Not a long time ago we were once again confused and frustrated by the Indonesian government’s decision to give a green light to the national exam for senior high school students. Furthermore, it was used as the indicator to pass students. While the government have implemented the new curriculum, which has currently been revised, the Competency-Based Curriculum,the national exam still reflects the mindset of the old paradigm in education.
In many schools, assessment means asking students to take short answer or multiple-choice tests that focus on monitoring students’ factual knowledge, rather than on helping them better understand how their learning and their talents are applied in the world that awaits them.
Can pilots receive certification just by getting good grades on short answer tests? What if doctors never worked with patients during their training and learned about the nature, causes, and treatments of illness only by perusing medical textbooks?
So, what is the appropriate form of assessment that should be applied? Well,
the assessment that emphasizes real-world applications that favors realistic performances over out-of-context drill items.
Such assessment practices require students to GENERATE – rather than choose – a response, and to actively accomplish complex tasks while bringing to bear prior knowledge, new learningb and relevant skills.
Some ideas are: investigate and develop solution for an environmental problem, create a budget to solve a personal problem, develop a plan to solve a social problem, design an album cover, represent ideas in dance/drama, create a cartoon strip, create a game, put together a magazine, etc.
If we expect to assess students’ understanding, then we need an assessment system that is driven by realistic problems and questions that make up the disciplines and asks students to engagein authentic and motivating work around those problems and questions.
Eventually, what we want to see is students to discover their talents, abilities, and interests, and to learn how to apply those talents in the world beyond the classroom!