Student Assessments in High School Language Arts

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Student Assessments in High School Language Arts by Mind Map: Student Assessments in High School Language Arts

1. Performance-Based

1.1. Definition

1.1.1. A culminating performance, product or demonstration that is purposeful and models real world.

1.1.2. Emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking, reasoning, and meta-cognitive processes

1.2. Purpose

1.2.1. To assess deep understanding and application of topics, concepts and skills taught in class

1.3. Advantages

1.3.1. Students are given the opportunity to work with multiple perspectives, analyze evidence, and think critically.

1.4. Disadvantages

1.4.1. Performance-based assessments often take more time (to prepare and implement) to complete than less complex assessments.

1.5. Learning Outcome

1.5.1. This is an example of both learning OF and learning FROM - as the students work on and present their projects, teachers get an understanding of what students have learned and students learn various important skills and concepts necessary to effectively display performance-based assessments

1.6. Example

1.6.1. Student conducts a full year research project about a real-world problem they are concerned about; students incorporate what they learn about research methods and skills into their research paper; students present their final paper to their peers for feedback, revise paper and present to larger audience of professionals and other adults

1.7. Citations

1.7.1. Edutopia. (2010. August 3). Comprehensive Assessment: An Overview. Retrieved June 25, 2015 from

1.7.2. Anonymous. (2009, May 7). Linda Darling-Hammond on Performance-Based Assessment. Retrieved June 25, 2015 from

2. High-Stakes

2.1. Definition

2.1.1. Any assessment that has major consequences or affects major decisions; exams that have enormous consequences for the test taker; admissions, promotions, placements or graduation are often dependent on these tests (and varies from country to country)

2.2. Purpose

2.2.1. Meant to determine whether or not students are performing at their desired grade level and are learning what they are meant to learn in schools

2.2.2. In some countries, these exams are the sole tool that determine whether a student is admitted into university, gets a satisfactory job, graduates, or gets a promotion

2.3. Advantages

2.3.1. Can provide a sampling of information that tests school system

2.3.2. Some say it's a valuable tool that provides diagnostic information for parents, students, and schools

2.3.3. When evaluated along with other measures, these assessments can provide useful information about what students know/don't know

2.4. Disadvantages

2.4.1. Gives a snapshot of student abilities taken out of context; SATs don't assess students on abilities necessary for success in the real world (i.e. 21st century skills); SATs rule out a large number of students who are not good at taking standardized tests, but are smart in so many important areas; Teachers teach to the test and spend a lot of time preparing students for this test and miss out opportunities for in-depth learning

2.4.2. "I have seen more students who can pass (the test) but cannot apply those skills to anything if it's not in the test format. I have students who can do the test but can't look up words in a dictionary and understand the different meanings. As for higher quality teaching, I'm not sure I would call it that. Because of the pressure for passing scores, more and more time is spent practicing the test and putting everything in the test format." - Teacher

2.4.3. Has enormous implications for public schools (e.g. school closure, budget cuts, teacher job loss, etc.)

2.4.4. puts a lot of pressure on students, schools, and teachers to perform at a certain level on the tests with some students going to extremes - e.g. suicide, IV amino acid supplements believe to give energy, improve memory, and boost performance on tests

2.5. Learning Outcome

2.5.1. This is an example of assessment OF learning where schools can see how students perform on certain subjects; since students don't get to see if how they answered a particular question was correct or not or why a questions answered incorrectly was incorrect, they are not learning from the assessment

2.6. Example

2.6.1. State/Provincial (US/Canada) standardized tests


2.6.3. National College Enteance Examination (NCEE) or gaokao in China

2.7. Citations

2.7.1. Anonymous. (2009, May 7). Linda Darling-Hammond on Performance-Based Assessment. Retrieved June 25, 2015 from

2.7.2. The Chicago School Reviews. (2013, May 21). The Meaning Of High Stakes Testing - The Chicago School Reviews. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

2.7.3. TVOParents. (2009, November 12). Standardized Testing: The Pros and Cons. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

2.7.4. Kirkpatrick, R. and Zang, Y. (2011, October). The Negative Influences of Exam-Oriented Education on Chinese High School Students: Backwash from Classroom to Child. Retrieved June 28, 2015 from

3. Authentic

3.1. Definition

3.1.1. Assessing student performance on practical, intellectual,realistic, and stimulating tasks that are meaningful to them.

