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Know About The Types of Assessments in Learning

Shanthy Ranjith
Jun 28, 2022
Schools, Learning

Education has become one of the most important prerequisites for a stable life. Therefore, parents, from the very beginning, strive to enroll their children in schools and classes to ensure their education gets the best take-off. 

Schools play a very important role in determining a child’s ability to grasp knowledge. The Indian education system follows two types of curriculums majorly – CBSE and ICSE. What these schools have in common is that they all have a system for assessment for learning.

What is Assessment for Learning?

Assessment for learning (AFL) is a strategy used in schools to analyze the process of teaching and learning for teachers and students respectively. Learning through AFL makes knowledge and understanding more visible. 

It helps students to develop a vision of what excellence looks like, and then helps them in developing their strategy to achieve it. The best CBSE school Bangalore follow a defined and unique assessment for learning which has made these schools what they are today – the best in Bangalore. 

What’s the Best Way to Develop the Types of Assessments?

On paper, these assessments look very easy and achievable whereas, in practice, it is difficult to implement them as every student is different as well as unique and every student prefers a specific style of teaching and learning. 

Some of the best ways to develop these different types of assessment in the classroom are:

● Make learning more interactive and engaging by introducing various class activities that require thinking out of the box. These activities can include in-class discussions, weekly quizzes, and team-building projects. 

● Providing feedback to both students as well as teachers to make education more asymmetrical. 

● Questioning the student about a particular topic helps the teacher to gain a clearer understanding of whether the student can grasp what is being taught in the class or not. It is necessary to make sure that the questions are designed in such a manner that they are clear and effective for the students. 

● Introducing the concept of peer assessment or peer feedback would not only help the students to assess each other’s work but also make them understand a different perspective and/or make them learn something new. 

● Promoting self-assessment through which the students will evaluate their work, try to comprehend their style of learning, and think if there is a better alternative or approach that can be used to understand concepts. 

● Teachers can make use of digital platforms to provide feedback or progress-report to students. In addition to this, it is important to make sure that feedback focuses on the task and not the learner and they offer strategies rather than solutions.

● Enhance motivation and self-esteem by promoting positive beliefs

● Suggest and implement strategies that would help the students minimize the gap between where they are and where they want to be in the future. 

What Are The Types of Assessment in Learning?

Teachers need to implement essential teaching strategies to evaluate progress in learning and skills acquisition and provide guidance and feedback for further teaching and learning. In general, there are mainly two types of assessment in learning followed by the school curriculum:

1. Summative Assessment

These are the academic year-end or long-term assessments which help the teachers to understand the students’ overall performance. In simpler terms, these are the graded assessments that measure the overall progress of the student.  

2. Formative Assessment

These types of assessments help both, the teachers as well as the students, to analyze not only the student’s progress through the ‘feedback’ mechanism but also the teacher’s skills through the ‘questioning’ mechanism. 

This is a more interactive and engaging assessment as it involves dialogue between the teacher and the student. It also aims to encourage students to think and visualize upcoming steps required in learning through developmental feedback. 

Unlike Summative assessments, formative assessments are more characteristic and evaluative. Most of the schools in Varthur, Bangalore follow formative assessments.  

According to Black and William, if teachers incorporate formative assessment into their lessons, their learners can learn at nearly twice the speed. 

In addition to this, Hattie's research shows that incorporating formative assessment into instruction leads to real-world differences in students’ progress and achievements.

Apart from these two basic types of assessments, schools in India follow three more types of assessment for learning:

3. Pre-Assessment

Conducting pre-assessments help the teacher understand the initial stage of students’ readiness, before the beginning of the actual curriculum. This helps the teachers to identify the student's weaknesses which helps them in planning their strategy accordingly.

4. Criterion Assessment

These assessments give a perspective on the overall academic performance of a student by measuring the ability of the student to recollect all the information he/she gained throughout the academic year. This helps the teachers to build a foundation for students for teaching more composite subjects.

5. Norm-referenced and Ipsative Assessment

While norm-referenced assessments focus on the progress of a single student against the norm, ipsative assessments evaluate students’ progress in their second or third attempt. 

Assessment of Learning and Assessment for Learning

Assessments of Learning are administered at the end of a unit or grade period to determine a student's understanding of an educational concept by comparing his or her performance to a benchmark or standard set by a classroom or district, or by a nationally recognized organization.

Assessment for Learning is meant to determine how well a student understands a skill or lesson during the learning and teaching process. A student's performance is evaluated after a second or third attempt at the assessment. 

It helps to understand where the learner is at the initial stage of learning, helps to set a target for the learner, and provides a process to achieve it. 

Six Misconceptions About Assessment for Learning

Although the concept of Assessment for Learning is used by every school in their respective curriculum since very few people know what AFL is, there are few misconceptions among people about AFL. These include

1. While Using AFL, Teachers Will Lose Their Control Over The Class

Since AFL is an engaging process that requires students to talk and discuss among themselves regarding work, people think that the teacher will lose his/her control over the class. However, it is necessary to note that the teacher remains in control of the class, no matter what.

2. Peer Feedback Implies 'Chatting Among Each Other Rather Than ‘Performing a Task Together

Parents, as well as students, tend to confuse peer feedback with chit-chatting. The motive behind peer feedback is to improve areas of a student that teachers might not notice and develop critical thinking in kids.  

3. Assessment And Test Are The Same

This is the most common misconception people have about AFL. Apart from examinations, there are various ways through which a student’s progress can be assessed. For example, conducting an activity that checks how well a student is learning is considered an assessment of that student's ongoing progress. 

4. The Only Type of Assessment That Matters Are Examinations

Although examinations play an important role in identifying the progress made by the student throughout the academic year, it is not the only different type of assessment that matters. Sometimes examinations fail to analyze a student’s ability of critical thinking or how the student would react in a certain real-life situation. 

5. Assessment Is a Symmetrical Process: Teachers Give Students Feedback on Their Progress

AFL, as mentioned earlier, is an asymmetrical strategy. It not only helps the students to learn and improve their way of learning but also helps the teachers to analyze and improve their approach to teaching by providing feedback from students as well as parents.

6. It Is Necessary to Grade Work

Not every work or activity requires grading. Since every student is different and unique, each one of them would have a different take on certain ways of conducting an activity. More than grades; comments and feedback matter the most which help students to grow. 

Assessment for Learning has proved that it not only enhances a student’s performance but also provides a favorable study environment for them by inculcating certain aspects such as peer feedback, teacher-student feedback, etc. There will always be an area of improvement in every child that AFL will foster to improve.

Shanthy Ranjith

I am a seasoned professional with outstanding teaching experience, I hold the skills and knowledge in contributing to the overall development and learning of students.

As a creator first and foremost, I am adept at identifying innovative approaches and creative practices in teaching challenges to remain ahead of new and relevant technology.

In my previous role as Class teacher at DPS and as an NGO volunteer teaching blue collared workers in UAE, I have enhanced collaboration abilities and cultivated a reputation as a significant contributor through teamwork and innovation. I am a respected team player always searching for opportunities to share valuable learnings. With these qualities combined, I facilitate positive change and impact outcomes.

For a more in-depth look at my background and qualifications, please review my attached portfolio.

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