As I watch students take a test today, I'm observing how each child uses strategy, perseverance, and positive self talk to do their best work.
By providing students a chance to work alone and commit to an assessment, we give them a chance to test themselves and show off skill, knowledge, and concept.
The challenge with assessments includes how often to use them, the assessment design, and the way the data is used to forward individual and group learning.
Tests should never be used to punish or solely assess a program. Instead tests should be used to analyze a program and students' needs, in part, with questions including the following:
- How did the students do overall? Where there common gaps and why did those gaps occur?
- Did some students perform much differently than others? If so, why might that have happened? How can we use this information to forward all students' learning?
- How did students meet the task? Were they comfortable and confident or nervous and worried?
- What strategies did students employ as they took the test. Did the strategies result in good work? Did the strategies impact results?
There are many ways to teach well, and there are many ways to assess the work we do with regard to students' performance, learning, and needs. I do believe that assessments, in part, are advantageous in this regard.