Chapter 5 Assessment
5.4 Internal Assessment
5.4.1 Guiding principles
Internal assessment practices should be aligned with curriculum planning, teaching progression, student abilities and the school contexts. The information collected will help to motivate, promote and monitor student learning, and will also help teachers to find ways of promoting more effective learning and teaching.
(a) Alignment with the learning objectives
A wide range of assessment practices should be used to assess the achievement of different learning objectives for whole-person development. These include oral questioning, tests and examinations, role-play, group discussion, projects and field trips and familiarisation visits.
The weighting given to different areas in assessment should be discussed and agreed among teachers. The assessment purposes and criteria should also be made known to students so that they can have a full understanding of what is expected of them.
(b) Catering for the range of student ability
Assessment at different levels of difficulty and in diverse modes should be used to cater for students with different aptitudes and abilities. This helps to ensure that the more able students are challenged to develop their full potential and the less able ones are encouraged to sustain their interest and sense of success in learning.
(c) Tracking progress over time
As internal assessment should not always be a one-off exercise, schools are encouraged to use practices that can track learning progress over time (e.g. portfolios). Assessment practices of this kind allow students to set their own incremental targets and manage their own pace of learning, which will have a positive impact on their commitment to learning.
(d) Timely and encouraging feedback
Teachers should provide timely and encouraging feedback through a variety of means, such as constructive verbal comments during classroom activities and written remarks on assignments together with indications as to where improvements should be made. Such feedback helps students to sustain their momentum in learning, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
(e) Making reference to the school’s context
As learning is more meaningful when the content or process is linked to a setting which is familiar to students, schools are encouraged to design some assessment tasks that make reference to the school’s own context (e.g. its location, relationship with the community, and mission).
(f) Making reference to current progress in student learning
Internal assessment tasks should be designed with reference to students’ current level of knowledge to avoid making tasks too difficult and thereby causing a negative impact on learning. Teachers should be mindful in particular of concepts and skills which form the basis for further development in learning.
(g) Encouraging peer assessment and self-assessment
In addition to giving their own feedback, teachers should also provide opportunities for peer assessment and self-assessment in student learning. The former enables students to learn among themselves, and the latter promotes reflective thinking which is vital for students’
(h) Appropriate use of assessment information to provide feedback
Internal assessment provides a rich source of data for providing evidence-based feedback on learning in a formative manner.
5.4.2 Internal assessment practices
A range of assessment practices suited to THS, such as oral questioning, tests and examinations, projects and field trips and familiarisation visits, should be used to promote the attainment of the various learning outcomes. However, teachers should note that these practices should be an integral part of learning and teaching, not “add-on” activities.
do. Teachers are encouraged to try using oral assessment as it can be a valuable supplement to conventional assessment methods and can also help students to improve their oral communication skill.
Tests and examinations
Tests and examinations are widely employed in everyday learning and teaching. In devising the items, an effort should be made to include questions with different demands (e.g. for reproduction of simple factual knowledge or deeper conceptual understanding) and of different types (e.g. multiple-choice, data-based and essay-type).
A variety of items should be used to assess a wide range of skills, including creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
In tourism and hospitality education, role-play is important for simulating authentic situations in the industry and bridging the gap between academic knowledge and the industry’s practices. Simulations help students to develop their critical thinking skills and also provide a way of assessing their performance on practical tasks which cannot be done through paper-and-pen tests.
Role-play exercises can
introduce students to the concept of team-building by engaging them in pair or group work – a vital collaboration skill valued by the industry; and
engage them in analytical thinking and investigation to explore the interdisciplinary nature of tourism and hospitality as a subject and as an industry.
Field Trips and Familiarisation Visits
Field trips and familiarisation visits have many applications in different subjects, ranging from collecting specimens on an outing to reflecting on visits or tours. In THS, students have the opportunity to explore the real contexts within the tourism and hospitality industry. This calls for keen observation, mastery of concepts and skills, and accurate recording. Field trips and familiarisation visits can often contribute significantly to establishing good relations between the school and the community and can be very rewarding for students.