3.1.2. Assessments that come from a variety of sources: portfolios, work samples, reflection, performances open-ended questions, hands-on tasks, and teacher observations

3.1.3. Student's ownership of their own learning is at the core of authentic assessment

3.2. Purpose

3.2.1. Guide students to reach their highest potential

3.2.2. Give students opportunity to delve into a topic they may encounter in real life

3.3. Advantages

3.3.1. Benefits all students with different learning styles and abilities; allow greater opportunities for all students to demonstrate their learning and mastery; engages students who are motivated in the process; students can recognize the value in their own work

3.3.2. Meaningful, prepares students for real life

3.4. Disadvantages

3.4.1. Demanding on teacher's planning time

3.5. Learning Outcomes

3.5.1. This is an example of both assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning where teachers get a good understanding of what the students have learned in the course/unit and students learn about topics that are meaningful to them and perhaps about themselves as people too.

3.6. Example

3.6.1. Screenplay Panel Presentation - screenplay panel adaptation from a novel in class, formally pitch to guest judges - this assessment allows students to demonstrate persuasion skills, show deeper text understanding (than through an essay, for example), develop and demonstrate public speaking, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.

3.7. Citations

3.7.1. Dykstra, K. (2011, August 3). Authentic Assessment. Retrieved June 25, 2015 from

3.7.2. Edutopia. (2011, January 14). Ten Takeaway Tips for Using Authentic Assessment in Your School. Retrieved June 25, 2014 from

3.7.3. Jordan, A. (2013, November 12). Authentic Assessments in the English Classroom. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

4. Diagnostic

4.1. Definition

4.1.1. assessment tools to gather information on a student's prior knowledge of a subject and to assess what learning issues students might have

4.2. Purpose

4.2.1. used to shape teacher instructions

4.3. Advantages

4.3.1. provide baseline of student and class, provides information to teachers to help determine instruction techniques and content for entire class or individual students

4.3.2. can be helpful in determining IEP for students with special needs

4.4. Disadvantages

4.4.1. While diagnostic assessments indicate students' strengths and weaknesses in a subject, they do not indicate the underlying causes of the difficulties

4.4.2. there is concern about validity and reliability of standardized tests used as diagnostic tools

4.4.3. data from standardized tests can be skewed by cultural backgrounds, learning styles, test anxiety, etc.

4.5. Learning Outcome

4.5.1. This is an example of assessment FOR learning for the teacher - since the results of the diagnostic test help teachers determine how and what to teach their students

4.6. Example

4.6.1. KWL graphic organizer to use at the beginning of a unit to find out what students know about a particular topic

4.6.2. Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test to determine reading and language levels

4.7. Citation

4.7.1. Kloth, L. (2013, January 4). Diagnostic Asessment. Retrieved June 28, 2015 from

5. Formative

5.1. Definition

5.1.1. Frequent interactive assessment of student understanding

5.2. Purpose

5.2.1. (1) Identify students who are struggling and/or excelling

5.2.2. (2) Allow teachers to improve and reflect on own professional instructional practice

5.3. Advantages

5.3.1. Increases retention of learning, , increase quality of student work, helps students develop a range of effective learning strategies

5.4. Disadvantages

5.4.1. teachers may feel including formative assessments in their lessons sacrifices teaching time - teachers may rush through lessons and not master the concepts taught.

5.4.2. Not all teachers have the necessary skills to implement formative assessment correctly.

5.5. Learning Outcomes

5.5.1. Formative assessments are an example of assessment OF learning. The evidence tells the teacher who is/is not meeting the course standards and informs the course of further instruction.

5.6. Example

5.6.1. Exit ticket in literature class: "What is the main idea of the story?"

5.7. Citations

5.7.1. Stiggins, R. (n.d.). Assessment FOR Learning Defined. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from

5.7.2. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2005). Formative Assessment: Improving Learning in Secondary Classrooms. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from

5.7.3. The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. (2014, April 30). Using Classroom Assessment to Improve Teaching. Retrieved June 24, 2015, from

5.7.4. Wylie, E. C. (2008). Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from

5.7.5. Sol Tree. (2014, May 30). Using Common Formative Assessments to Help Teachers Reflect on Their Practice. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

5.7.6. Sasser, N. (n.d.). What are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Formative Assessment? Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

