I had the chance on the day before Thanksgiving to Skype with two colleagues on the topic of assessment. Books have been written on this topic and I maybe one day I will write one about assessment and grading. However for the purpose of this blog I would just like to mention some Assessment Do’s and Don’ts. By no means is this a complete list and I encourage you to comment and add to the list.
*Assessments need to incorporate Critical thinking skills and other higher order skills
*Assessments needs to demonstrate understanding and how to apply it - I often have my students right a guidebook about something as a way of demonstrating understanding
*Assessments should be tools that inform Student learning
*Assessments need to assess the lifelong skills we want our students to learn
*Assessments should be more than just fill in the blanks which test memory and not skills
*The purpose of Assessments should not be for the purpose of “Got You”
*Assessments need to match what skills were taught in class not the other way around (We should not teach to the test)
Again there is a lot more and the issue of assessments is very much related to the issue of grades which I as well as others have written about.
Bottom line the assessments need to be a tool to measure learning and growth and not as a way that set students up for failure. Assessments need to be used by the teacher as well as the student to guide student learning. Assessments are a tool not an end to themselves