The teacher’s role in informal, classroom based assessments is to serve as a facilitator. This can be done by creating opportunities for their students to learn, and then assessing the students as they learn. The teacher is responsible for knowing their students and their needs, where learning is concerned.
Classroom-based assessments coincide with instruction. Instructional strategies such as journal writing, vocabulary games, literature circles, and group discussions are all means in which students can be assessed. Assessing students in these ways allow for student learning and growth to be measured without the student feeling the added pressure or stress of a “test.”
Informal assessments are learner centered, and create more opportunities for differentiation. Assessing students informally is centered on getting to know the student as a learner. Students learn and express their learning through different means, and classroom-based assessments give more opportunities for students to be assessed through these different learning styles. Being learner centered means the assessment is learner referenced as opposed to norm-referenced standardized testing. Instead of being primarily compared to other students’ achievement, individual student growth as a learner is instead looked at.
Informal assessments also allow for students to self-assess, or monitor their own growth. Student reflection or exit tickets where students can’t state their level of understanding of different concepts are means of informal assessment. Assessing in this way creates opportunity for students to monitor their own performance and understanding, and to have more ownership of their learning.
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...Are they reading for entertainment, to be informed or to be persuaded? Also how the text was chosen has great influence on reading. Was the text assigned or chosen by the reader themselves? Reading is a method of learning. Readers can extend their vocabulary; learn about historical figures, places around the world, and about human expressions and emotions. Multi-faceted nature of this definition of reading should be measured through multiple sources. Assessments should also give students multiple opportunities to express their connections to the reading.
Formal standardized tests are not going anywhere and serve a function in education. However, informal assessments are what drive teacher instruction and student learning throughout their time in the classroom. Informal assessments are what create the achievement that is measured through formal assessments.
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