Recently, I’ve been reading about the different forms of assessment that teachers are asked to carry out. From here, I have been reflecting on what assessment means to me as a future educator.
I believe that assessment is “the process of identifying gathering and interpreting information about students’ learning. The central purpose being to provide information on student progress and set the direction for ongoing teaching/learning.”
The main purpose of formative assessment is to shape teaching/learning, to enable educators to ascertain students’ current understandings and to monitor progress against learning goals.
Examples of Formative assessment techniques:
• Specific, targeted goal setting. Student goals are recorded in the front of their exercise books or on cards that can be referred to during lessons.
• Self and Peer Assessment. Students consider two positives and one area for improvement in a piece of work, this could be a taken a step further to encompass the Think/Pair/Share technique.
• Student Reflection Journals. Student reflection on their learning, whether on paper or in digital form such as a blog post, is a great way to monitor understanding.
The main purpose of diagnostic assessment is to identify cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs and to draw on students’ prior knowledge.
The main purpose of summative assessment is to evaluate resources and teaching strategies.
Examples of Summative assessment techniques:
• National Testing
• End of Unit Tests
• Rich Assessment Tasks (particularly in Mathematics)
• Rubrics, with criteria contributed by students
• Physical samples of student work and digital examples, collected and collated evidence of student understandings to assess against learning objectives.
What I’m really interested in is the different ways that teachers collect, collate and use the assessment data they have. This way of thinking is cleverly encapsulated in the WHERETO anagram for Quality Teaching.
W- Ensure that students understand WHERE the unit is headed and WHY.
H- HOOK students in the beginning and HOLD their attention throughout.
E- EQUIP students with the necessary experiences, tools and knowledge.
R- Provide students with numerous opportunities to RETHINK big ideas, REFLECT on progress, and REVISE their work.
E- Build on opportunities for students to EVALUATE progress and self-assess.
T- Be TAILORED to reflect individual talents, interests, styles and needs.
O- Be ORGANISED to optimise deep understanding as opposed to superficial coverage.