Assessment and learning – 7 tips to balance between the two
Do you find it difficult to find a balance between assessing and learning?
Does this happen to you as well that when you set time aside for assessment, you’re left with less time for instructions?
But, you also value that to improve teaching and learning, Assessment insights can be critical. Being intentional and purposeful with assessments is just as important as being intentional with formative instruction. If we’re not intentional and purposeful, we’re “weighing the cows more than we’re feeding the cows.”
“ The use of online assessment tools is giving teachers a more fine-grained understanding of individual student’s skills, and assisting them to determine the necessary next steps to enable them to achieve their own learning goals. We are seeing more effective differentiation in the classroom as a result.” – Susan Mann
When you start letting assessments guide your teaching is when your students become successful!
So, What’s the key to find the right balance between them?
You can go through this list of a few interesting questions to keep in mind whenever you think you need to assess your students, to keep a right balance between them :
What’s the specific aim I have that would be answered by this assessment?
* Whatever purpose you’ve for the assessment, its effectiveness shall be judged by the extent it would help the student learn and improve its performance and not just to audit.
* It should provide important and most useful information.
How will or will the answers guide to improve on my teaching and student’s learning?
* Identify their areas of strength and weaknesses in the subject matter.
* Prepare them for the standard based statewide achievement tests.
* It should help you as a teacher plan an effective and targeted instruction in the content standards(academic).
* It should help you to tailor instructions and curriculum directly to individual student needs.
* It should not be an add-on to yourself but shall facilitate your work.
Is there any online learning tool that helps in connecting the instructions and curriculum to my Assessment?
* There are many online learning tools which help to combat the tight budgets and teacher shortages and also offers a range of programs.
* It can be customized to fit each student’s or teacher’s need. Here, you can draw upon your expertise and experience in what to teach and how to teach it.
To make plans on the assessment data, do I have sufficient time to meet the team?
* Well it’s true that You shall not make plans in isolation.
* Encourage other teaching staff to work collaboratively in deciding on the type of assessments and time of assessments.
* Ask them also to bounce off ideas, learn from each other and develop their assessment skills.
* But you shall also plan it timely as it should not consume the actual assessment conducting time.
To make the assessment appropriate for the grade, will I be able to make changes in instructions or content?
* If you’re using online assessment tools, The most important question you shall ask shall be –
* Can I add-on or minus the relevant or irrelevant content from the available assessment?
Shall I spend more time on practice or instructions than on assessment?
* This is something you must research before conducting an assessment as the former only can give better results for the latter and the latter only can answer whether to focus on former.
* The online learning tool you choose shall have both practice and assessment content.
To get more time for teaching and learning, could I get a shorter assessment to save time?
* If you have an answer to the previous question, then you can actually look for a shorter assessment to save time for more practice and instructions.
Believe us, you know your students best, so only you can decide and while deciding, you can ask these questions to yourself as a teacher?
- Which assessment would be the best for their needs.
- What would be the right timings?
- What shall be the frequency for that assessment?
- And the most important one, Only you can find the right balance.
I hope, this blog helps you find your best assessment and learning progression and also to decide when and how to use the best resources.