Assessment with Benefits

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Assessment with Benefits

ASSESSMENT DEFINITIONS typically include these key ideas: 
  *Gauges the outcomes of teaching and learning.
*Gathers and utilizes information about students’ knowledge and skills.
*Depends on reliable data.    

A more comprehensive definition of assessment: It relies on gathering, analyzing, and using evidence and information from multiple sources about student outcomes in ways that best support students, inform instruction, make educational decisions, and improve learning outcomes.

Assessment is most effective when it benefits both the giver and receiver. What if there were ways to document the “return on assessment?”  This chart describes the practice, evidence, and outcomes when students are engaged IN the process of assessment as well as the benefits when they are empowered AS assessors.

AS ASSESSORS                    
TEACHERS ROLE Reconsider traditional “measures” of learning: Rely on practices that involve students in the process and methods of assessment. i.e., They write the questions.STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES Depend on validated research and best practices of student-engaged assessments to develop learners’ confidence, readiness to be assessed, and outcomes.
Share explicit learning intentions that students deconstruct into actionable and attainable learning processes and outcomes.Explain their goals, their learning intentions, and how they developed a personalized plan and process.
Offer a practical and predictable path for learning. Anticipate the need for flexibility and support. i.e., incorporate a “Learning Tracker.”Describe the path they planned and followed, what went as expected, and times that they needed to be flexible, backtrack, or take detours.
Incorporate progress and growth indicators such as checklists and rubrics for students to add to as they monitor progress throughout learning.Routinely display descriptions and documentation of their progress as well as areas for improvement.
Display exemplars of varying levels of achievement of goals: Have students compare and evaluate the exemplars.Present explicit evidence of learning and describe how their outcomes aligned or deviated from the learning intentions and plan.
Provide goal-based and actionable feedback that describes ways to resolve misunderstandings as well as close lingering learning gaps.For continuous improvement, students rely on and evaluate their use of feedback that is timely, relevant actionable, and user-friendly.  
Involve students in assessing their incoming skills and knowledge, how they will monitor progress, and feasibly evaluate the outcomes. i.e., assess pre & postPresent and explain where their learning started, the steps they took, and the quality of their final outcomes.

Based on the book: Student-Engaged Assessment:  Strategies to Empower All Learners by Laura Greenstein and Mary Ann Burke
Learn more at Assessment Network

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