What methods of assessment do you currently use?

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One of the most common interview questions teachers get asked is the type of assessment they use in their classroom. Because different assessment serves different purposes, this particular question should be answered in stages followed by examples.

When you meet classroom for the first time, the most common type of assessment you should perform is what is called “A Needs Assessment” otherwise known as a “Diagnostic Assessment”. As the name states, these tests provide a diagnosis. In other words, these tests provide the foundation for teachers to assess or confirm student’s strengths and interests. In addition, these tests can help teachers plan future lessons.

The next assessment called “Formative Assessment” is quite popular and performed across all age groups. Formative assessment is an informal assessment that takes place during the process of learning instead of the end of the learning. The overall purpose is to provide feedback which assists with the learning process. Teachers can provide instant verbal feedback or take anecdotal notes to keep track or students progress and also to share with parents.

“Summative Assessment” is what takes place at the end of the learning cycle. Like the name, it is a summary of all the learning that has taken place. It is a formal assessment and is usually completed at the end of a term.

The next set of assessments is considered “Alternative Assessments” which have gained popularity in the 21st century.

“Peer-Assessment” involves partnering with a peer in class and evaluating each other’s work and providing candid feedback of each other’s work with suggestions for improvement. This type of assessment has proven the ability to help self improve personal work as it provides a fresh perspective to analysing work. Teacher’s should provide a pre-set criteria for what to look for when peer assessing to avoid losing track.

“Self -Assessment” is assessment of one’s own work.  This is a reflective process in which students evaluate their own work based on pre-set criteria’s set by the teacher. At time, teachers prefer to leave the assessment open and ask students to look for “2 starts and 1 wish” (to select two good things they have achieved in their work and one thing they could improve on in the future).

It is recommended that teachers use a combination of these assessments in the classroom to obtain a more thorough and complete evaluation of a students’ progress.