How Classroom Assessments Improve Learning
11 May 2017
What I learned from the article, class or workshop (summary):
This article so far, is one of the most awakening literature for classroom assessments that I have read. It shows some of our misconceptions about assessments and mistakes that we make when we assess our students. It offers suggestions on how to utilize the results of assessments to improve the teaching-learning process.
The following are the key points presented in the article.
- Prepare tests based on how and what students had been taught. Do not surprise them by giving them test items that are not familiar to them. Let us not make a mistake of "teaching to the test". Instead, let us do "testing what we teach".
- When many students have failed in a test, review the test items. The questions might be unclear or the directions might be ambiguous. The teacher should also determine whether the items assess students' knowledge, understanding, or skills. If the test items are proven to be good items, then it may have something to do with how the teacher teaches the lesson. It may be true that "When as many as half the students in a class answer a clear question incorrectly or fail to meet a particular criterion, it is not a student learning problem. It is a teaching problem."
- To help students who failed in their first attempt, allow corrective instructions to take place. Use strategies to accommodate differences in learning styles and intelligence. Then, assess them again. Consider recording the results of the second assessment, not of the first one.
How will I integrate this into my instruction (plan):
From this day on, I will consider the following adjustments in how I teach.
- I will exert more effort in creating my own test and not rely mainly on the tests provided in the workbook or those available on the internet. I will also carefully draft the test items to make sure that my students understand what I want them to do.
- If a significant number of my students fail the test, I will give them a second chance to learn the lesson (and improve their score). Instead of simply re-teaching the lesson, I will use varied techniques to accommodate their needs. For students that get good scores, they will be given enrichment activities.
RESULTS AND UPDATES:
I started giving students teacher-created activities and assessments and the results were phenomenal. One of advantages of giving them tests that I created is that I am able to measure their understanding of the lesson exactly the way I taught them.
Furthermore, if some students do not show full understanding of the concept or have not learned the skills, I use a different approach that may help them learn. I give them another test and consider their new score, not in their first attempt.