I loathed assessment: Then I saw the light
PART 1: BIG IDEAS AND HONEST TRUTHS ABOUT ASSESSMENT
A long time ago I learned not to give unsolicited advice. However, if you are reading this you may well be looking for ways to make your students’ assessments more meaningful, relevant, substantial, and informative.
Like many of my peers, I detested those Friday tests intended to reveal what I learned that week. And large-scale tests were equally distressing. Then midway in my career I decided to become a teacher. That’s when I realized that I had testing all wrong: Not the test answers but rather their principles and practices. I became so passionate about quality assessment that I even wrote my dissertation on it.
Here’s the gist of this practical series on assessment:
- Strengthening student learning outcomes is a primary purpose of teaching, learning, AND assessing.
- Progress and growth are more important than final scores.
- Recurring supportive assessment is essential for improving learning outcomes in any endeavor.
Being trustworthy has been important to me since I earned my Girl Scout Curved Bar award, which is similar in some ways to the Eagle Scout award. This trait has served me well throughout my career as an educator, author, and wayward thought leader. I am passionate about assessment that is intentional, purposeful, continuous, and utilized in ways that sustain learning rather than judge and discourage learners.
Assessment comes from the Latin root assidere meaning to sit beside. In education, assidere refers to observing learning, gathering, and interpreting evidence of learning, sharing results, and responding to learning outcomes. I hope you find my insights about those elements of assidere to be practical and realistic.
You can find more information on these foundations of assessment at: