Assessment in SMAN 3 Medan: Monthly Examinations and Reporting

February 24, 2018

Classroom Assessment is defined as an ongoing process of identifying, gathering, organizing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information about what learners can and can't do.


During my stay at SMAN-3 Medan, I observed two forms of assessment: summative examination and group reporting.


Summative examination was given to the Grade 10 and Grade 11 students for one day. Their textbook served as their questionnaire, as this was mainly an assessment of their reading comprehension skills. The students were tasked to read a text in their book and answer the guide questions or activities that followed. This was an open book exam, so the students were free to reread the text for important information.


The text given was a short recount text about the life of Cut Nyak Dien--an Indonesian national hero from Aceh who rebelled against the Dutch invasion of her homeland after the death of her husband, Teuku Umar. The students were tasked to write a short profile about her after reading the text by listing down important details such as her birth date, birth place, significant places of conflict, and others. They also answered guide questions to the text, such as "Who were Cut Nyak Dien's parents?".


At this school, summative examinations were given every end of the month. This was followed by a formal examination that would be given at a later date. Most of the classes I observed took their exam seriously and maintained some form of discipline. Only one section displayed serious disciplinary problems while they answered their exam.


My supervisor stayed with me for a while, but had to leave momentarily for a meeting. This left me in charge of one of her classes during their exam. It was utter chaos: students left their seats and blatantly cheated off one another. Some students didn't bother to answer until thirty minutes before the end of the second period. There was much unacademic noise that occured. As this was my first time teaching, I had no idea how to handle this situation. I was just fortunate that my supervisor came back before the end of the period.


This experience left me somewhat disheartened because their actions undermined the purpose of classroom assessment: to track students' learning and find out what weak points should be improved. The fact that they cheated means that they chose the easy way out rather than using their own knowledge.


Another form of assessment I observed was group reporting.


My supervisor had to leave for a meeting one time, so she asked me to assess the group reportings of two classes. They reported on the different types of texts.


Some students mostly read what was written on their PowerPoint presentations and did not interact with their audience so much. Some of their presentations also had cluttered or small text that was hard to read. Pictures were also sparingly used.


Other students spoke well however and grabbed their audience's attention. They established rapport and made themselves heard. They also followed the 6 x 6 rule (that is, to limit each line of text on your slide to six words).


The students defined their assigned type of text then read a story that served as an example. After reading the story, they asked questions to the audience. by providing multiple choice-type tests.


This activity was allotted 100 points. I was unfortunately unable to give a score higher than 90 as there were many flaws with their presentations. I still appreciated some of the students' efforts however, and hope that they could improve in the future.


In the future, I hope these students take their school activities more seriously and realize the importance of classroom assessment. 

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