Assessments

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Assessments by Mind Map: Assessments

1. Diagnostic - Testing that occurs before instruction. This pre-assessment can provide teachers with information about each student's prior knowledge before beginning instruction.

1.1. Is designed as an assessment FOR learning because it occurs before any learning has taken place and informs the teacher on how to proceed with instruction.

1.2. Advantages: It establishes a good baseline for the class. It allows for better differentiation plans for the students. It can provide a frame of reference for later assessments.

1.3. Disadvantages: It may cause an educator to make incorrect inferences about a child's ability level.

1.4. Example: Mind Map - Students place the central topic in the center of a page. Around this topic student write one word or short phrases that relate to the main topic. Teachers can assess how much students know about a particular topic. Teachers can photocopy and return the copy to students who can add new learning to this Mind Map later.

2. Formative - Informal assessments that allow teachers to check for understanding during the lesson instead of waiting until the completion of the lesson to assess student learning. Based on the results, the teacher can then adjust further learning as necessary. Focuses on the process.

2.1. Is designed as an assessment FOR learning because it occurs during lessons and informs the student and the teacher of their progress. Future learning can be adjusted accordingly based on the results.

2.2. Advantages: They are not graded, which takes anxiety away from students. They serve as practice for students to get assistance along the way before the final tests. Teachers can use them to adjust further learning if necessary.

2.3. Disadvantages: They could take up too much time during a lesson, not allowing the teacher to finish. Students may not take the assessment seriously resulting in a misreading of the results by the teacher.

2.4. Example: A Venn Diagram - Students compare and contrast a topic using a Venn diagram.

3. Summative - to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. They are used to determine the level of the students mastery of the content without an opportunity for re-testing. Focuses on the outcome.

3.1. Is designed as an assessment OF learning. Students are evaluated on everything that they have learned. It is final with no opportunity to adjust future learning in the same course. If a student fails, they must take the grade or class over again.

3.2. Advantages: They provide motivation for students to study and pay attention in class. They determine to what degree students have learned the subject matter. They evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs. They measure progress toward improvement goals.

3.3. Disadvantages: They do nothing to identify and remedy instructional problems before they become critical. Having one big test makes everyone anxious, and can be disruptive to school life.

3.4. Examples: Chapter and unit tests, semester tests, standardized tests, final projects (portfolio, research paper, etc.).

4. Performance-based - A set of strategies for the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and work habits through the performance of tasks that are meaningful and engaging to students.

4.1. Is designed as an assessment OF learning. It requires students to demonstrate knowledge and skills, including the process by which they solve problems. Performance assessments measure skills such as the ability to integrate knowledge across disciplines, contribute to the work of a group, and develop a plan of action when confronted with a new situation. Instead of answering multiple choice questions on a final exam, students create an answer or a product that demonstrates his or her knowledge or skills.

4.2. Advantages: Can be used to assess from multiple perspectives and to assess transfer of skills and integration of content. Engages student in active learning. Encourages time on academics outside of class.

4.3. Disadvantages: Can be time consuming and labor intensive to design and execute for faculty and students. Ratings can be more subjective. Requires careful training of raters.

4.4. Performance tasks should be interesting to the student and well connected to the important content, process skills, and work habits of the curriculum. Example: (At several specified times during the school day, students observe and count, for a set length of time, the number of cars and other vehicles going through an intersection near the school.) Say to students: “The police department is considering a traffic light or a crossing guard at the intersection near your school. Your help is needed to make graphs that show how many vehicles go through that intersection at certain times of the day. Excellent graphs will be sent to the Chief of Police.”

5. High-stakes - Everything that a child has learned is evaluated in one series of results. To move up grade levels or even graduate, students must pass these specific tests. It is a big part of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

5.1. Is designed as an assessment OF learning. Students are evaluated on everything that they have learned. It is final with no opportunity to adjust future learning in the same course. If a student fails, they must take the grade or class over again.

5.2. Advantages: By evaluating how a student's knowledge retention is being formed, a more specific learning plan can be created to better fit different learning profiles. There is a lot of transparency. This is advantageous to parents because they can always access how well/poorly their child is performing in school.

