Week 5 Discussion 1: Assessment

by La Toya N. Kemp

Who benefits from assessments?

According to our text, "assessment is not about the teacher; its about the student" (Lopez, 2013).

MY THOUGHTS...

I agree with Lopez's quote above and have always felt as if assessments are not being utilized to its full potential. Assessments can serve as a very valuable tool to teachers and students. Over the years, it appears that the focus on assessments have more than doubled, but not for the right reasons. As discussed in earlier weeks, more and more teachers/schools see assessments as a means to evaluating the amount of federal funding the school will receive. The focus is no longer on the students and using the assessments to improve learning for the students.

Defending Our Assessment Practices

Four Questions Related to Assessment to Consider:

1. Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students?

2. Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment?

3. Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students?

4. Are you using an assessment you have no idea to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with?


The four questions above are important for determining the mindset of the educator and the reasons behind why the assessment is even being used. If an educator sees no value in the assessment, they will more than likely just do it because it is the protocol of the school and they are just going through the motions. Also, if they do not have the proper assessments or training to use the assessments, it again becomes a mute point and a useless tool in the end.

Teachers & Students: Partners in Assessment

When I was instructing in the past, I always tried to involve my students in the learning process. One way that I accomplished this was by using the acronym WIIFM. It stands for What's in it for me? It open up the students minds to the importance of what they were being taught and how that learning would be assessed. Being able to provide a thorough explanation to my students allowed me to "create buy-in for the process" (Lopez, 2013).

Reference:

Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.). Turnaround Schools Publications.