Evaluation of Learning

Three domains of learning should be considered when identifying learning aims. They include psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains. Psychomotor domain includes physical movement skills; cognitive involves the development of intellectual skills and content knowledge. Finally, affective domain includes emotions of the psychomotor domain (Kidman & Hanrahan, 2011).

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Originally, psychomotor domain addressed manual and physical skills. However, it has evolved to take account of the modern skills in business and social skills. Bloom’s taxonomy of learning has several levels. These includes perception, the ability to use senses to direct motor activity, the set of which is defined as the readiness to act that involves physical, mental and emotional responses. Other domains include guided response, which is the process of learning to do complex skills through trial and error. It is perfected by practicing. The mechanism is learned through habits. However, complex overt response is the accurate performance of activities with a high level of proficiency. Finally, there is the period of adaptation and origination. Adaptation is whereby an individual can modify the skills acquired to fit the requirements, while origination is whereby new skills are acquired for certain activities (Clark, 2010).

Learning strategies are employed to ensure that the objectives of the activities are achieved. All levels of psychomotor learning can be evaluated and achieved through different strategies. The perception and set level are attained through lectures, reading aided demonstrations and audio or video observations. The evaluations are done using a question and answer periods. The trainee and trainer learn the guided response and mechanism level through discussions and reflections. Evaluation is conducted through surveys, case studies, and role-play. Complex overt response is conducted through on-the-job training and through practices. Simulations can be used for evaluation purposes. Finally, both adaptation and origination are evaluated using the real life situations (Clark, 2010).

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Affective learning involves how matters are solved emotionally. It is categorized into five levels, from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The first level is the receiving phenomena. This is the willingness to hear, listen, and remember newly introduced words. Responding to phenomena is the other level; it involves the reaction of the learner through active participation. In this case, emphasis is laid on the compliance or willingness to respond. Learning is conducted through discussions and presentations. Thirdly valuing is the level involved in internalization of certain precise values. These values are exhibited by the learner’s behavior and can be expressly identified. The other level is organization. It categorizes values by comparing them and resolving the conflicts between them.  Emphasis is laid on the comparison of values. Finally, the last level is the internalization of values. This is where the value system controls the behavior of the learner. It helps in objectivity of problem solving process, thus leading to professional commitment of ethical practices routinely. (Clark, 2010) The emotional quality of the learner is evaluated through observation.

The other component that is evaluated is willingness or awareness of the student of the concept being relayed. The other method of evaluation is to evaluate the automaticity of responses. This helps in knowing whether the learner has internalized the context and skills learnt. It is the evaluation of internalization that is the consistency with which one behavior matches with the internal conduct (Neumann & Friedman, 2010). Two key factors are considered when evaluating the credibility of affective learning. They include reliability and validity. Reliability of the scales used to determine the levels of learning should be high, which means that it should not affect the content and consistency of the parameters being evaluated. Excellency of the parameters being evaluated should be observed; this ensures the validity of observation made. (Neumann & Friedman, 2010)

Authentic evaluation is any method of evaluating student learning based on real world tasks and activities, also known as the performance assessment (Allnurses.com, 2011). Students demonstrate learning in situations that mimic the experience or practice outside the classroom. Authentic assessment methods include simulation, competencies, exhibitions, interviews, writing and creative learning objects (allnurses.com, 2011).

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An assessor, who has the relevant expertise in the skill to be assessed, is chosen to carry out the assessment. The assessor ensures that the candidate has necessary and appropriate information for the preparation of the appraisal. Planning of the assessment is done to allow the assessor assess one candidate in the place, which is convenient to both. Sufficient time should be given to allow the completion of the test. However, time allocated should correspond to the competence of the candidate. A combination of assessment should be used like clinical questioning and interviews. These methods allow easy judgment to be made regarding the competence of the candidate (Truemper, 2011).

One of the advantages of this mechanism is that it focuses on the analytical skills and knowledge integration, promotes creativity, reflects the real world skills and knowledge, encourages collaborative work, enhances oral presentation skills, and emphasizes the integration over time. On the other hand, disadvantages are intensity of time to monitor and coordinate, difficulty to coordinate with mandatory education standards, challenges to provide consistent grading scheme, subjective grading that leads to bias and may not be practical for large enrollment (Tangient llc, 2013). In conclusion, the performance assessments are a way of indicating the academic performance of learners.

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