Created by Radiyyah Sulaiman
"Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” (Lopez, 2013, p. 98).
The goal of assessments is to effectively measure student learning and progress and to use the results of the assessments to help students improve in any areas of weakness. Students are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, proving how well they understood a concept. Understanding this point, teachers will place importance on preparing students for assessments and making sure the assessments are student- tailored. Assessments sometimes show the effectiveness of a teacher's instruction and effort, but this should not be a teacher’s sole purpose for giving them.
Assess, Analyze, and Act
Teachers should use assessments to evaluate student learning, analyze the results, and create a plan that will allow students to improve and enhance their learning.
Making a Difference Through Assessment. Retrieved from
Validity, Reliability, and Transperancy
Assessments must be clear and make sense. If students are taking a Math exam, they should be assessed on math concepts and not Science. There should not be any surprises. Students should be informed or understand the content of the assessment. For example, if students learned adjectives and verbs, then the assessment should not contain questions about compound words or nouns.
Performance Test Assignments. Retrieved from http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=369291
My Experience of Assessments Gone Bad
I remember my first year of teaching like it was yesterday. I joined the school during the middle of the year, and it was time for students to take their trimester exams. I was instructed to prepare a Science and an English exam for my first grade students. My initial thought was, “Why are first grade students having trimester exams, and how can I create exams for them not knowing their levels or abilities.
This is a time that I failed assessing my students, who were mostly English Language Learners.
1. I did not really know who my students were, their levels, or their capabilities.
2. I was given an insufficient amount of time to prepare the exams.
3. The assessment was written with a heavy language load, meaning that the wording was too difficult for them to understand.4. Some parts of the assessment included questions that the students did not understand because of their cultural beliefs.
The Time I Succeeded Making My Students My Partners
After taking educational courses about assessments and learning why assessments are crucial to learning is when I succeeded in making my students partners while assessing them. My students were prepared and ready for their assessments because they knew what to expect and what was expected of them. They understood how to take the assessment and what type of questions would be asked. When they succeeded, I also succeeded.
Partners for Student Success. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/archives/partners.shtml
Reflection of Assessment Practices
Lopez asked some very reflective questions. I know my students better than any other teacher; this is one reason why I must participate in all assessments that my students will take, whether it’s formative, summative, or performance. Formative assessments are, in my opinion, the most important assessments, because teachers can still help students achieve in mastering and understanding whatever it is they are learning before taking summative assessments. Summative assessments are valuable in determining if the student really understands, or if the student is indeed ready for the next level.
In previous years, my first grade students were required to take trimester exams and I saw no value in them. These exams did nothing but make both students and parents stressed. My students were already being evaluated through formative assessments and summative assessments, such as weekly and chapter tests. The principal during that time didn’t know what she was doing and thought that the only way to prove how well the students understood the content or mastered certain skills was through these trimester exams. I now know that that mindset is not the mindset any teacher or educator should have. Learning is an ongoing process and can be evaluated in many ways.
I have learned from my Ashford University courses and from my past experiences, and I must say that I have a better understanding of how to effectively assess my students.
Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.). Turnaround Schools Publications.
Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.