I started my experience with assessment years ago when I taught English as a foreign language at North China University of Technology. My students often came to me with questions like "why can't I carry a conversation in English even though I score perfectly on exams," or "How can I know what I need to improve." Those eager-to-learn students need more than just test scores and letter grades to help them understand what they've learned and how they can learn better.
Good assessments should create beneficial learning experience for students. Here, I like to tell a personal story. One semester, I decided to do something different for the final. I asked my students to produce a talk show as a group, each of them having a role to play--the host, guests, experts, and even actors in commercials. This new assessment method dramatically changed students' ways of learning. They spent more time in using English rather than memorizing vocabularies and grammars. They were interested in collaborating with peers rather than sitting alone in the library. On the final's day, my students talked in English with great confidence and they proved to me that they could achieve more when assessment was done right.
This success changed my view of assessment and brought me to a career in this field. I want other faculty to see the power of assessment like I did and help them use good assessments to make teaching and learning enjoyable and fruitful.
From then on, my assessment journey started. In 2005, I worked at the Office of Program Evaluation at University of South Carolina. After one and half a year, I transferred to University of Illinois at Chicago, and received my Master's degree in MESA (Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment). After working at the Office of Chicago School Initiative for two years, I joined the TLT family (Teaching, Learning + Technology) at Stony Brook University as an Assessment Specialist. Working with devoted faculty at Stony Brook on assessments with dertermination to improve student learning continues to inspire me to explore this exciting field of assessment. The fun of assessment never ends.
As an assessment advocate, I strongly believe in continuous improvements through self-correction and peer-review. Your feedback and comments are very important for me. Please click and expand the link "show comments and tags" at the bottom right corner of every page to leave your thoughts, questions, ideas and critiques. Many thanks.