The Science and Technology Pre-Service Teachers' Self-Efficacy Levels and Opinions about Alternative Assessment and Evaluation Approaches

Article excerpt

Abstract

The present study aims to determine the science and technology pre-service teachers' self-efficacy levels and their opinions about alternative assessment and evaluation approaches. The study was carried out with the participation of 53 science and technology pre-service teachers studying in the Faculty of Education at Celal Bayar University. As the data collection instruments, a self-efficacy scale about alternative assessment and evaluation approaches, a questionnaire form which was composed of open-ended questions about alternative assessment and evaluation approaches, and a semi-structured interview were used. It was found out that most of the pre-service teachers had high self-efficacy levels about alternative assessment and evaluation approaches. The results obtained from the questionnaire form and the interviews revealed that the pre-service teachers wanted to use these approaches in their future careers for different purposes, but they believed they might experience some problems while implementing these approaches. Furthermore, the study also offers some suggestions based on the pre-service teachers' self-efficacy levels and opinions about alternative assessment and evaluation approaches.

Key Words

Alternative Assessment and Evaluation, Self-Efficacy, Students' Views, Science And Technology Pre-Service Teachers.

Certain fundamental changes have been carried out in the learning-teaching notion on the basis of the new curricular reform which has been gradually implemented in Turkey starting from the academic year 2005-2006. These changes have brought to the foreground the constructivist approach, which maintains that individuals construct information upon their previous knowledge using cognitive and social processes. As stated by Kiliç, Karadeniz and Karatas (2003), constructivist approach requires that whole learning occurs as a result of mental construction and that individuals take greater responsibility and be more active during their learning process. Kanatli (2008) argues that every novel approach in the field of education influences the teaching methods and techniques used, as well as the assessment and evaluation techniques. In this context, as constructivist approach was introduced in the curriculum, changes were made in the learning-teaching methods, techniques, and strategies used, as well as in the assessment and evaluation notion.

In the process of assessing an individual's knowledge, the focus had for long been on assessing factual knowledge, after which assessment of procedural knowledge gained prominence; however, today metacognitive knowledge has become the focal point in assessment (Fourie & Van Niekerk, 2001). Gülbahar and Büyüköztürk (2008) suggest that the assessment method selected for learning and teaching process is effective in helping students acquire higher order thinking skills. Conventional assessment and evaluation approaches usually employ classical tests. As a traditional assessment strategy, summative assessment is a conventional method of only assessing learning outcomes at the end of a teaching process, while formative assessment as a part of performance assessment tracks progress during the semester and regularly collects feedback from students by way of responses (Born, 2003, p. 169). Since formative assessment mainly aims to gain insight into what students know and do not know for changes to be made in the learning- teaching process, techniques such as teacher observations and classroom discussions as well as homework and test analyses play a crucial role in this assessment approach (Boston, 2002).

Dikli (2003) considers multiple choice tests, truefalse tests and short-answer questions as the commonly used traditional assessment and evaluation instruments. Such tests employed by these approaches include a limited number of options suggested by teachers (DeMauro, Helphrey, Schram, & Spiekermann, 2001) and focus on superficial knowledge assessing lower order skills and removed away from the real source of success (Miesels, 1995). …