Assessment Strategies

Assessment                                                                                                 

To accurately gauge whether or not the students have understood the material they were taught, teacher must employ assessment strategies.  These strategies must be authentic in nature.  This means that a teacher must do his or her best to ensure that the methods by which students display their knowledge accurately represent the material it should.  Asking students to spell biological terms does nothing if they do not know what they mean or represent.  A teacher must be able to justify the specific reasons for assessment.  Beyond determining grades, assessment is a powerful tool that can guide a teachers decisions, assist students in their learning, and be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a classroom whether for local or national purposes.  As this is the case, assessment should take into account the specific standards, whether they are state or national. 

 

Over the course of the semester I implemented multiple different assessment strategies in my clinical experience.  First and foremost, I used formal assessment strategies.  In this type of assessment, the students know the work they are going to do must be turned in and will be receive a grade.  I used this type of assessment during the lesson on classification of matter.  Once the lesson was over the students were required to complete questions from their text.  By judging the accurateness of the student’s answers to these questions, I can gain an understanding of their level of competency with the lesson.  This type of assessment lets me see what every student can do with the material, even if they are less than willing to volunteer answers during group discussions.

 

A second form of assessment I used this semester was informal.  This is essentially the opposite of formal assessment.  The students do not know they are being assessed and as such can sometimes feel more comfortable working on their activity.  I used this type of assessment during the skeletal race lesson.  As the students worked in their cooperative groups, I mingled between them, seeing who was struggling with the material and if there was anyway in which I could help them along.  This takes the pressure out of asking a question in front of the entire class and allows the students the opportunity to get their point across in a stress free manner.  This type of assessment also let me evaluate non-curricular learning such as the ability to work cooperatively in groups and problem solving skills.

 

A third form of assessment that I have used and is very useful in science is the evaluation of a product the students have created.  The easiest example of this would be in a chemistry lab where students were using a chemical reaction to create a product.  A teacher can usually clearly see by evaluating the product the students get whether they have done the reaction correctly and as such understood the material.  This is not often as simple as it may seem and some students may just be especially good at following directions, not understanding the material.  As such it is important to work some questions about how the students got their product and why.  Two examples referenced here are in the lesson I taught about classification of mater where students created their own pure substances and mixtures, and in the critical task where the students created their own volcano.

 

A last form of assessment that I learned about this semester is summative assessment.  In this type of assessment, the students can sum up everything they have learned over a period of time with respect to a certain unit or project.  Summative assessments can come in the form of presentations, group projects, or other form that represents everything the students have learned.  One of the best ways they do this is with 3-D interactive graphic organizers called Foldables.  According to the creator of these methods, Dina Zike, foldables “provide a multitude of creative formats in which students can present projects, research, experiment results, and inquiry based reports instead of typical poster board or science fair formats… [they] continue to “immerse” students in previously learned vocabulary, concepts, generalizations, ideas, and theories, providing them with a strong foundation that they can build upon with new observations, concepts, and knowledge.”  Through a group project, I created a foldable which would apply to an entire unit of physics on Newton’s Laws.  Though not seen here, the general blueprint I used is seen here:

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Published on December 11, 2008 at 2:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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