Health and Fitness, Day 4–Assessment

There’s no doubt that student assessment is valuable. For politicians, it informs how they’re going to campaign in regards to education. For policy-makers and researchers, it’s data that can provide evidence for new reforms. For teachers, it’s important because we can see the effectiveness of our teaching (what students got out of the curriculum and what we intended for them to learn), it helps us reflect on what aspects of our teaching works and what doesn’t, and it can be a tool in learning about the strengths, struggles, and growth in individual students. But today we were asked (new to me, at least) what can students get out of these same assessments?

When the question was posed to us, there was a deep moment of silence–we’ve been so trained to think of assessments as something useful to adults and a hoop that students are forced to jump through. This probably has a lot to do with our own experiences with being assessed–take a test, get a grade, and a label. So, I was forced to think about what could be inherently good about assessments, for students? How can we frame and implement assessments that are actually indicative of a students’ learning and help them continue to learn? I’m excited to continue talking about assessing students as we get delve deeper into methods and instructional design, but here are some of the thoughts we came up with today on how assessments can benefit students:

  • Students may receive individualized attention.
  • Student voice–student self-evaluates, assesses her own progress, sees her own growth, recognizes areas that she may want to approve upon.
  • If teachers provide an assessment “rubric” before assigning a task/activity, students will understand the expectations and that their teacher is looking at more than the outcome–wants to see what led to that outcome.

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