Assessments and their Usefullness by Vanessa Jencks (Preschool EFL)

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Assessments and their Usefullness by Vanessa Jencks (Preschool EFL) by Mind Map: Assessments and their Usefullness by Vanessa Jencks (Preschool EFL)

1. References

1.1. Dr. Heidi Andrade, Ed.D. Reflects on Self- and Peer Assessment [Motion picture]. (2013). USA.

1.2. Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice. (2008). Retrieved December 19, 2015, from

1.3. Stiggins, R. (2005). Assessment For Learning Defined. Retrieved December 19, 2015, from


2.1. Summative

2.1.1. Disadvantages: These types of assessments do not help students or teachers identify where students are struggling in the learning process. The feedback is evaluative. Due to the feedback being evaluative, this is clearly an assessment of learning.

2.1.2. Example for EFL PreK - 3rd Grade: An evaluation booklet provided by the publisher to test the standards of the sequence and scope. The booklet uses lots of pictures and easy tasks to test student knowledge.

2.1.3. Advantages: A summative assessment keeps both students, parents and teachers accountable.

2.1.4. Definition: A summative assessment takes place typically at the end of a unit, quarter or semester to assess if students have achieved learning goals that match standards.

2.2. Diagnostic

2.2.1. Disadvantages: This does not provide an opportunity for student learning since this is an evaluative assessment. This is an assessment tool of learning.

2.2.2. Example for EFL PreK - 3rd Grade: This is obviously on the older side of the spectrum.

2.2.3. Advantages: This assessment has a stronger potential to help teachers in curriculum design and scaffolding than high stakes or summative assessments since this can be used to determine student prior knowledge.

2.2.4. Definition: Diagnostic assessments are meant to be performed at the beginning or the end of the unit (or at the beginning of a school year/term) and are meant to provide teachers with evaluative feedback to structure instruction. Diagnostic assessments might also be heavily used for recommendations in a school's RTI model.

2.3. High-stakes

2.3.1. Disadvantages: Teachers "teaching to the test" instead of teaching for learning. This is completely and totally an assessment of learning, (and not necessarily a very good one).

2.3.2. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade: Standardized tests meant to provide governments with the decision to fund preschools or not. In our school, the high stakes test happens in the middle of K4 (大班) to decide whether these students are capable of performing well in the SMIC Primary School.

2.3.3. Advantages: If implemented well and objectively, this could possibly give governments the ability to identify and discover the

2.3.4. Definition: High-stakes assessments mean that students or teachers have something to gain or lose other than a learning experience. This could be funding, access to colleges, losing or keeping a teaching position, continuation in a public school system (for China), etc.


3.1. Peer-assessment

3.1.1. Advantages: Peer assessment allows students to learn how to assess, and in turn, they are better able to complete self-assessments. This gives them great gain in learning since they also are exposed to another's work (whether strong or weak). They should learn how to communicate their thoughts about learning and the process of learning on a higher, critical thinking level.

3.1.2. Disadvantages: If implemented wrongly, and called "grading one another" students will run with it and give their friends good grades and enemies bad grades (Andrade, 2013). This shouldn't be the only part of an evaluation for a grade on a project or paper.

3.1.3. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade:

3.1.4. Definition: Students give one another feedback within an honest but kind culture of critique. Students have clear definitions of goals and have been given tools to know how to communicated feedback to one another that is valuable, constructive and FOR learning.

3.2. Authentic

3.2.1. Disadvantages: This would be difficult to use for gathering data on academic achievement. It would be costly and time consuming of the state or district if there was low teacher trust, (which is the case in the US).

3.2.2. Example for EFL PreK - 3rd Grade: Specifically for PreK EFL, the most relevant authentic assessments would be hands-on tasks and teacher observations. As students grow older, students could use more varied types of authentic assessments, like portfolios and reflections.

3.2.3. Advantages: Student assessment is kept within the context of learning and can be used to make learning very practical and connected to daily life. This is a 21st century type of assessment. Since students are self-regulated during this type of assessment and they are producing a project or work of some types, this is an assessment for learning.

3.2.4. Definition: An authentic assessment uses projects-based assessment to determine the level of student achievement.

3.3. Self-assessment

3.3.1. Disadvantages: Again, self-assessment does not provide the opportunity to states, districts, school administrators or teachers the opportunity for accountability, but this tool definitely gives the student the opportunity for accountability.

