Assessment & Success

What is the Purpose of Assessment

Assessment is used to:

Help students set learning goals

Students need frequent opportunities to reflect on where their learning is at and what needs to be done to achieve their learning goals. When students are actively involved in assessing their own next learning steps and creating goals to accomplish them, they make major advances in directing their learning and what they understand about themselves as learners.

Assign report card grades

Grades provide parents, employers, other schools, governments, post-secondary institutions and others with summary information about student learning.

Motivate students

Research (Davies2004; Stiggins et al. 2004) has shown that students will be motivated andconfident learners when they experience progress and achievement, rather thanthe failure and defeat associated with being compared to more successful peers.

Inform and guide teaching and learning

A good classroom assessment plan gathers evidence of student learning that informs teachers' instructional decisions. It provides teachers with information about what students know and can do. To plan effective instruction, teachers also need to know what the student misunderstands and where the misconceptions lie. In addition to helping teachers formulate the next teaching steps, a good classroom assessment plan provides a road map for students. Students should, at all times, have access to the assessment so they can use it to inform and guide their learning.

What are the Major Two Types of Assessments

Formative assessment

This type of assessment refers to a wide variety of methods that teachers use to conduct in-process evaluations of student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during a lesson, unit, or course. Formative assessments help teachers identify concepts that students are struggling to understand, skills they are having difficulty acquiring, or learning standards they have not yet achieved so that adjustments can be made to lessons, instructional techniques, and academic support.

The general goal of formative assessment is to collect detailed information that can be used to improve instruction and student learning while it’s happening. What makes an assessment “formative” is not the design of a test, technique, or self-evaluation, per se, but the way it is used—i.e., to inform in-process teaching and learning modifications.

Summative assessments

This type of assessment is used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year. Generally speaking, summative assessments are defined by three major criteria:

The tests, assignments, or projects are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn. In other words, what makes an assessment “summative” is not the design of the test, assignment, or self-evaluation, per se, but the way it is used—i.e., to determine whether and to what degree students have learned the material they have been taught.

Summative assessments are given at the conclusion of a specific instructional period, and therefore they are generally evaluative, rather than diagnostic—i.e., they are more appropriately used to determine learning progress and achievement, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, measure progress toward improvement goals, o make course-placement decisions, among other possible applications.

Summative-assessment results are often recorded as scores or grades that are then factored into a student’s permanent academic record, whether they end up as letter grades on a report card or test scores used in the college-admissions process. While summative assessments are typically a major component of the grading process in most districts, schools, and courses, not all assessments considered to be summative are graded.

Assessment

Ten Habits of Successful Students

Get Organized: Making a plan for what you're going to do and when you're going to do it will make sure you're always ahead of the curve - literally.

Don't multitask: Studies have shown that multitasking is physically impossible.

Divide it up: Studying isn't fun to begin with, and forcing yourself through a study marathon will only make it worse. Dividing your work into manageable chunks and rewarding yourself when you finish each chunk will make studying (more) fun.

Sleep: Don't underestimate the importance of those eight hours of zzz's every night! Getting a good night's rest will sharpen your focus and improve your working memory.

Set a schedule: Do you work better right after school or after you've eaten dinner? Are you more productive in 90-minute blocks or half-hour spurts? Find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it.

Take notes: Taking notes will not only keep you more engaged during class, but will also help you narrow down what you need to study when exam time rolls around. It's much easier to reread your notes than to reread your entire textbook!

Study : This one might be obvious, but did you know that there's a right and a wrong way to study? Review your material several days ahead of time, in small chunks, and in different manners (for example, write flashcards one day and take practice tests the next). In other words, don't cram.

Manage your study space: Find a place that will maximize your productivity. Look for places away from the television and other distractions. Whether it's your local library or just the desk in your bedroom, set aside a study space that you'll want to spend time in.

Find a study group.: Sitting down with a group of people who are learning the same things as you is a great way to go over confusing class material or prepare for a big test. You can quiz each other, reteach material, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. After all, teaching someone else is the best way to learn.

Ask questions : You're in school to learn, so don't be afraid to do just that! Asking for help - from a teacher, a tutor or your friends - is a surefire way to make sure you truly understand the material.

Successful Students