6. Summative

6.1. Definition

6.1.1. an assessment that comes at the end of a unit and/or course

6.2. Purpose

6.2.1. provides evidence whether or not students have learned the standards

6.2.2. the assessment that teachers give their final evaluation on (of course, after numerous formative assessments along the way leading up to this final assessment)

6.2.3. used to measure students; competency

6.3. Advantages

6.3.1. provides an overall understanding of whether or not students achieved learning objectives

6.4. Disadvantages

6.4.1. Sometimes teachers only grade on summative assessments, but the final evaluation should be balanced and based on various kinds of assessments during the unit

6.5. Learning Outcome

6.5.1. this is an example of assessment OF learning where the teacher can understand whether or not the student learned and was able to demonstrate the concepts, knowledge and skills taught in class

6.6. Example

6.6.1. final essay (after the student has gone through the entire Writing Process, self-assessment, peer-assessment, feedback from teacher, and editing)

6.6.2. end of chapter/unit/year test

6.7. Citation

6.7.1. Knowledge Delivery Systems. (2014, April 7). Common Core: Summative Assessment Tools. Retrieved June 28, 2015 from

7. Portfolio

7.1. Definition

7.1.1. A collection of student work

7.2. Purpose

7.2.1. Provide evidence of student accomplishments over time

7.2.2. Used to document learning through a series of student-developed artifacts

7.3. Advantages

7.3.1. A great way for learners to record their progress and for teachers to have a record of what the student has done and learned over the year

7.3.2. Can get students to participate in the selection of entries included in the portfolio

7.3.3. Provides students opportunities for guided self-reflection

7.4. Disadvantages

7.4.1. takes a lot of time to think through and plan to ensure their is a logical flow for everything to be included in the portfolio

7.4.2. choosing the best portfolio management tool for the purposes of the class

7.5. Learning Outcome

7.5.1. This is an example of assessment OF learning since the portfolio is a culminating assessment of all the work samples in the portfolio - it gives the teacher a really good indication of what the students have learned in the unit/course.

7.6. Example

7.6.1. Graduation Portfolio

7.7. Citation

7.7.1. Sankarsingh, C. (2015, March 4). Considering Portfolio Assessment. Retrieved June 25, 2015 from

8. Self-Assessment

8.1. Definition

8.1.1. students look at their own work from a critical perspective and evaluate themselves according to the rubric to enable them to revise their work

8.2. Purpose

8.2.1. To enable students to become self directed learners

8.2.2. To empower students to take ownership of their own learning

8.2.3. to develop reflective and critical thinking skills in students

8.3. Advantages

8.3.1. Can improve student performance on the task at hand

8.3.2. Helps students become independent and self-monitoring

8.4. Disadvantages

8.4.1. takes time to teach and practice

8.5. Learning Outcome

8.5.1. This kind of assessment is most powerful as a formative assessment to enable students to revise their work based on their assessment - in this regard, this is an example of assessment FOR learning. When students assess their work according to the evaluation rubric, they are also learning what is expected of them.

8.6. Example

8.7. Citation

8.7.1. BestPracticesWeekly. (2011, July 21). The Power of Student Self-Assessment. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from

9. Peer-Assessment

9.1. Definition

9.1.1. When classmates look over each others' work and give feedback and suggestions for improvement.

9.2. Purpose

9.2.1. For students to share ideas and opinions, to look at things from different points of views, and to reflect on their own work

9.3. Advantages

9.3.1. students relate to each other and are more often open to feedback and suggestions from peers rather than teachers; the peer giving the feedback is demonstrating what he/she has learned and the feedback he/she gives can benefit his/her own work in the process; helps the students understand the rubric better since they have to use the rubric to give their peer an assessment; engages students; students take ownership of their work

9.4. Disadvantages

9.4.1. it takes time for the teacher to teach and demonstrate what successful and effective peer assessment looks like

9.5. Learning Outcome

9.5.1. This is an example of both assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning. The feedback students give to their peers demonstrates what they know about a topic/concept/skills and when they give feedback to each other, they learn things that will help them improve their own work

9.6. Example

9.6.1. Peer-to-peer feedback on essays

9.6.2. Ladder of Feedback (see video at 1:48)

9.7. Citation

9.7.1. Jobs for the Future. (2013, August 22). Peer Assessment: Reflection from Teachers and Students. Retrieved June 27, 2015 from