Assessments to Ensure Student Learning

Teachers understand and use varied assessments to inform instruction, evaluate and ensure student learning

A student’s assessment is a task that involves an array of factors to be taken into account. Currently, teachers do not possess the experience and the skills to ensure the appropriate assessment process (U.K. Department for Education, 2011). It is essential that the assessments used by the teachers be varied and tailored to all of the students’ needs. The successful assessment that works flawlessly for some students may fail for others. Similarly, explicit instructions that have worked well in one classroom may be totally inapplicable in another classroom with other students. Bearing that in mind, the teacher’s job is to consistently assess the instructions and assure that they are relevant and work across different classrooms. Students’ performance may be inhibited by incomplete instructions, and conversely, explicit instruction will enhance student learning.

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Teachers are knowledgeable about assessment types, their purposes, and the data they generate

Teachers must understand that an adequate assessment is a tool for evaluating and guiding student learning (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). Every assessment has its strong sides and limitations, and therefore, students’ evaluation cannot be based on one assessment alone. Accomplished teachers with years of experience may demonstrate an understanding of the varied assessment types which need to be incorporated in the educational cycle at each learning stage. Issues such as assessment validity, their reliability, scoring differences, and bias also need to be realized by teachers (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). Teachers are supposed to use various assessment types such as diagnostic, summative, and formative to gather the data on students’ performance (Alber, 2014).

Teachers select, develop and use a variety of diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments

Teachers must plan assessments in such a way so that they would match various students’ needs (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). Students exhibit different learning styles and possess different abilities; an accomplished teacher needs to be able to align a variety of assignments with students’ abilities. Both formative and summative assessments must be used throughout studies allowing the teacher to track students’ progress. The various assessments need to be developed in such a way so that students who had taken them were able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and the gaps that they need to eliminate. Teachers also need to communicate with other educators and collaboratively design and develop the assessment tests based on mutual experience (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). There exist a multitude of best practices that the teachers may use to enhance their already developed assessments. An important stage in teachers’ development is obtaining feedback from more qualified colleagues and using their insight to improve their assessment practices.

Teachers analyze data to monitor student progress and learning and to plan, differentiate and modify instruction

The assessment procedures cannot remain static and need to be modified and updated to most adequately identify and address students’ needs and expectations. With this in mind, the instructional procedures must be tailored to individual students’ needs (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). The students’ assessment results need to be studied by the teachers with a view of evaluating their teaching strategies. If students’ results are consistently low, it might be a signal for teachers to reflect on their methods, and perhaps modify them to achieve better results. The data from students’ assessments may be used to critically evaluate the curriculum, and decide whether it is meeting the educational goals. Aside from the individual progress of certain high-achievers, the group progress also needs to be measured to see the correlation between the positive and negative assessment results.

Teachers collaborate and communicate student progress with students, parents, and colleagues

It is crucial that teachers explicitly explain the assessment factors and criteria to students and make sure that the students have understood them (U.K Department for Education, 2011). Students need to receive consistent feedback regarding their progress. Students, parents, school personnel also need to be aware of the assessment results while confidentiality needs to be maintained (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). Teachers need to work in collaboration and share their efforts in establishing common assessment procedures with their colleagues. Mutual work and cooperation eventually will lead to overall communication enhancement. The three pillars of communication need to involve students, parents, and colleagues and if one of the parties is left out of the process, the picture of the student progress will not be complete. The fundamental element in progress communication lies in the timely and informative feedback provided to all of the parties involved. When guided and mentored consistently by the teacher, students will be more willing to enhance their learning techniques. Conversely, sporadic and untimely feedback is unlikely to be understood by the student.

Teachers involve learners in self-assessment and goal setting to address gaps between performance and potential

The development of self-assessment and self-critique is essential for students in their learning process. Aside from merely communicating assessment results to students, teachers need to allow students to assess themselves and teach them how to set goals for future learning.

Some students may not be equipped with tools to engage in self-assessment, and with this in mind, it is the teacher’s job to monitor students’ progress and encourage them to set goals and achieve them. (Ohio’s Educator Standards, 2015). Students also need to be given a chance to talk about their weaknesses in learning, and the teacher’s job is to listen to students and come up with methods that will help students to eliminate the weaknesses and enhance their learning processes. Teachers need to foster a learning environment in which learners will be encouraged to plan their learning and evaluate their progress.

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Reference List

Alber, R. (2014). 3 Ways Student Data Can Inform Your Teaching. Web.

Ohio’s Educator Standards. (2015). Web.

U.K. Department for Education. (2011). Teachers’ Standards Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. Web.

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