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A Comprehensive Formative evaluation and Proposal of Learning in higher education

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FREITAS, Antônio Alberto da Silva Monteiro de [1]

FREITAS, Antônio Alberto da Silva Monteiro de. A Comprehensive Formative evaluation and Proposal of Learning in higher education. Multidisciplinary Core scientific journal of knowledge. 01 year. Vol. 09. pp 763-776. October/November 2016. ISSN:2448-0959


This article focuses on the assessment of students ' learning in higher education and your relationship with pedagogical practice in the classroom and the professional training of students. In the text, it is argued that if not fulfilled all the steps related to the evaluation of students, described and analysed in the course of this work, the teaching and learning process is committed and, consequently, the permanence and the completion of students in the courses. The article starts with the definition of models and concepts of evaluation, in a historical perspective; are then focused the steps this evaluation process: structuring the research or diagnostic, of determining the value or merit about reality evaluated and the commitment to overcoming and improving the process evaluated. In the subsequent section, presents a proposal for practical applicability of these evaluation steps, as well as the proposal of a program/student learning space, as an alternative to improve the profile of the students who attend higher education, in the last section, are treated as final considerations, highlighting the need for consideration of these steps by teachers in the classroom as a means of qualification of the teaching and learning of students.


The evaluation of the learning of students who attend higher education is a very complex issue that directly affects the educational process in the various contexts related to the universe of classroom teaching.  The theoretical reflection on pedagogical issues and more specifically about the teaching and learning process in upper courses, your nature and specificity has not been the keynote of the discussions at the University.  The absence of this joint debate on pedagogical concepts, modalities or perspectives of learning evaluation, as well as building institutional practical benchmarks of these choices can lead to strong misconceptions in referral of this matter that, certainly, is today one of the most controversial and important issues related to the process of teaching and learning in higher education.

What you see in the institutions of higher education is that the evaluation, rather than diagnose the occurrence or not of learning and their reasons, aimed at the adequacy of the pedagogical work, she has taken contradictory and incoherent with the your role to exercise functions that, unlike encourage students to remain at the University and contribute to the success of your route, make you distance yourself from her.

The purpose of this article is to make a critical reflection on the main models and conceptions of learning evaluation, in a historical perspective, highlighting the fundamental elements that should be part of these processes. Based on these theoretical assumptions, presents a proposal for practical applicability of these mechanisms, based on a conception of inclusive learning and formative assessment.  It is believed, therefore, that this work can guide the teaching practice in the classroom, and, in a broader perspective, contribute to the implementation and consolidation of policies and programs in support of the students, suitable for school planning for the students can improve your performance in higher education and may remain and complete your course successfully.


The formulation of theoretical references on the evaluation process of learning has been through an evolutionary and historical process is directly related to the educational and political context of each country, in certain historical moments.

In Brazil, the assessment of learning has been through various phases, also related to the social and political context of the country, as well as the evolution of the conceptions of education and pedagogical theories.  The first phase comprises the assessment as a measure, such as measurement and had your source in the early 20th century in the United States, with studies of Thorndike. For proponents of this concept, it was possible to create a measure for quantifying the knowledge that the individual was going to getting along your school life. Were developed and implemented standardized tests for external agents to educational programs, understood as instruments of observation and verification of quantitative information, expressed in degrees, about what the students had learned and memorized over a given period.

This model was greatly influenced by Psychology and behaviour source by the positivist paradigm that had your development in the mid and late 19th century and early 20th century who championed the scientism, technical rationality objectivity and proof of theories through quantifiable and measurable data. This evaluation perspective, consisting basically in scan testing and quantifying the results coincides historically with the conception of the traditional Pedagogy of education prevailed in Brazil since the colonization until about 1930 and that He valued practice exams with qualifying purposes to mere pass or fail students. This practice is manifested both in the history of education and school practice as a power resource in the educational relationship playing the bourgeois social model Centralizer, authoritarian and exclusionary.

The second perspective is called evaluation evaluation for objectives or descriptive assessment and the main theoretical reference studies of Ralph Tyler. This proposal came to be understood as a reference for comparing the results of the assessment and the objectives of the education and the degree of compatibility between these two dimensions, having as parameter to change the student's behavior. Applied tests students to see if they learned what the teachers wanted to teach (goals). Highlighted-if the description of strengths and weaknesses related to the achievement of institutional goals pre-set and the focus became the descriptive, maintaining the technical aspects of the previous generation.

