The Assessment of Competency and the Importance of Judgment




Scallon, Gérard

For years now and still today, evaluation of learning practices have adapted without too much trouble to measurement and evaluation concepts and even managed to grow despite some confusion in terminology. Evaluations have become a reality which encompassses a host of operations; all without calling upon the judgment of the evaluators. The practice of objective examinations, characterized by precise tasks such as answering multiple choice questions, is a firmly established tradition. The grades of several of these examinations are later blended into a total result which is analyzed and used in the “mechanics” of certification. The evaluation of complex performances such as writing a text and oral presentations, does not escape this practice. Even if tasks given to the students are more complex and elaborate that those in objective examinations, the mathematical processing of the results remains the same. Although the work is qualified in relation to criteria, the evaluation itself leads to quantifiable results and/or grades that will be tabulated sooner or later. In a competency-based approach, evaluations rests on a methodology linked on one hand, to the nature of the problem situation or situational task facing the student being evaluated and, on the other, to the analysis of results obtained during the course of study or at the end of training.


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