Title

Exploring processes and issues of implementing performance assessment in grade 7th science classroom of Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The traditional assessment practices in mainstream elementary schools primarily focus on rote learning. The widespread use of knowledge-oriented assessment in the science classroom helps students reproduce knowledge rather than construct knowledge. Formative assessment is used to facilitate the learning process; however, its rigid structure in schools hinders the nurturing of higher-order thinking skills. Performance assessment (PA) consists of open-ended tasks that allow learners to exhibit their learning. Therefore, I conducted action research to explore the process and issues of implementing performance assessment in a grade 7th science classroom. The study consists of three cycles, in which each cycle had two lessons followed by one PA task. In the pre-intervention stage, observation and analysis of textbooks enabled the construction of PA tasks according to students' cognitive level. During the Intervention stage, lessons were executed along with the PA task, and in the Post-intervention stage, researchers gathered students' learning experiences. Data collection sources were critical friend non-participant observation, reflective journal of mine and students, student's work samples, and focus group discussion revealed enhancement in students' level of participation and development of various skills such as communication, presentations, searching, and questioning skills.
Moreover, the study explored processes involved in designing tasks and teacher's diverse roles in effective execution. However, the challenges of limited time and team-building among learners were captured. The study underlined students' self-regulation and ownership skills during the online implementation of PA tasks due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study strongly recommends science teachers to upgrade their scientific knowledge and skills to design PA tasks to cater to learners' individual needs and develop higher-order thinking skills.

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