The political and social context of Brazil favoured the practice of this model of evaluation, technical and educational objectives-centric, whereas the assumption of industrial model in the country, from 30, and the collapse of the economic model which lasted in agroexportador country for more than four centuries. From this new political strategy, it was necessary to form specialized labor to meet the demand of the industry, which emerged as the only alternative that would lead to economic growth of the country which was plunged into a deep crisis. The management of education came to be recognized as a national issue and seen as an instrument able to take Brazil to achieve this goal of economic growth and for that reason there was the replacement of capitalism by liberal state capitalism, through the if called interventionist policy, where he began to be a strong presence of the State in education who went on to dictate educational rules the country through a powerful legal and normative apparatus.

This new educational model was incorporating the values of the company such as productivity, rationalization of work, efficiency, emphasis on results and compliance with strictly economic objectives. This thought just began to change with the studies of the educator Anísio Teixeira who advocated that the school could never be compared to a common undertaking, considering its own peculiarities related to the human formation of the students (training). The work of this pioneering author, as well as other authors such as Antonio de Arruda Carneiro Leão, José Querino Ribeiro, Manoel Lourenço Filho, is historical and bibliographical material that favors the initial bases for the theoretical consolidation of administration School in Brazil.

A third assessment perspective, called in the literature of "formation, differentiated, participatory and negotiated" (Guba and Lincoln, 1989), is tuned with a larger view of education that began to gain strength in Brazil from the of 80 with the resumption of the democratization process in the country where the critical partner or sociological paradigm in education (Saviani, 2008; Sander, 2007) on the basis of Marxist analysis, went into effect as opposed to classical and conservative theories of school administration. This conception emphasizes the social transformations, via education, and see the school, not as an objective reality that needs to be controlled, but a social construction undertaken by all. The decision-making process occurs collectively; There is an emphasis on qualifications and professional competence, as well as in monitoring and systematic evaluation with pedagogical purpose.

Despite being varied and multiple conceptions and interpretations of the evaluation Act, considering the historical perspective described earlier, there is a consensus in the literature that the latest evaluation is an activity that consists in obtaining information about a particular reality; activity or process, thus, your valuation and subsequent decision-making (Afonso, 2000; Luckesi, 2012; Valencia, 2003).

According to this definition, the assessment involves, therefore, three great moments that are fundamental and which therefore are indispensable and should be part of any process of learning evaluation. The first is the diagnosis, quality information search; the second is to trial in that the information previously gathered, organized and analyzed, will serve as a support for decision-making in relation to the evaluation process and the third is the use of this decision in the direction of improvement of process. The authors Tam and Vieira (2009) argue, in this context, that the evaluation is at the same time or diagnostic research (technical aspect of the evaluation), management (political aspect of the assessment) and of commitment to overcoming and improving the evaluation process and the social aspect of evaluation.

Other studies on learning evaluation developed, nationally and internationally, they rescue the constituent elements of the evaluation, referenced by the authors cited and add other important aspects for a better understanding the evaluative phenomenon.

According to Worthen, Sanders and Fitzpatrick (2004, p. 35), assessment is "the identification, clarification and implementation of defensible criteria to determine the value (value or merit), quality, usefulness, effectiveness or extent of the object evaluated over the These criteria.

For Arredondo (2009) the assessment should allow "educational/teaching activities adapted to the characteristics of individual students and to Depresbiteris (2009) a unique focus on the evaluation of the performance of pupils, the assessment began to be interested in different individuals as: teachers, parents, administrators and other various educational agents. This may indicate that the assessment of learning, in a contemporary idea, if limited not only in assessing the performance of students in the classroom, but also to the management of the institution, the work of the teacher, to your methodology and curriculum, considered the latter as all activities carried out by the school, related to educational policies adopted by different educational systems.

Considering the elements that make up these understandings of learning evaluation, on optics of the various authors cited, both historically and in the present day, one can see that this is not a peaceful, neutral, simple process result of activities and knowledge technical purposes, but involves conflicts of interests and power struggles. This implies accepting that evaluation "is an activity that is affected by political forces and to have political effects" (House, 1992) and, therefore, is a complex phenomenon, contradictory and multirreferencial, linear, and therefore never fulfills distinct purposes and caters to various interests.

Based on these theoretical assumptions, referenced by the authors cited, it should now do the work and effort of practical applicability of these mechanisms and evaluation processes of learning, considering those three steps, here referred to, discussed and analyzed.

In what follows, are proposed some principles and steps related to the evaluation of learning that should guide the teacher in the classroom for good practice in the teaching and learning process of learners, with detailed analysis of each step Member This process and taking as parameter an evaluative inclusive proposal, education and training. The assumption is that evaluation is a subsidiary of pedagogical practice Act, with a view to obtaining better results as regards learning, on a path of personal development and constructive as of each learner and the decisive role of the Professor in building and driving this process.



This is an educational activity that, in General, must occur at the beginning of the course, although it should not be restricted to this moment and making a survey of the student's prior knowledge, that is, collects a set of valid information about what he already knows the answer EITO content and skills necessary for it to continue in learning. Are not any information that the teacher needs to know about the reality of the student in terms of learning, but those that are relevant and essential to make a path to personal and professional growth during your course. This diagnosis should be real, honest, without escamoteamentos (DEMO, 2002), because in this way, allows you to better visualize where the student is and where it needs to go.

This implies a willingness to accommodate the reality of student learning, whether satisfactory or not, good or less good. Evaluate a learner implies, first of all, welcome him and accept him as he is, without criticism and previous judgments in relation to the reality of learning that presents itself. This is the basic point and essential condition to make the learning evaluation activities because it creates a link and makes room for a positive relationship of dialogue and building trust between teacher and student.

Make a diagnosis means, investigate this reality of students with regard to the situation of learning (research evaluation dimension), adopting a methodological and scientific rigor to get qualified information about of them, whereas the direct observation does not allow the evaluator to know deeply this reality. That's why the evaluator for evaluation tools that are, according to Luckesi (2012), "lenses that expand the field of observation". It is necessary that the evaluator has some care when plans and constructs these instruments because a poorly drafted instrument could lead to a complete distortion in the diagnosis of student learning.

The first care is that the instruments should be diverse, multiple and varied so that they can receive as much information and can do more coverage of content and skills that the student needs to achieve.

The second caution is that they are appropriate and chosen according to the objectives and purposes for which they are intended and present the technical qualities required of a minimum assessment tool: time required for assessment, available number and type of items, set out clear, degree of complexity of issues (estimated index of difficulty), which should be evaluated (content), the theoretical-methodological consistency between what was taught and what is being evaluated; establishment of clear evaluation criteria and indicators; validity of content, whereas a representative sample and essential knowledge and relevant skills, and coexistence between quantitative and qualitative approaches as complementary and expanded form of obtaining data and information significant.


On the systematized information, organized by categories and analysis with clear indicators about the reality of students ' learning, it is necessary, at this point, the teacher evaluator make a value judgment or merit on this reality. Evaluate, from Latin avalere, is by definition "give to" or "assign the value". Means assign a quality to the object of the evaluation, related directly to these indicators and learning references and that clearly show the situation in which the student is. But to make an analysis if these indicators are satisfactory or not necessary for a teacher to make a comparison between this reality and the standards and benchmarks that he, a priori, established in their teaching and objectives learning. Therefore, evaluation processes are initiated on the first day of class when the teacher introduces and discusses with his students your syllabus, course objectives, what he's proposing to teach their subjects, the methodology and resources didactic-pedagogical will be used, procedures and evaluation criteria, as well as the bibliography of the specialty that will support the entire development of the teaching and learning process.

These processes and practices of learning assessment must be directly associated with these goals and, for that, it is absolutely necessary that the teacher establishes criteria and benchmarks about their teaching goals, to that, constantly, to assess the current reality of student learning and the reality that he wished that the student was considering these criteria benchmarks. For the construction of the teaching objectives and ideal reference criteria, with regard to the assessment of teaching and learning, the teacher seeks support in a conception of society and education that gives support to all your work. Hence the importance of the institution discuss with the community, explaining clearly in their institutional documents, Institutional development plan-PDI, Institutional educational project-PPI and pedagogical project of Course-PPC, what are your philosophical and educational principles because this decision is due to all the work of the teacher. When the teacher follows the principles and values of a conservative and traditional conception of education, for example, will have on the assessment instrument capable of qualifying goals, bureaucratic and authoritarian education, where the note assumes role preponderant.

On the contrary, one who believes in social democratic and constructive role of education, which see the dialectical relations and always in movement that are established between education and society, you will be able to develop educational activities and evaluation which certainly each student will make your own exercise of building growth, autonomy and improvement throughout your school and professional trajectory.


