5 Key Points About Quality Assessment

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Scherer’s view that excessive use of standardised testing can have a detrimental effect on quality teaching and learning holds considerable merit.

As long as the public looks at standardised testing results as a key indicator of a school’s performance, pressure on the entire school community will steadily increase.

The accountability demands of achieving favourable standardised testing results coupled with an already complex classroom environment will continue to challenge teachers’ beliefs and values about what promotes quality student learning.

Scherer holds the view that although standardised testing may have a valuable place in our schools, we also need to incorporate additional quality assessment measures.

5 key ideas that represent Quality Assessment:

1. Clear Purpose

The first step in any assessment is to determine the purpose of the assessment. Why are you doing it and what do you hope to gain from it? “Knowing the reason for assessment is crucial because this will determine what form the assessment will take, what is should look like, how it will be administered and how the results will be used.” (McMillan, 2011)

2.Teachers Subject Knowledge

To successfully assess learning, a teacher needs to have deep knowledge of the subject matter. The teacher must understand fundamental concepts and principles that define the subject. (Killen, 2005) Without this solid base knowledge, quality teaching and assessment simply cannot occur.

3.Assessment Methods Used

When a teacher has determined what they want students to understand and be able to do as a result of the teaching activity, they can decided on the methods they will use to assess the level of understanding. Pre Assessment will provide insight into students’ prior knowledge and will assist with lesson planning. Formative Assessment will gauge student progress and is vital for achieving learning targets. Summative Assessment will determine how well students have mastered instruction.

4.Clear Outcomes

A clear outcome is fundamental for quality assessment. The desired outcomes or learning goals provide the foundation for improving knowledge. A teacher and students need to have a clear understanding of learning goals, how to achieve them and how to tell when they have done so.(Willis, 2004)

5.Assessment Drives Performance

All students want to perform well. If students are given feedback during the teaching activity, the desire to improve performance becomes very motivating. If a student becomes responsible for their own learning, they will become more engaged and better self learners.

Killen, R. (2005). Programming and Assessment for Quality Teaching (p.
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