The key to assessment strategies and timing is balance. Garrison and Ehringhaus (2014) claim that “when a comprehensive assessment program at the classroom level balances formative and summative student learning/achievement information, a clear picture emerges of where a student is relative to learning targets and standards.” Specifically throughout s course’s sequence or semester, there will be a summative assessment at the conclusion of the course. Other than the final or culminating assessment for the course, summative assessments should be kept to a reasonable number, in order to reduce the possibility of increasing student anxiety. Summative assessments, should also only be given following an adequate amount of formative assessment with opportunity to demonstrate growth.
According to the National Council of Teachers of English (Formative Assessment That Truly Informs, 2013), formative assessments in the classroom can be categorized into four types – observations, conversations, student self-evaluations, and artifacts of learning. Observations by teachers of the students can include field notes, running records and miscue analysis, and checklists and observation guides, where teachers simply make daily observations as students are engaged in activities. Conversations are based on questioning by the teacher via surveys, interviews, conferences, or just direct questioning. Student self-evaluation may be evidenced using exit slips, rubrics and checklists, process reflections, or student-led conferences in an effort to encourage students to monitor their own learning and needs. Artifacts of learning include collecting sources of information (student work, classroom observations, input from other...
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...o low and the tests were too easy?” It is my opinion that the second would be the truth, if the vast majority performed well, then the standards were not high enough, in other words, there is not enough variance in the scores. This is the major difference between norm-referenced, where students are compared with other students and criterion referenced, where students are measured on how many skills they are able to demonstrate regardless of how other students performed.
If the purpose of assessments are to help students understand their own progress in learning, then we should only report what they know against what they are supposed to know, not against what other students like them know. If we are trying to improve education for all students, then we need to allow all students the opportunity to reach that bar and avoid movingthe bar when they get too close.
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