Assessment for Instruction
Making assessment effective and purposful for our students
What is Assessment?
Assessment in a Nutshell
We use Assessment to determine:
- Overall development
- Progress in a program
- Program effectiveness
- Children at risk
Assessment should be:
Kinds of Assessments
- Formal (Academic readiness, developmental, diagnostic) = Standardized Tests
- Informal (Performance, checklists, anecdotal notes)
- Formative - During learning while modifications can still be made
- Summative - After an educational experience
Why do we Assess our Students?
- To find out how much students understand the material
- Compare students across the board
- So we can measure students’ achievement
- In order to assign students a grade
- So that students can have something to take away with them at the end
- To ensure that students have achieved certain standards and core knowledge
- To ensure that the course is recognised by external organisations/professional bodies etc.
- To maintain quality and standards
- Because we have to
- As a way of monitoring our teaching
- So we can identify areas where students need further guidance/support
- So we can give students feedback and help them improve
- To help students to monitor their own progress
- To encourage students to learn
Types of Assessments
Summative Assessment: This type of assessment comes after the learning has already taken place at the end of a unit or year. Examples of Summative Assessments are: Standardized testing, Final exams; Major cumulative projects, research projects, unit tests and performances.
Self-Assessments: These types of assessments are for students to rate themselves and assess how they feel they are doing. These are obviously subjective and many not alway be reliable, however it is healthy for students to occastionally rate their own academic performance.
Interim Assessments: These assessments take place over a longer period of time and similar to formative, offer students feedback on their score with the added ability to improve their work thereby developing mastery. Examples of Interim Assessments are: Rubrics, Chapter tests, essays, and projects.
Rubrics: This type of assessment can be teacher created, created online and student-created. This syle of assessment allows students to know what is expected of them prior to working on a project. It also puts more of the responsibility on the student for the final outcome.
Skills-Based Intuitive Assessments: These types of tests are administered via computer and cannot be prepared for in the classroom. They are skills-based and measure skills rather than information. These assessments are intuitive, meaning that they change according to how the student is doing at that moment. If the student is scoring well on every question, the program will begin to add in more challenging questions. These tests do not go according to grade level and are used mostly to track student performance gains across an entire year or even several years. Examples of Skills-based Assessments are: MAP (measures of academic progress) testing program by NWEA and SuccessMaker by Pearson Group
Authentic Assessment - What's the Point?
Authentic assessment can include many of the following:
- Performance tasks
- Exhibitions and demonstrations
- Teacher-created tests
- Self- and peer-evaluation
Quantitative Information vs. Qualitative Information
- Quantitative tells you "what" - True/False, multiple choice , surveys that show comparisons, progress, and statistics. These results are expressed in numbers.
- Qualitative tells you "why" - Open-ended questioning, discussions, focus groups, interviews that express motives, opinions, feelings, or relationships. These results are expressed in observations and explanations about more complex topics.
When using these methods to assess, both have components that the other does not. It is best to try to incorporate both tools to bring forth the best results and to obtain the clearset picture of a student's understanding and grasp of the material.
Assessment Needs Survey