The Factors Leading to Unfair Academic Assessment

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Academic assessment in any educational institution at any educational stage should yield to an  accurate and fair assessment.

But the cultural background of students has always been a core factor that could perplex teachers when they assess the students’ performance, especially in the linguistic domain. This means that teachers are to be aware of all the thorny issues that could impede the accurate assessment and assist students in making academic progression.

My academic and professional experiences with Chinese students have incited me to learn more about the Chinese culture to facilitate addressing their needs. That would eventually lead to accurate assessment of their performance by the end of the courses. Out of the cultural components that formulate the success of the process of learning, other factors emerge to contribute to the credibility of the assessment.

First, the case of “social embarrassment” that the Chinese students suffer from definitely hinders any efforts exerted by teachers to know how students are  progressing. The problem of committing any errors in classes does not indicate to teachers the volume of knowledge that has been fully assimilated by the students. Many attempts on behalf of teachers to instigate the Chinese students to participate in in-class activities regardless of the erroneous outcomes are in vain.

Second, the gap between teachers and the Chinese students plays a negative role in finding a concrete bridge where both parties ensure the process of teaching and learning are successful. Teachers in the Chinese classes are usually the “kings”, where the students are the recipient of knowledge without sharing any comments or feedback. Therefore, teachers could not clearly perceive the comprehension that should be grasped at by the students. So, any tests to assess the success of the learned content are not genuine.

Moreover, the administration of the educational institutions curbs teachers from reaching a final assessments about the students’ performance when quotas of success and failure are imposed upon the academic results by the end of courses. Undoubtedly, some students, according to this system, would be victimized, since these results would not demonstrate a gauge for students to treat their academic weaknesses and enhance their strengths. Academic assessment should conform to transparency and credibility, so that the acquisition of knowledge is processed properly. The administration procedures at educational institutions should be strongly interconnected to academic progress.

For the sake of adjusting the assessment to meet the needs of students, I have to set individual meetings with the students seeking academic advice to discuss any problems they envisage. Online communication viaWeChat, Skype, Facebook, etc… is an ideal solution when the students and I cannot fix appointments during the week. This kind of communication helps students pinpoint all their problems, and at the same time, they realize that their final assessment is not the genuine indicator demonstrating their true academic progression.Teachers should always communicate with students in classes to break the ice, so assessments for students could reflect the students different successes and weaknesses.

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