Is There an Exact Science to Assessment?

A+ with pencil
Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Assessment is a huge topic for all teachers. Everyone has their own beliefs and experiences that influence how they go about evaluating students. Some are super flexible with the assessment format and time, while others prefer traditional beliefs with assessment. Based on the readings, and my own experience, it becomes to clear the more options you provide, the better. With knowledge about multiple intelligences and learning styles, I know that not every student learns the same. If every student doesn’t learn the same, why would they all be assessed the same way? I believe that students should always be given opportunities to show their learning in different ways: whether it be options of poster, video, essay, etc.; or, different types of formats for an exam such as true/false, multiple choice, short answer, verbal, etc.  Although different subjects make it tough to provide options for assessment, time should always be spent brainstorming methods to allow adaptations. It is also important not to get stuck on just traditional assessment methods: written exams, pop quizzes, etc. My belief is to find everyone’s strengths, and instead of working against them, use their strengths and opinions to design the best suited assessment method/rubric.

My worries about assessment is that I will look at the grade my students get and only focus on that number/letter and not about what got them that grade. My hopes are to look at the grades my students receive and question what got them there. Assessment, even backed by the readings, should be integrated in lessons through the whole unit so the teacher is able to adjust their lesson plan accordingly (with informative assessment). With the results from these assessments, teachers can target troubled areas, as well as spend less time with the information their students already know, to prepare students better for the formal assessment (assessments where the grades are actually used for report cards).


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