5.3. Disadvantages: It can cause students to repeat grade levels or be denied a diploma. Some students don't engage with learning in this fashion. It can create high levels of anxiety within students. Creativity is removed from the classroom.

5.4. Examples: Chapter and unit tests, semester tests, standardized tests, final projects (portfolio, research paper, etc.).

6. Portfolio - A systematic collection of student work and related material that depicts a student's activities, accomplishments, and achievements in one or more school subjects. The collection should include evidence of student reflection and self-evaluation, guidelines for selecting the portfolio contents, and criteria for judging the quality of the work.

6.1. Could be designed as an assessment FOR learning or OF learning. Showcase portfolios highlight the students products over a particular time period or course and exemplify their collected knowledge in the course. A process portfolio concentrates on the journey of learning, focusing on what learning approaches worked best, which were ineffective and information about oneself as a learner that can inform future instruction.

6.2. Advantages: Promotes student self-evaluation, reflection and critical thinking. It measures performance based on genuine samples of student work. It provides flexibility in measuring how students accomplish their learning goals.

6.3. Disadvantages: Can be labor-intensive in terms of planning, responding, correcting and giving feedback. Students may put focus on the presentation rather than the actual content. It's a subjective assessment method which makes measuring reliability difficult.

6.4. Example: Five writing pieces can be assigned at different times throughout the school year. By utilizing a rudimentary “Rating Values” placed just after each student's writing, the teacher could examine their first writing and their last writing and give each a “rating score,” and then reflect on both “each student's growth as a writer” over the school year and also “next steps” recommended for future teachers to take in advancing students' further writing development.

7. Authentic - A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills. It evaluates how effectively students can directly apply knowledge to a variety of tasks.

7.1. Is designed as an assessment OF learning. Students take an assessment at the end of the course that demonstrates, in a real-world way, that they have mastered the content. Teachers are encouraged to teach to the test, so by knowing what good performance looks like, and by knowing what specific characteristics make up good performance, students can better develop the skills and understanding necessary to perform well on these tasks.

7.2. Advantages: Focuses on analytical skills and the integration of knowledge, promotes creativity, and is a reflection of real-world skills and knowledge. It also encourages collaborative work and written and oral presentation skills.

7.3. Disadvantages: Can be time intensive to manage, monitor and coordinate. Could be difficult to coordinate with mandatory educational standards and challenging to provide a consistent grading scheme. Also, the subjective nature of grading may lead to bias.

7.4. Example: Experiments/Demonstrations: Student documents a series of experiments, illustrates a procedure, performs the necessary steps to complete a task, and documents the results of the actions.

8. Self-assessment - This is similar to peer evaluation but students assess their own contribution as well as their peers using an established set of criteria. Can lift the role of the student as passive learner to active learner and deepen their approach to learning.

8.1. Is designed as an assessment FOR learning because it is about revision and improvement. Students are actively involved in the learning process and their independence and motivation is improved.

8.2. 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.

8.3. Disadvantages: Potentially increases teacher 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.

8.4. Example: Each student is given a "needs analysis" form which has a list of skills that students are expected to have at the end of a course. Each student can mark skills they feel they have mastered and decide what set of skills they need to work on.

9. Peer assessment - Students individually assess each other's contribution using a predetermined list of criteria. Can lift the role of the student as passive learner to active learner and deepen their approach to learning.

9.1. Is designed as an assessment FOR learning because it is about revision and improvement. Students are actively involved in the learning process and their independence and motivation is improved.

9.2. Advantages: Agreed marking criteria means there can be little confusion about assignment outcomes. Encourages student involvement and responsibility. Encourages students to reflect on their role and contribution to the process of the group work.

9.3. Disadvantages: The reliability of grades could be at risk as peer pressure to apply elevated grades or friendships may influence the assessment. Students may have a tendency to award everyone the same mark.

9.4. Example: Ask children to mark each other’s work by putting a cross next to any errors, but without identifying what is wrong. The answers then have to be corrected whilst in dialogue with their partner.

10. Sources:

11. by David Eblen