examinations.
Assessment of learners’ academic progress is central to effective teaching and learning. AJdrich argues that: “Assessment is a key element in educational practice, for in its many forms, it is an integral part of the process of teaching and learning, essential for monitoring standards and a powerful instrument of change”. (Aldrich: 1991; 66).
Assessment involves two steps: identifying and defining the objectives of instruction and constructing or selecting evaluation instruments which best appraise these objectives.