Assessment of Learning
Assessment of learning refers to strategies designed to confirm what students know, demonstrate whether or not they have met curriculum outcomes or the goals of their individualized programs, or to certify proficiency and make decisions about students’ future programs or placements. It is designed to provide evidence of achievement to parents, other educators, the students themselves, and sometimes to outside groups (e.g., employers, other educational institutions). Assessment of learning is the assessment that becomes public and results in statements or symbols about how well students are learning. It often contributes to pivotal decisions that will affect students’ futures. It is important, then, that the underlying logic and measurement of assessment of learning be credible and defensible. Teachers’ Roles in Assessment of Learning
Because the consequences of assessment of learning are often far-reaching and affect students seriously, teachers have the responsibility of reporting student learning accurately and fairly, based on evidence obtained from a variety of contexts and applications. Effective assessment of learning requires that teachers provide a rationale for undertaking a particular assessment of learning at a particular point in time clear descriptions of the intended learning
processes that make it possible for students to demonstrate their competence and skill a range of alternative mechanisms for assessing the same outcomes public and defensible reference points for making judgments
transparent approaches to interpretation
descriptions of the assessment process
strategies for recourse in the event of disagreement about the decisions With the help of their teachers, students can look forward to assessment of learning tasks as occasions to show their competence, as well as the depth and breadth of their learning. Assessment for Learning
Assessment for learning focuses on engaging students in classroom assessment in support of their own learning and informing teachers about what to do next to help students to progress. Assessment for learning is assessment for improvement not assessment for accountability as can be the case with summative assessments (Stiggins, 2002). The keys to Assessment for Learning (AFL) is to use a variety of assessment tools and methods in order to provide ongoing evidence to students, teachers and parents that demonstrates how well each student is mastering the identified outcomes. This evidence is used to provide descriptive feedback to the students and to enable the teacher to differentiate the instruction to meet the needs of individual students or groups. Assessment for Learning vs. Assessment of Learning
Gregory, Cameron, and Davies (1997) outline some distinct differences between Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning. Educators are using these terms to help distinguish between the teacher's role as a learning coach versus the teacher's role of judging the extent of a student's achievement in relation to an established standard. This assessment is considered summative and is done at the end. 1. Assessment for learning is the big deal, while assessment of learning is the done deal. 2. Assessment for learning is formative, while assessment of learning is summative. 3. Assessment for learning is supportive, while assessment of learning measures. 4. Assessment for learning uses descriptions, while assessment of learning uses scores. 5. Assessment for learning happens day by day, moment by moment, while assessment of learning happens at the end. The assertion is that neither one is better than the other, but both need to be used within a students learning so that the student is able to understand not only the work that is being asked of them, but also how their own learning occurs. Assessment for learning is intended to be both diagnostic and formative to help students improve their learning.
Four critical questions that the teacher must...
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