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He who lives without discipline dies without honour. ~ Icelandic Proverb

Cumulative Assessment

Cumulative assessments collect and represent the “results” or “outcomes” of the learning process over a considerable time period. A variety of techniques, instruments and/or strategies might be employed when conducting cumulative assessments. Regardless the type of assessment instrument used, all data must be continuously correlated, compared and analyzed to compile a development or “growth-picture” to enhance current self-understanding and awareness. The cumulative assessment process also is an important source of information to continuously monitor, evaluate and correct (if and when necessary) the reverse engineer map compiled.

The goal of cumulative assessments is to collect and record evidence that an individual is able to utilize and employ his/her knowledge, skills, required techniques and problem solving strategies efficiently. Apart from personal development and growth, cumulative assessment also is indicative of an individual's willingness to criticize his/her own efforts and initiate corrective actions, should it be necessary to do so. Thus, cumulative assessments can be viewed as “assessments of enablement or enhanced competency levels”.

Cumulative assessment procedures can be initiated at any given point in the learning or training process to encourage personal goal setting, self-monitoring, self-evaluation and the initiation of corrective actions. Especially when an individual realizes that his/her present choices and actions is taking him/her further away from his/her original goal.

Cumulative assessment implies that any assessment instrument's results only represents a particular time and space experiences as an important sub-division of the individual's total learning experience. To enhance the authentication and reliability of assessment results, “measurements” should take place repeatedly over a period of time. When following this “testing-over-time” approach, cumulative assessment can identify recurring development, growth and learning patterns - inclusive of both successes and failures - by observation, when the individual apply his/her knowledge and skills in similar - but slightly - different situations, events or circumstances.

It is important to realize that cumulative assessments are a repetitive assessment procedure, implemented over time and which use a contextualized combination of quantitative and qualitative assessment instruments and processes to systematically facilitate, guide, coach and assist an individual to adopt a life style of…

  • goal settingFor the short, medium and long term ,
  • monitoring identified goals,
  • evaluating goal performanceDoes the consequences of goal related activities getting closer to or moving further away from the expected goal and
  • initiating corrective actions SMARTly.

Any assessment process which has at its core cumulative assessments, tends to encourage and promote a disposition of proactive conduct, rather than reactive actions. In doing so a habit of life-long learning, learning through implementation and cooperative learning can be fostered through the regular feedback of cumulative assessment results… focusing on both the successes achieved and the failures encountered. Thus, providing greater legitimacy to any reverse engineer mapping exercise conducted.

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