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Educational assessment is the basis of the successful educational system. It is a crucial tool for determining what actually exists compared to what is targeted in an attempt to keep developing efforts up-to-date and continuous. Therefore, every aspect of the educational process should undergo assessment: the educational programs, the courses, teachers’ performance, students’ performance …etc. Assessment is conducted according to specific criteria and indicators that help forming comprehensive overview of the positive aspects, the strengths, and the weaknesses.
Assessment is a deliberate process that is based on systematic collection facts in order to reach evaluations that may lead to taking a certain stance or making a specific decision. Assessment tools differ according to the aspects under evaluation. It is a systematic process, which is based on practical principles and aims at making a precise and objective judgment on the inputs and outputs of any Educational system.
Consequently, assessment usually leads to more monitoring, description and review of all aspects of the educational process so as to conduct the proper modification, improvements and developments.
In other words, assessment is a diagnostic process that aims at identifying the achieved educational objectives and taking the right correctional procedures. It attempts revealing the strengths so as to enhance them and identifying the weaknesses to address them and to benefit from the feedback in making appropriate decisions to achieve the goals desired.
One of the basics of conducting a thorough assessment is to connect it to clear objectives and to make it cover all types and levels of objectives.
Assessment process is also a process of collecting and using the information collected in making decisions in relation to the educational program. In fact, it is considered a vital tool that helps reach the highest quality levels. It also helps identify the objectives achieved; the existing problems; the mistakes committed and the hindering obstacles in order to improve the educational process and achieve its objectives. The main goal of assessment is to improve and develop the educational process and the performance of the teaching staff as well as administration employees. It should be noted that this can be done through providing them with the necessary skills through training, qualification and continuing education to raise the level of their educational performance.
Assessment helps diagnose the educational process and all its elements based on accepted scientific principles so as to identify the strengths and the weaknesses to enable the schools practice their educational role to the fullest extent through providing possible solutions.
Assessment plays a key role in the educational process. It is considered to be a cornerstone in the educational process. Its role is not only to scrutinize teaching and learning processes; but also to improve them by identifying their strengths and weaknesses and the extent to which the goals desired are achieved. In short, the assessment process is closely related to determining what has been achieved of the planned goals and this is the number one objective of the assessment process.
One of the main features of the assessment process is that it contributes in making a connection between the plan devised and its objectives on one hand and what was actually achieved by the student, on the other.
In addition, it helps the educational institutions determine the extent to which they succeeded in teaching the students and to what extent they have achieved their educational mission. It also facilitates making a connection between the objectives of the educational institution and the needs of its students – let alone the needs of the local community.
For the student, the objectives of assessment can be summed up in determining the level of student mastery of the facts and information s/he studied; how much his/her critical thinking skills have developed; how much his/her attitudes and stances have developed; how much his/her ability to adapt to the social situations has developed; and how much his/her mental and physical health have improved. In addition, assessment helps identifying students’ needs, attitudes, abilities and aptitude.
A good assessment is a one that has specific and clear objectives. It should adopt a certain approach or technique and should be comprehensive in the sense that it covers all the matters that are directly or indirectly related to the aspects under evaluation. It should examine all the aspects and components of the educational process. Assessment should be a continuous process that starts with the beginning of the educational process and lasts until achieving the desired results.
Assessment should be built upon sound scientific basis, should be feasible, and should reveal the differences between what is planned and what was achieved. Assessment tools should have reliability, credibility, consistency, and objectivity and should be based on sound scientific methods to collect reliable information.
Assessment is extremely important as it is a comprehensive, dynamic, and continuous process that covers all the educational aspects. In addition, assessment is closely related to the process of decision-making and it is considered to be one of the indispensable developmental tools which ensure improvement of the outputs of the educational system.
One important feature of the assessment process is that it has that it has precise indicators and specific criteria for measuring performance. These features give the assessment process credibility and help identify the shortcomings and, thus, handling them.
On the other hand, the assessment process sets the stage for developing the teaching methods adopted, the academic programs and the study plans in addition to being a helpful tool for evaluating the performance of the teaching staff. All these great results which stem from the assessment process which facilitates developing our educational services.
There is also a strong connection between the assessment process and the measurement process. This fact has some dimensions and effects. The importance of the assessment process lies in the fact that it is considered one of the most important educational practices that help building human’s personality. In addition, assessment process is conducted according to a set of indicators which help measure performance and determine the difference between what already exists and what is targeted in light of the standards set in advance.
In addition to the role which effective assessment may play; it may help improve the educational process through identifying the conditions which should be met to encourage change, improvement, modification and development. On the other hand, assessment process helps identify the negative aspects and the positive aspects as well so as to evaluate the educational process academically and practically.
With regard to the student, the assessment process is closely related to teaching and learning as it helps improving student’s performance and identifying his/her actual academic level.
Therefore, due to the fact that the focus of Dar Al Uloom schools is concentrated on the students, their academic achievement and their acquisition of the necessary skills; our schools were the first all over the Kingdom to take the initiative and establish an Assessment Center starting from 1430/1431 AH.
