Diagnostic assessment is defined as assessment that is used to identify a student's needs and abilities and the student's readiness to acquire the knowledge and skills outlined in the curriculum expectations.
The advantages of computer-based tests over traditional assessment formats lie in the provision of instant and targeted feedback and in the possibility to automatically adapt the difficulty of the test items to learners’ different performance levels.
A child’s completed standardised test does not provide an absolute measure of his/her achievement. Given the limitations of standardised tests, for example, cultural bias inherent in test questions, it is important that the outcomes of these tests (and of teacher-designed tests) must be considered in the broader context of the student's overall performance and progress.
Formative assessment is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures employed by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment. It typically involves qualitative feedback for both student and teacher that focuses on the details of content and performance. It is commonly contrasted with summative assessment, which seeks to monitor educational outcomes, often for purposes of external accountability.
Formative assessments are not graded, which takes the anxiety away from students. It also detaches the thinking that they must get everything right. Instead, they serve as a practice for students to get assistance along the way before the final tests. Teachers usually check for understanding in the event that students are struggling during the lesson. Teachers address these issues early on instead of waiting until the end of the unit to assess. Teachers have to do less reteaching at the end because many of the problems with mastery are addressed before final tests.
Some teachers complain about sacrificing time to assess during the lesson and fear that they may not even finish the lesson. Teachers then feel the need to rush through a series of units, which causes students to lack mastery once the assessment is given at the end of the unit. Teachers may lack training or professional development on how to use formative assessments successfully because, historically, assessments are completed at the end. Formative assessment may lack the same weight -- low to no point value -- as a summative assessment, and students may not take the assessments seriously, which may cause teachers to misread feedback from students.
Summative assessment refers to the assessment of participants, and summarizes their development at a particular time. In contrast to formative assessment, the focus is on the outcome of a program. Summative assessment is characterized as assessment of learning and is contrasted with formative assessment, which is assessment for learning. This is taught in many educational programs in the United States. Scriven claims that while all assessment technique can be summative, only some are formative.
*Provides motivation and helps create an appropriate learning environment. *Positive results give the students a boost in confidence and can act as a springboard into subsequent behaviour change back in the classroom. *Teachers can identify those areas where results are consistently lower and can then consider alternative delivery methods – helping to develop the lessons for future classes.
Summative assessments with limited means of expression, particularly large-scale standardized tests that use multiple choice for automated grading, may unfairly disadvantage large classes of students, including non-native speakers with language or cultural barriers to understanding the questions asked, those with physical or learning disabilities, or those who do not do well under the pressure of the testing conditions.
Performance-based assessment is any assessment strategy designed to estimate a child's knowledge, understanding, ability, skill and/or attitudes in a consistent fashion across individuals emphasizing methods other than standardized achievement tests, particularly those using multiple choice formats.
Performance-based assessments are able to provide teachers with more detailed information than standard multiple-choice tests. They serve both a summative and formative purpose; they can tell teachers about what content a student has or has not mastered, and additionally offer insight into what concepts students are struggling with or where they get lost in a process.
Performance-based assessment ignores underachievers or students who have potential but need opportunities and/or support.
A high-stakes test is a test with important consequences for the test taker. Passing has important benefits, such as a high school diploma, a scholarship, or a license to practice a profession. Failing has important disadvantages, such as being forced to take remedial classes until the test can be passed, not being allowed to drive a car, or not being able to find employment. The use and misuse of high-stakes tests are a controversial topic in public education, especially in the United States where they have become especially popular in recent years, used not only to assess students but in attempts to increase teacher accountability.
High-stakes test results can be used to help teachers create a learning plan based on student's needs. High stakes exams can cause anxiety, but yearly testing and frequent practice tests can help students improve their test-taking abilities over time. The students can benefit by learning how to handle pressure, and developing the skills and strategies necessary to meet the school's—and parents'—expectations.
High Pressure on Elementary Students Pressure to succeed on high stakes tests is felt by students, resulting in anxiety for young children Low Morale Elementary students, teachers and parents all experience stress and anxiety over standardized testing Consequences for Low Scores Elementary schools with poor test scores are at risk of losing federal and state funding. Teaching to the Test To help students pass high stakes standardized testing, schools are forced to eliminate subjects that will not be tested. Music and art are often reduced or eliminated, in favor of increasing instructional time in reading or math. Poor Design High stakes tests generally do not assess higher order thinking or reasoning. Computerized grading is often used to score the exams. Children with special needs or children with different styles of learning are not adequately assessed using these styles of tests, or simply not tested at all.