Make a decision means, in practice, the teacher intervene actually evaluated for your improvement. The information obtained and assigned with respect to the student's learning will serve as a starting point for professor start, along with his students, a process of organization of contents, activities and methodologies that provide a redesign of your course for the construction of knowledge, considering the reality of the student, but maintaining the same objectives, evaluation criteria and ideal parameters related to the proposed teaching and learning in the curriculum. This moment is essential because it provides the interaction between the teacher and his students where students perceive as correspondents for the theoretical and methodological path of knowledge construction. That's what Perrenoud called differentiated Pedagogy that values of formative assessment practices also defended by Hoffmann (1998) and opposed to the conservative and authoritarian practices that unfortunately still happen in our midst.

The student, to participate in this process of choice and decision of multiple activities and that match the stage of development in which you find yourself, he can project what may be, exerting your autonomy and that leads him to realize his actions and conduct through a process of self-consciousness, that is, the learner from the continuous feedback from the teacher and their own analyses and based on a system of standards and conduct, establishes a map of work and studies, with guidance from the teacher, empowering the process of adjusting your own learning. The important thing, so that this can be achieved is the teacher assume the political commitment to do everything for the student to learn, grow and develop to the maximum of their potential.


After the effort of teachers and students reflect and think together theoretical and practical projects and activities that may contribute to the overcoming of learning problems, there may be students, especially those who joined recently in higher education who have not obtained satisfactory performance in regular sequence of the curriculum, considering the family background and learning deficiencies that they load from your basic training and making it difficult to process your development in higher education.

According to studies on student profile (Mathew, 2004), students are enrolled in higher education with a lag of prior knowledge and difficulty proceeding within the array.  As they reach the higher education learning limitations, with the University, to receive these students who joined the various and flexible forms of access, has the responsibility to mitigate or even address the knowledge gaps and the structural difficulties that students bring basic education. It is believed that by creating an institutional space for learning and permanent evaluation for these students, with planning strategies that stimulate the permanence of students in courses, can be no better learning and knowledge construction, on the part of students.

Some activities can be offered outside the regular schedule of classes, student learning in this space, so students can develop some basic skills and meet the learning disabilities, for example, the participation of students in Portuguese with leveling courses offering reading and writing workshops; in mathematical activities that develop the logical reasoning of students; in activities related to new information and communication technologies (ICT), in monitoring programs and scientific initiation in extension courses.

It is important, also, that the institution, through its teachers, provide diverse training spaces that can be or not school school (theatre, excursions, visits to museums, works with the community, experiences with EAD) as spaces training beyond the walls of the University. These alternative forms of learning can encourage the development of many students who could not overcome their difficulties in the formal spaces and traditional classroom.


These are some theoretical reflections and practical possibilities that can lead to a building of a process of learning assessment in higher education that can bring positive results to the academic community and especially for students. We believe that, to achieve this step or stage of awareness of educators and students, it is necessary that the managers of the institutions and the courses have a supposedly higher ideal of education, a commitment to the transformation of the existing social structures and a careful look at in relation to the main objectives and purposes of the evaluation, so that really there are changes and significant improvements in learning and teaching (whereas there is only education when there are learning).

The theoretical principles and practical procedures, defended in this work, with regard to the evaluation of learning, limited in a procedural review, inclusive perspective, training and education. Is a internal assessment perspective, who values the differentiations and characteristics of the institution and its students and develops and if perfect in debate and dialogue with the subjects that are part of the educational process. It is understood that no consideration of these principles and that are related to the stages of the evaluation process of learning described and analysed in the course of this work, and makes the process of evaluation of the teaching and learning of students. On the contrary, if these principles and procedures are considered and if there is an understanding on the part of the teacher of the importance of social and critical participation of students in the construction of your own learning, the evaluation methods can have important role in the educational process, to the extent that they will promote and facilitate the monitoring of the course of students ' learning of participative and democratic way.

Despite the changes of culture concerning the assessment area, as well as the construction of projects that involve collective values represent processes very slow and require time and political determination to happen, we believe have contributed, in this article, with some thoughts and theoretical and practical possibilities in the area of learning evaluation in higher education that can lead to the construction of a new social and human education project and evaluation. This project should acknowledge the differentiation and not homogenization, as possibility of learning and exchange of experiences and allow to participate in the educational process, becoming sympathetic in the planned work, making you feel responsible for this process and taking part effectively in the decision-making process.


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[1] Doctor of education from the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA); Professor at the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL)

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