Beliefs and Challenges of Assessment

In my experience in school we had a variety of different assessments, whether we knew we were being assessed or not. Journals, tests, oral examples, homework checks, etc. were all common forms of assessment. However, I see now that a lot of emphasis was but on to the tests. Prior to these articles I thought that assessment was all about grades. I thought it was a number in a book, only dealing with marks. I realize now that this is not necessarily the case.

From “Learning to Love Assessment” it really opened up my eyes as to what assessment really is and what it should include. Some things that stuck out to me include,

  • “Informative assessment isn’t just about tests.” There are a variety of different assessments a teacher can do to foster the best in all his or her students.
  • “Informative assessment isn’t always formal.”   It doesn’t have to be a big exam at the end of a unit; a journal could be a form of informative assessment to assess the level of understanding of your students.
  • “Informative assessment happens during not after an outcome.” I think it is important to be always be assessing your students work.
  • Ask your students how they learn best, and how they would like to be assessed.
  • Assessment helps you notice where your learners are at with their work.

From chapter 6 in “Our Words, Our Ways”, the reading opened my eyes from another perspective. I also learned many different things that I will bring into my classroom.

  • The idea of fair grading practices, and to be open to negotiations for late assignments, or the need for second chances.
  • Provide students, with a review, practice questions, and give students a minimum of three days to prepare for a test.
  • Many Aboriginal students can be supported when they are given multiple forms of assessment
  • Self-evaluation is a great form of evaluation as it supports cognitive assessment, builds motivation and improves attitudes towards evaluation.

The main challenges I see with assessment deal with differentiation. As a beginner teacher I think it will be hard to be able to differentiate for everyone. I think it will be hard for me to get past the idea that it’s not about the mark. Just because that’s the way we were taught throughout school. How does one go and assess someone without marking a student on the work. If you know that one student shows that they understand an outcome in one form of assessment but not on the test, how would you go about giving the student a mark that shows their understanding?

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