Assessment

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Recently in my coursework, I read the article entitled “Assessment of Learning, for Learning, and as Learning” by Lorna Earl. The article discussed different ways to address assessment.

I liked the idea of the varied roles of teachers in assessments. In assessment, teachers serve as mentors, guides, accountants, reporters and program directors. (p. 22) Each of these roles is explained in the article and it made me realize that there is a lot more that I do with assessment than creating and giving the assessment. All of these extra tasks make it difficult to focus on developing creative and effective instruction for my students.

The article discusses Assessment OF Learning as summative assessment. Assessment of learning is the primary way in which schools assess learning today. Students complete end of the unit or end of the chapter tests and these are entered into a grade book and used to extrapolate understanding of a wide range of skills and abilities. The primary purpose of this type of assessment is to assess the accuracy of the work students perform.

Assessment FOR learning identifies with formative assessments. Students complete work and the teacher uses the data from this work to guide and develop instruction. Instead of marking a student’s accuracy on a particular topic, this form of assessment is meant to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as provide feedback to the students. In this form, record keeping can be done in a grade book but the vast majority of it is in the form of checklists, artifacts and portfolios.

The final form of assessment is assessment AS learning. Here students are more actively engaged as assessors of their knowledge and skills. Students use the information to determine what things they need to continue to work on. In the method both the teacher and the student do record keeping.

What will we do with this information?

How can I continue to structure my learning opportunities such that I am offering more opportunties for assessment for and as learning instead of focusing on assessment of learning.

I also am considering my record keeping methodologies. Keeping a traditional grade book is easy for me. I also can easily track for completion of assignments. What I am not skilled at is anecdotal notes and recording my observations. I see 100 students a day. I can make generalized observations, but making student specific observations is difficult for me. I need to develop a methodology for recording this information.

I am also considering how can I use the assessment techniques/resources that I already have and redefine them to push past the assessment of learning and into the assessment for/as learning instead.

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