R5 - Assessment for Learning

BY FERN HOSKIN

QUESTIONS

A) Construct a list of 3 key principles of assessment

Outline each principle with reference to your own experiences as a learner

Define at least one way/strategy to bring each principle to effect in the classroom.


B) Next, focusing more specifically on formative assessment, construct a list of 3 key principles of formative assessment.


Justify the value of each principle chosen through consideration of course material and the two course texts. Give at least one example of how each principle could be an integral element of ‘good’ classroom practice.

The Assessment of Learning

The assessment of learning is a valuable tool, which I am going to use day in and day out of my teaching career.

The importance of this topic is huge; it is the basis of many teachings in and outside of the classroom and the front of my reflections and feedback. It requires assessment and evaluation, which both measure they amount of learning which has been undergone a making appropriate decisions based off of the judgment of these methods (McGee & Fraser, 2005). These two terms are very similar and difficult to spot differences between, but is an important part of teaching and learning.


The Term assessment comes from the approach to defining how much and what has been learnt through collection of information, based on the progress of the learners in relation to their goals set from the New Zealand Curriculum (McGee & Fraser, 2005).

Evaluation is the analysis of the information gathered from assessment and the journey of deciding what is to be done next during the teaching progress.


I found a really good example of formative and summative assessment on the TKI website which states, “summative assessment is intended to summaries student achievement at a particular time, whereas formative assessment is intended to promote further improvement of student attainment” (Te Kete Ipurangi - Minstry of Education, 2010).

Diagnostic Assessment

· Diagnostic assessment

This is what I call ‘pre assessment’ because it identifies children’s prior knowledge before implementing a learning action.


Assessment – a valuable tool, which I am going to use day in and day out of my teaching career. The importance of this topic is huge; it is the basis of many teachings in and outside of the classroom and the front of my reflections and feedback.

The Term assessment comes from the approach to defining how much and what has been learnt through collection of information, based on the progress of the learners in relation to their goals set from the New Zealand Curriculum (McGee & Fraser, The Profesisonal Prctice of Teaching, 2005).


Evaluation is the analysis of the information gathered from assessment and the journey of deciding what is to be done next during the teaching progress.

My experience with this and teaching is little yet again – but a place where I have used it hundreds of times is when studying for my Degree in Sport and Recreation. We were taught the skill of diagnostic assessment in relation to screening people whom we came into contact with in a personal training or health-based environment. I would initially, screen a client or patient to get a baseline assessment level, which I could then individualize and apply a thought out plan to, based off of these findings, for health and safety as well, incase of previous injury, weakness, condition or disability.

I think this gives me a fairly good understanding of the approach that I need to practice, become great at and take as a teacher in a classroom environment.


One main experience I had with this in a teaching environment was on the onsite intensive earlier in the year. We used the first lesson we had at Avonhead Primary School to assess the foundation, review our target audience and get a ‘feel’ for the students we were going to teach the following lesson.


This chance to apply this technique was so valuable to me, and I didn’t notice it until reading over the content for this reflection. We got the chance to first hand apply the little knowledge we had, to a group of young kids who we had know idea about, and give them a fun, new and exciting lesson, which I think we successfully did. The process was one that I will always be able to use and it is a strategy, which is really applied and diagnostic, perfect for a new teacher.

Formative Assessment

· Formative assessment

The main purpose of formative assessment is to review and monitor the progress of student learning and provides ongoing feedback for both the student and teacher to use to improve the overall learning experience (McGee & Fraser, 2005). This approach allows for:


Students to identify and acknowledge strengths and weakness of areas they need to improve.

Enhances teacher’s ability to recognize where students are lacking knowledge and provides the opportunity for immediate change.


It is more of an informal approach to assessment, as you can do this mid lesson and during any point where questioning or ‘quizzing’ needs to take place, in order to generate feedback to the students. The feedback needs be positive, and based on a strong classroom culture that encourages belief in ones self and that all students can succeed, especially, in low achievers as it focuses on specific problems picked up in their work with clear and to the point identification of needs to be done to work on it (Black & Wiliam, 2001).


This is what I hope to strive towards: “A good teacher practices formative assessment constantly on an informal basis through classroom observation and interaction” (Te Kete Ipurangi - Minstry of Education, 2010).


I can again relate this to in regards to my degree, because in a way I used to use this approach as well. Sometimes during session, or appointments, clients would experience a pain or not be able to do something, this was then assessed, isolated and re-tested under more individualized application. The same situation is applied through coaching, just in the physical and tactical aspect more as well. I haven’t yet ever used this that I can think of in teaching, not that I can identify as yet anyway.

Summative Assessment

· Summative assessment

This approach to assessment is based on evaluating the students learning post lesson, and comparing it to a set standard. This way of assessment is called ‘high stakes’ which translates to having a high point of value (Groff, 2012).

These examples include:

· Exams

· Projects

· Assignments

· Papers

· Tests

This way of assessment is used as a formal guide to evaluate student’s current knowledge and assess previous topics covered.

I cant think of any time that I had to actually set a test, exam or any type of assessment which may fall under this category. But I do remember sitting exams in school, during my degree and are still doing assignments today.


This approach to assessment is very clear-cut to me, and I like the grounding behind it. I think it is a great way of getting an overall result of larger groups or smaller one, to find a census and get perhaps a bigger picture view. The use of this assessment in the classroom will be a very valuable tool to use and will be ideal for me to source the areas of improvement needed for a whole class.


I can see some implications which may arise with this approach also, in regard to special learning and developmental needs, where children may not respond well in this type of environment, the may not be able to express themselves in this approach and it might not meet the needs of people who struggle with writing especially, when a lot of the time these contexts are set in a written standard.