In-person classes started last August 22, 2022. The Department of Education’s School Safety Assessment (SSAT) Tool helped the schools to cater learners. Undeniably, for two consecutive school years we had experienced learning gaps due to the Covid 19 pandemic. These academic losses of learning opportunities are a great challenge to our teachers. They should be efficient and well prepared on what teaching pedagogy that should be most effective to these kinds of students. But how and where to start?
These past two weeks since the start of the in-person set up, we considered it as adjustment period for both the teachers and students. At this point, administration of diagnostic assessment is very important. It aims to prepare students in school. We diagnose before instruction in order not to waste time, effort, resources and to be aware of the things the students were not able to catch up from previous school years. We need to pinpoint if they hold basic or advanced knowledge. Diagnostic assessment checks not only the students’ weaknesses but also their strengths. In weaknesses, the teachers should be able to determine the prerequisite concepts on teaching the subject. While in identifying their strengths, the teachers will not cause delay in doing a repetitive teaching process on what the students already realized. They should address students’ specific needs.
The teachers may decide to administer a teacher-made diagnostic assessment and to make certain that it is constructively valid and reliable, Table of Specification (TOS) will come in. There are steps to follow in applying TOS; coverage of the test, consider the attainable objectives for each topic area, observe the duration for each content area, and identify the type of test to administer. As stated by Fives & DiDonato-Barnes, Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation: “TOS helped teachers frame the decision-making process of test construction and improve the validity of teachers’ evaluation based on tests constructed for classroom use”. Ambiguity and evasiveness will be eliminated if each question is evaluated using test item analysis. In which it examines students’ responses to individual test question. It completely and comprehensively analyzing the value of improving test questions. The processes mentioned increases teacher’s skills in test construction and in identifying specific content areas which need greater emphasis and clarity.
With diagnostic results we could not only plan or formulate next lesson but also to strategize interventions. No matter how you master your lesson is not a guarantee that you are effective as a classroom teacher. It is not even a guarantee that the students are learning or gaining knowledge from your instructions. Primarily, administer diagnostic assessment, a significant progress in every unit of discipline or subject area.