3.3.2. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade: This would be hard to do in preschool EFL in many circumstances since students have difficulty recognizing that there are standards for their learning. In my own class, I try to help students recognize they don't know something by giving them one-on-one assessments or by other types of methods. During alphabet "student-teacher" time, students come up with me to review with the whole class the alphabet sounds. Students (and myself) quickly become aware of when they know they know the sounds, and when they don't know. That's the best I can do sometimes for preschool. For older students, the colored pencil method identified in the video would be an excellent self-assessment tool!

3.3.3. Advantages: Students get powerful feedback and learn tools that help them to learn how to learn. Students should soon be able to evaluate themselves or know the patterns of what they struggle with in meeting criteria of a project or paper. If a student learns through the self-assessment process that they need extra time or help to create a clear thesis, most likely students will begin to give themselves more time to create a clear thesis.

3.3.4. Definition: Self-assessment is a type of 21st century formative assessment that teaches students really how to assess their own products of learning. Students are able to determine if they have met the clear criteria for work and to see if there are areas of improvement. Self-assessment includes time from the teacher to revise work. This is an assessment FOR learning since feedback from self is descriptive and changes the learning outcome.

4. EITHER (depending upon application)

4.1. Performance-based

4.1.1. Disadvantages: Students not skilled in applying academic skills to real world scenarios would suffer if this was only an evaluative assessment. This takes up a great deal of teacher time, and in the EFL case, teachers would have difficulty in correctly assessing everyone for their performance. The math assessment in the video is great because work is turned into the teacher for evaluation along with other grading rubric aspects.

4.1.2. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade: Students in 2nd and 3rd grade could participate in a scavenger hunt type of activity where they must follow the English directions to find a list of grocery items, and then they must communicate with another student who has been assigned the role of grocer to communicate where to get the item and pay for it. This could also be done on a large scale with neighborhood type scavenger hunts.

4.1.3. Advantages: This is a great way for students to apply the skills they learn in class to life-like scenarios. I think, at the same time, that if this was timed and students were not allowed to revise and check work, that it would be an evaluative assessment. If feedback was given throughout the process, where teachers help students when there is difficulty, it could be an assessment FOR learning. I believe, at this time, it's mostly an assessment OF learning, but that it does provide learning through the process of the assignment. Additionally, a large scale, multi-variable but standardized performance-based assessment could potentially be a better identification of student achievement than standardized tests.

4.1.4. Definition: Performance based assessments give students life-like scenarios in which they must perform and apply skills in order to score well on a rubric.

4.2. Formative

4.2.1. Disadvantages: Since there is such ambiguity to this term, I think there can be a disadvantage to this in that teachers could believe they provide time for descriptive types of formative assessments FOR learning when in reality, they use historical types of formative assessments that are evaluative OF learning.

4.2.2. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade: Peer-assessments and self-assessments are both types of formative assessments. Teachers commonly use thumbs up, thumbs down or fingers to chins as formative assessments, (Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice, 2008).

4.2.3. Advantages: Depending on the way teachers use this in class, this can be both evaluative of learning and descriptive for learning.

4.2.4. Definition: Through two of my resources, I saw that there is a historical use of formative assessment (Stiggins, 2005), and a current use of formative assessment (Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice, 2008). In discussing formative assessments with administrators or other teachers, the speaker must be clear in identifying specifics of the "type" of formative assessment they're referring to. Formative assessment as it is used today is both evaluative, and if used correctly, is also descriptive, (Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice, 2008). For example, if teachers were to examine self-assessments (which is labeled today as a formative assessment), teachers would be able to evaluate student learning for holes in their own instruction. At the same time, self-assessment is descriptive in that students receive feedback that is relevant and timely for learning. This term also seems to be widely used to describe types of assessments that take place during a unit or project rather than at the end of a unit.

4.3. Portfolio

4.3.1. Disadvantages: Time consuming for teachers and may not provide enough data for state, district and school administrators to determine achievement in overall teacher performance or student learning.

4.3.2. Example for PreK - 3rd Grade: In my class, it would be best to have videos of every child at the beginning of the year and then retake videos periodically (at the half and at the end) to give this to parents and students to show the progress they've made in English. This would be possible for my classroom despite the number of students.

4.3.3. Advantages: Students, teachers and parents are able to see a well-documented portfolio of student learning over the course of that year's learning career.

4.3.4. Definition: Portfolios are showcases of student work that also provide descriptive feedback on the learning process of the child. I think these also are like performance-based assessments that they could end up being FOR learning or OF learning depending on teacher use and application. They seem to primarily be evaluative OF learning, but the video's example shows how the teacher uses the portfolio to give descriptive, positive feedback to her students.