Assessment is one of the most important parts of the practical side of teaching. When you are creating units that you are going to teach students it is important to know the outcomes and indicators that you are teaching to the students. After knowing the outcomes then you can find out what it is the students need to know and you can create your lesson towards an assessment that gets to the desired learning goals. If you do not know what you are going to assess then it will be hard to plan lessons that get to the desired learning goals. These assessments help keep the teacher on track of what their detailed units and lesson plans are intended to meet the outcome.
An essential part of assessment is formative evaluation which “is intended to provide information for both teacher and student about the progress of that student so that corrective action may be taken to help achieve the desired learning outcome” (Saskatchewan Education, Pg. 9). This is important because it means that you have to do pre-testing to see what knowledge the students already have and do consistent testing throughout to see if the students are learning the knowledge that is being taught. Formative assessment can be argued to be just as important if not more important than summative assessment because these practices are the ones that shape the content that is taught along with the instructional strategies that are used. Giving feedback to students is very important in this part because then the student has a clear understanding of what their strengths are and understand what skills could use improvement. When giving feedback you must be clear on what needs to be improved but it is also important the way that you phrase it. When giving feedback it needs to be a mix of positives and areas to grow.
The second essential part of the assessment is the process called summative evaluation which “is intended to provide information to be used in making judgments about student achievement” (Saskatchewan Education, Pg.9). This area is where the students show what they have learned in the units or lessons that you have taught. These are the assignments that get marked and go onto report cards. It is important that when you are grading students on things that have been learned and nothing that they have to read between the lines to figure out. It is important to test the content learned but it is also important to see what skills they have learned throughout the year too. I believe that if you only use one method of assessment that is unfair to the students. Every student has strengths such as one student may like written, while another student may feel most comfortable using oral, visuals or another type of assessment. When assessing the students it is important to not rank the students against each other, you must be ethical when you are assessing the students on their work and not other biases (Sawa, Pg.?).
Assessment needs to be done in a variety of ways throughout the year to make it a fair and ethical process. Once you finish a unit, as a teacher it is important that you not have your students write a test every single time. It is better to have a variety of ways that you assess throughout the year such as allow them to make posters, slideshows, presentations and write reports. When you do make the students write a test you must have different types of questions such as true/false, multiple-choice, matching, short answer and long answer because students can show their knowledge in different ways. I like to use anecdotal records and observation checklists are great techniques to use to assess students during activities because they can give you a quick and easy way to see if students are understanding and participating in their learning.
Assessment is important for parents, students and teachers as each one plays a specific role that allows each student to meet a desired goal. Assessment is very important for the teacher because it shows where the students’ comprehension level is. It is also important for teachers to do assessments to see if they are teaching the student with the right instructional strategy. This may mean you need to teach the content again using a different method or strategy and allow students to see things again. At the end of the day, assessment shapes the way that you teach. Every student and class will learn differently so it is important to have many strategies in your tool kit. As much as some teachers may not like that students always want to know what their grade is, it allows students to understand what skills they already have and see what skills need more work. It also helps students if they have a copy of the I can statements and the types of assessments that will be used. Students need to be given opportunities to show their learning in many different ways so the assessments need to allow for varying ways to show the knowledge they have learned. Assessment allows the parents to see and understand their child’s efforts, progress, and achievements throughout the year. It also allows the parents to help support the learning at home. Part of the education system says that parents are a huge part of the students learning process. That means that the parents need to be involved and know where their child is at in the learning goals. Teachers also need to show parents what they can do to help their child progress to meeting the outcomes and indicators.