Essay on Assessment Is An Essential Part Of Education

Essay on Assessment Is An Essential Part Of Education

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Assessment is an essential part of education. Teachers can use ‘information about student progress’ (MCEETYA 2008, p. 14) to ‘improve learning outcomes’ (Ferguson 2011, p. 391), and to make informed decisions about future planning and strategies (Godhino 2011, p. 200). This type of assessment is known as ‘assessment for learning’ (Godhino 2011, p. 201). Assessment can also be used to ‘make judgements about students’ achievement of objectives, goals and standards, [this is known as] assessment of learning’ (Godhino 2011, p. 201). Another form of assessment is ‘assessment as learning’ (Godhino 2011, p. 201) which involves students reflecting on their progress.

Assessment can be used as ‘norm-referenced assessment’, comparing the achievements of students, schools, states and countries. I see the validity and usefulness of this in providing ‘statistical answers and information to parents and schools on a student’s performance’ (Grimshaw, Turnbull & Wyn 2014, p. 7). This form of assessment is also useful to pinpoint areas of improvement, whether this be student focused or ‘potentially improving teaching standards’ (Grimshaw, Turnbull & Wyn 2014, p. 7). Critics of NAPLAN testing were concerned that ‘preoccupation with testing outcomes results in a narrowing of curriculum breadth and a decrease in student engagement’ (Grimshaw, Turnbull & Wyn 2014, p. 7). This concern is valid as students and teachers can fall into the trap of focusing on achieving national standards and a high ranking, rather than focusing on whether students are engaging in educational ‘experiences and opportunities that enable students to explore and build on their gifts and talents’ (MCEETYA 2008, p. 7). Norm-referenced assessment, therefore, is useful,...

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... the ‘learning goals and objectives’ (Godhino 2011, p. 201) for the lesson once they are engaged. Assessment can be considered as summative, making judgements about student achievement from evidence (Godhino 2011, p. 201), or formative, ‘drawing inferences about student progress from observations and work samples to inform your future teaching practice’ (Godhino 2011, p. 201). Within my lesson plan, assessments will be both formative and summative. Through observation, listening to discussions, and reading critical analysis notes, I will informally assess student learning and use this to inform my planning for future lessons. The reflection task asks students to evaluate all the information from the lesson, using the critical thinking and analysis skills that will have been built upon, to assess if the learning objectives have been achieved as a summative assessment.

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