Portfolio assessment is an assessment form that learners do together with their teachers, and is an alternative to the classic classroom test. The portfolio contains samples of the learner's work and shows growth over time.
Electronic samples of work can be shown to whole class. Allow students to take photos of their own work using digital camera. Allow students to record reading/interviewing etc and save file for assessment purposes. Show pictures of work. Show demonstrations of good behaviour.
*Allows the evaluators to see the student, group, or community as individual, each unique with its own characteristics, needs, and strengths. *Serves as a concrete vehicle for communication, providing ongoing communication or exchanges of information among those involved. *Portfolio assessment offers the possibility of addressing shortcomings of traditional assessment. It offers the possibility of assessing the more complex and important aspects of an area or topic. *Covers a broad scope of knowledge and information, from many different people who know the program or person in different contexts ( eg., participants, parents, teachers or staff, peers, or community leaders).
*May be seen as less reliable or fair than more quantitative evaluations such as test scores. *Can be very time consuming for teachers or program staff to organize and evaluate the contents, especially if portfolios have to be done in addition to traditional testing and grading. *Having to develop your own individualized criteria can be difficult or unfamiliar at first. *If goals and criteria are not clear, the portfolio can be just a miscellaneous collection of artifacts that don't show patterns of growth or achievement. *Like any other form of qualitative data, data from portfolio assessments can be difficult to analyze or aggregate to show change.
Authentic assessment is the measurement of intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile, significant, and meaningful as compared to multiple choice standardized tests. Authentic assessment can be devised by the teacher, or in collaboration with the student by engaging student voice.
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*Authentic assessment uses tasks that reflect normal classroom activities (real life learning) *Authentic assessment focuses on higher order thinking skills (Bloom's Taxonomy) *Authentic assessment embeds assessment in the classroom context (real world contexts) *Requires active performance to demonstrate understanding (kinaesthetic, being involved) *Promotes a wide range of assessment strategies (interesting and engaging assessment tasks) *Involves the teacher and student collaboratively in determining assessment (student-structured tasks) *Focuses on progress, rather than identifying weaknesses (ensure success for every child)
*Time-intensive to manage, monitor, and coordinate *Difficult to coordinate with mandatory educational standards *Challenging to provide consistent grading scheme *Subjective nature of grading may lead to bias *Unique nature may be unfamiliar to students *Challenging to develop for various types of courses and ranges of objectives
Self-assessment, is a process whereby students grade assignments or tests based on a teacher’s benchmarks. The practice is employed to save teachers time and improve students' understanding of course materials as well as improve their metacognitive skills. Rubrics are often used in conjunction with Self-Assessment.
Replaying a recorded video of students’ work or students working together. Students use digital recorders to record their reading and listen back to this. Showing class work or individual work using visuals.
Self assessment is an important skill to develop for lifelong learning. Advantages: • Encourages student involvement and responsibility. • Encourages students to reflect on their role and contribution to the process of the group work. • Allows students to see and reflect on their peers’ assessment of their contribution. • Focuses on the development of student’s judgment skills.
Disadvantages: • Potentially increases lecturer workload by needing to brief students on the process as well as on-going guidance on performing self evaluation. • Self evaluation has a risk of being perceived as a process of presenting inflated grades and being unreliable. • Students feel ill equipped to undertake the assessment.
Peer assessment is a process whereby students or their peers grade assignments or tests based on a teacher’s benchmarks. The practice is employed to save teachers time and improve students' understanding of course materials as well as improve their metacognitive skills. Rubrics are often used in conjunction with Peer-Assessment.
Advantages of peer review Peer will have a fresh and objective point of view. They can highlight less obvious areas where students work could be improved. An extra pair of eyes can help to spot mistakes or problems students have missed. Knowing that a peer or friend will be reviewing their work may make them take extra care in the first place.
Disadvantages of peer review It isn’t the peer's project, so they might rush their review. They may give advice that isn’t accurate. They might take a while to get back to the student and delay their progress.