No Excuses University - Assessment

Week 5 Discussion 1

“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” (Lopez, p.97).

I agree with Lopez's perspective on assessments. Often teachers see assessments as a way to measure students instead of using assessments as a tool guide guide and support students learning. Many assessments are used to track learning and the data that is generated only tells where students fall in comparison to other students, schools, states, etc. We should be using assessments to enhance, develop, and change the way we are teaching.

I do think that assessments are a reflection of the teacher. If assessments are being used the right way teacher should constantly be changing and developing the way they are teaching so their approach is tailored to their students needs. So in a way, I do think assessments are about the teacher.

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Defending Our Assessment Practices

Think about the following questions related to assessment:

  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 how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with?
These questions are a great way for educators to reflect on the assessments that they use. Whether applying these to mandatory assessments or voluntary assessments that teachers choose to implement, these questions are a good starting point to get the mind rolling with the what, why, and how of what we do.

Taking these questions into account would add value to practice because they lead back to the root of why we do assessments. If educators can answer these questions they will be better equipped to utilize assessments to their (and students) advantage.

In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment?

I have succeeded in including the students and their input, feedback, and developmental and learning needs into the assessments used. We use a system called Teaching Strategies Gold and while these factors are not built in to TS Gold there are ways to incorporate the students instead of using the system as a "teacher only" system.

I could delve deeper into the results and feedback from the assessments to better tailor the students learning to their developmental level. Basically, partnering more with students and more often.