Student Assessment 101

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Assessment, evaluation, testing; what is it all about?

Assessment, evaluation, testing; what is it all about?

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  • 1. Testing, Assessment & Evaluation Assessing for Improvement
  • 2. Why do we test?  It does not diagnose causes for low scores:  psychosocial, cognitive, emotional or physical reasons for their inability to achieve. As teachers face more and more children with increasingly severe disabilities we are facing more and more cutbacks:  Special Education, ESL programs, Professional Development opportunities, including in-service, and less access to human and physical resources.  These are the programs that help a teacher make a difference and provide quality programming to all students.
  • 3. Why do we evaluate?  To communicate student achievement to      students, parents, administrators, institutions & employers. To improve learning and instruction Provide incentives to improve (goal) Evaluate effectiveness of instructional strategies. Perform individual diagnosis and prescription.
  • 4. Grading for learning  Assessment  Tools for collecting data or information about students’ level of understanding   E.g. projects, quizzes, tests, PBAT, homework, presentations Evaluation:  Teacher judgments based on information obtained from the assessment .
  • 5. Perspectives on Grading        Grades are not essential for learning Grading is complicated Grading is subjective/emotional Grading is inescapable Research on grading practices are rare No single best grading practice Faulty grading damages students & teachers
  • 6. Testing, Assessment & Evaluation The purposes of testing may be any of the following reasons 1) accountability 2) feedback 3) classification and/or certification of students 4) reform.
  • 7. Grading in Principle      Grades should not include group marks Grade in pencil “Highest most consistent mark” Sample mark Vary assessment techniques:   paper & pencil, performance (observations), personal communication (questioning techniques), Vary assessors:  Peer, teacher, self-assessment
  • 8. Evaluation Practices     Teachers do not normally evaluate effectively. NOT: attendance, participation, keeping neat books or desks, effort or attitude. Purpose: improve student learning. Do not assign group grades:  Not fair, undermine report cards, convey wrong message, violate individual accountability, provide resistance to cooperative learning, may be challenged.
  • 9. Teacher Assessment     Note strategies that worked Summarize the results Identify what to do next Day-behind book?
  • 10. Assessment that promotes learning     No unexpected surprises Allow students to celebrate & demonstrate their learning Engage & motivate with authentic work Provide specific, timely feedback
  • 11. Feedback  What is it?      Adjust water for shower, cook a meal, exercise, Q & A Where does it fit in with a sound assessment plan? What does good feedback look and sound ike? How can we encourage feedback for selfassessment & self-adjustment? What are the barriers to quality feedback? G. Wiggins/Myers
  • 12. Feedback        You can’t learn without feedback Teaching doesn’t cause learning Learning arises from attempts to perform Most powerful modification to enhance achievement is feedback Feedback is not the same as praise or blame Develops metacognitive habits of mind Opportunities for students to feel competent and accepted
  • 13. Feedback Should be       Valid: “assess what you value” Reliable: “consistent in your judgements” Manageable: “work smarter not harder” Timely Specific Corrective:    what went well What needs improvement How to improve
  • 14. Assessment of a Unit          Are my assessment & evaluation practices tied to curriculum? Do I communicate criteria effectively? Do I balance a variety of assessment strategies? Do I provide feedback regularly? Do I separate learning skills from student achievement? Are grading practices based on sufficient evidence? Do I involve students in evaluation strategies? Do I modify for special needs students? Are assessments free of bias: race, gender, social, cultural, financial, ability, learning styles?
  • 15. Rubrics
  • 16. Teacher Self-Assessment       Are these activities meaningful for the students? Are the students involved in procesing and reflecting (metacognition)? Are they acting on what they know? Are they transferring knowledge? Are they integrating new information with what they already know? Have I integrated learning styles