Assessments for Learning

by Aretha Kubera

Key Strategies

In Assessments for Learning, Rystad (2013) highlights the following as key points to ensure that a classroom is an effective environment for students to be successful in their learning:

  • Strategy #1 - Be clear and concise when explaining the goal(s) and intentions of of the lesson(s) being taught;
  • Strategy #2 - Facilitate constructive discussions, tasks and activities to allow students to maximize their thought process;
  • Strategy #3 - Provide feedback that would allow students want to continue want to learn more and increase their thirst for knowledge;
  • Strategy #4 - Create an environment where students can partner together so that they can learn from one another, but also connect with each other; and
  • Strategy #5 - Motivate students to be accountable for their learning. Giving students the tools to do research on their own to support their theory.

One example that struck my interest was allowing students to be mentors to other students giving the opportunity to learn from each other. I think this would create a great bonding experience, but also allow the students to learn at their own pace on a 1:1 basis. Another example that I like was "C3B4ME," directing the students to being researching information to learn on their own prior to consulting the teacher.

Formative vs. Summative Assessments

According to the Arizona Western College (n.d.), a primary focus of a formative assessment is to identify areas that may be in need of improvement. Formative assessments can be completed on an on-going basis by teachers through observations, review of the lessons through active discussions and quizzes. It allows the teacher and the student to monitor how the student is capturing the information in the lesson. Formal assessments can assist the teacher in determining how to proceed when teaching; to scale back, maintain at the current level or continue to move forward with the lesson.


According to the Arizona Western College (n.d.), a summative assessment tests the final product/outcome of the lessons taught to the students. The results of this type of assessment can determine whether the teacher's methods of teaching were effective in a positive or negative manner.

Classroom Implementation

I think using both formative and summative assessments are necessary in the classroom. Formative assessments allows for creativity for both the teacher and the students regarding how the lessons are taught and received. One creative way to implement a formative assessment is to quiz the students by playing games in the form of family feud, jeopardy or win, lose or draw. This would make learning fun and allow the students to retrieve the lessons in their own thought process. Once the teacher is confident in where she/he is in her/his lessons to the students, she/he could have the students conduct an individual or group project or individual presentations. Or the teacher could allow the students to be creative on their own and present in their own way their interpretation of the lesson for a final grade.

References

Rystad, M. (2013, April 7). Assessment for learning [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcLMlY6R7RM


Formative and Summative Assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2015, from https://www.azwestern.edu/learning_services/instruction/assessment/resources/downloads/formative and_summative_assessment.pdf