The center has a distinguished team of academic specialists who are capable of measuring and evaluating the knowledge and skills of the students in all stages. The assessment process is conducted using multiple tools, such as the tests which students have over the academic year, content analysis, lists of objectives, standard criteria …etc.
- Evaluate the level of the student and the outcome of learning all these information during the previous years.
- Diagnose the causes behind student academic weaknesses and developing remedial plans (i.e. academic support).
- Assess the acquired skills before moving to another unit.
- Configure and train female students for achievements and aptitude tests.
- Raise the level Improving the performance of the teaching staff.
- Measure teacher efforts through the change that happened in the academic level of the student.
- Provide opportunities for creativity and excellence for distinguished students.
- Acquire the skill needed to solve different question patterns at different levels.
- Involve the parents in the efforts made for achieving success of the educational process.
- Spread the culture of continuous assessment as a crucial part of the educational process.
Therefore, assessment is extremely important as it is a comprehensive, dynamic, and continuous process that covers all the educational aspects to identify different points of strength and weakness or which objectives have been achieved and which ones have not been achieved yet.
Due to its importance, the assessment process receives high attention since it plays an important role in evaluating students’ performance and making suggestions for implementing successful international experiments so as to achieve development and improve the quality of the assessment process which these programs and courses undergo in an attempt to keep up with the goals of Kingdom’s Vision with relation to higher education and coming generations’ ability to face the challenges and issues of the current time.
Assessment is so important because it identifies the strengths and the weaknesses and proposes possible solutions to correct the path. It is a vital tool that helps identifying quality and performance level and the extent to which the desired goals were achieved.
It helps reveal the strengths to enhance them and reveal the weaknesses to address them and benefit from feedback in making appropriate decisions to achieve the goals intended. Therefore, assessment was included in our Future Vision for University Education in light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 since it is a vital tool that helps us reach the highest quality levels in order to monitor the achievements made and the results reached.
The objective of assessment is to continuously improve and update the educational process through enhancing the performance of the teaching staff as well as other employees by providing them with the necessary skills through training, qualification and continuous education. Indeed, assessment is very important to reach some conclusions on the quality of our services and how to reach the best possible performance through identifying the problems and suggesting possible solutions. It also helps improving the curriculum and connecting the theoretical and the practical aspects of the educational process. It helps us make amendments by identifying the strengths and the weaknesses and to what extent the objectives have been achieved.
Therefore, the assessment process should be comprehensive and should cover all the elements involved in the educational process; all its components and dimensions. Assessment process should be continuous until achieving the desired results. However, it should be conducted using accepted scientific techniques so as to give its results consistency, credibility and objectivity.
Due to our schools’ eagerness to provide the best educational services at the highest quality standards so as to achieve their mission and to be the optimal choice as an educational institution; the Assessment Center (Qiyas) provides academic support programs for the students in mathematics, Arabic language, and English language based on the analysis of students’ results and the results of their tests and academic assessment. This service is available during the academic year as well as during summer vacation – for those who did not meet our criteria for academic achievement in the primary stage.
Students’ parents may register their son/daughter in one or both of these periods according to what they deem as appropriate. They shall be periodically notified of the student’s achievements through the attached Academic Support Form.
There is no doubt that students have different academic needs and this requires enhancing student’s efficiency and enabling him/her to achieve the best results academically.
On the other hand, some students need additional academic support. Therefore, Dar Al Uloom schools provide them with its academic intervention and support services so as to boost their learning within modern school environment. These efforts aim at early identification of the academic problems which the students with low academic levels face.
Hence, Dar Al Uloom Schools are keen to develop and offer academic support programs to their students throughout different educational stages, taking into account the individual characteristics of each student.
For example, Dar Al Uloom schools provide special academic support services to distinguished students to integrate academic support programs with their curricula. Dar Al Uloom schools offer their students a large number of various academic support programs that are accustomed according to different academic difficulties. There are academic support programs for the students whose language proficiency level is low and there are academic support programs for talented and distinguished students who have high intellectual abilities and skills.
It should be noted that academic support programs designed for talented and distinguished students aim at sponsoring these students, sharpening their skills and supporting them since the beginning of school year so as to achieve better results during the academic year to continuously increase their academic achievement results and to help them achieve their ambitions and goals.
Academic support programs are carried out by highly competent and experienced specialists who take into account students’ individual characteristics and abilities and strive to provide all students with equal opportunities to develop their abilities and raise their level of academic achievement. Our efforts and services with relation to academic support aim at enabling students to develop themselves, enhancing their motivation and boosting their aptitude to learn.
Academic support services are available to all our students all the time and our academic support specialists spare no effort in this regard. They use all possible methods, techniques or technologies to provide our students with unique academic support services. Whether during school day or after it ends, our academic support services are available for every student wishes to receive them. We provide curricula-related classes and activities that help developing students’ skills and abilities.
In addition, we have activated our academic support plans for the students who failed to meet our academic achievement standards. Such programs shall start with the beginning of school year and shall be given to students individually or in small groups to help them achieve academic success and boost their educational performance in an attempt to develop our students’ academic achievement levels at all stages.