12 Popular And Useful Assessment Strategies For Teachers
Updated 30 September 2022
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Teachers may employ a variety of techniques to assess learning and growth in their classes. As an educator, assessment strategies can help you assess whether students are ready to move on to the next level of study and ensure that a curriculum is productive. They can guide your teaching plans regardless of the grade level you teach or whether your lessons are online or in person. In this article, we examine strategies you can use to assess your class and provide a list of 12 strategies teachers can use in a classroom.
What Are Assessment Strategies?
Teachers utilise assessment strategies to evaluate their students' progress and design content for their classes. Teachers conduct periodic assessments to decide the next steps in their lessons. They may give individualised attention to students who are progressing relatively slower than others. A teacher can adjust the curriculum if an entire class is progressing behind or ahead of schedule.
Traditionally, teachers tend to rely on tests and quizzes to assess student progress. There are various other evaluation procedures that are typically more effective, subjective and enjoyable for students. The methodology of an assessment exercise is typically to employ a variety of consistent and fair evaluations to gain a comprehensive understanding of an individual's performance.
Related: 9 Online Assessment Tools For Teachers (With Advantages)
12 Useful Assessment Strategies For Teachers
While choosing which assessment tools to utilise in a classroom, you can decide based on students' learning styles, your teaching style, the subject you teach and the content of your classroom lectures. Here are a few strategies that can help you get started:
1. Quizzes and polls
It is fairly easy to create and administer quizzes and polls. To assess individual and group learning in a classroom, you can give students graded or ungraded quizzes periodically. Since you are the one who makes the questions, you get to choose how challenging you want the exercise to be. Give quizzes at the conclusion of each classroom session to see if students understand key concepts. You can also use basic one-question quizzes that individual students can respond to quickly, providing an overview of the effectiveness of your teaching style.
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Interview assessments or one-on-one meetings are conferences where students can discuss what they know in detail. Schedule five-minute interviews with each student and select ahead of time what you want to discuss or evaluate during each session. These conversations can be lighthearted and casual. Private interviews allow you to not only analyse students' progress but also to discover more about them and form stronger bonds with them. Many children also prefer to talk about their progress and challenges in private, away from other students and parents.
Related: How To Become A Teacher: Steps And Additional Tips
3. Entry and exit questions
At the start of class, ask each student a question to see what they remember from the previous day's session. Then, at the end of class, ask them another question to check if they understand the day's lesson. Gather all the responses and count how many people completely comprehended the lesson, only partially understood the lesson, or did not understand the lesson at all. The number of students who fall into each category can guide your future teaching strategies.
When creating entry and exit questions, you can ask precise questions about particular concepts you taught or open-ended questions, such as:
What about today's class piqued your attention the most?
What was the most challenging aspect of today's class for you?
List three new things you learned today.
Tell me about something you did not understand today.
What do you think about today's class?
What do you remember from the previous class?
What queries do you have now?
4. Reflective writing
Provide your students with journals and ask them to write about what they learnt and what they found challenging from the day's lesson. Encourage them to describe how they plan to use the lesson or skill they learned in their daily lives. You can then go over their entries to see what degree of comprehension they have and what areas they can work on improving. Give each student a personal blog to publish in, instead of a paper diary, to digitise your assessment methodology.
Related: The Importance Of Creative Writing Courses (With Types)
5. Choral responses
A choral response is a simple and quick technique to check your students' comprehension of a concept they just learned. Ask the entire class a question and assess their level of comprehension based on the number and kind of responses. This activity invites students to take part in the question-and-answer session. You can discover that asking students to respond by raising a particular number of fingers is a more efficient way to evaluate a large group's comments. One finger signifies they do not comprehend the topic, five means they do and two to four means they are in the middle.
Related: 12 Essential Teaching Skills And Ways To Improve Them
6. Computer surveys
Send your students computer-based surveys they can complete at their convenience. You can use short-answer questions like multiple-choice questions or true or false statements to test their understanding of the day's or week's teachings. Free survey tools are available on various online platforms. Another advantage of surveys is that they allow you to categorise and evaluate replies by student or class and also keep a record of responses for future reference.
Related: Common Teaching Tools For The Classroom (With Benefits)
Encourage students to give brief presentations to you or the rest of the class about what they have learned about a specific topic. You can also ask them to summarise the most important concepts from a lesson. Rather than grading the presentations, employ them as an assessment tool to gauge students' comprehension levels.
Related: What Are Presentation Skills? (And How To Improve Them)
8. Four corners
Four corners is an engaging way to assess a class as it encourages students to move around the room. Label each corner of the room with a different point on a spectrum, like strongly agree, agree, disagree and disagree. Ask them to stand in the corner of the room that reflects their response. Encourage groups of students to describe why they choose a certain response so you can plan future lessons accordingly.
Pause a classroom session and ask your students to list a certain number of topics they have effectively learned. Examine the students' responses to see if they comprehend the topic at an adequate level. You can use these lists to identify misunderstandings and places where you can focus more time and effort on.
10. One-minute responses
Ask your class a question on a topic and give your students one minute to compose an answer to it. Encourage them to focus on their thoughts and knowledge rather than spelling, grammar or writing norms. You can also ask students to produce a one-sentence summary of what they have understood about a topic. Examine their responses to evaluate comprehension and use this information to guide your lesson plans.
11. Open-ended questions
Avoid asking close-ended questions in class. Students usually respond with a yes or no to these questions, and it may not accurately represent their level of understanding of a subject. This can lead to discrepancies as a lesson plan progresses. To assist students with understanding concepts in class, ask them open-ended questions that require students to write or speak. These questions rarely have a specific response and they may encourage the respondent to provide an explanation. The responses can relate to students' personal experiences, opinions, values and knowledge about a topic.
Related: What Are Open Ended Questions? A Complete Guide
12. Think-pair-share approach
Think-pair-share is a collaborative learning approach in which students work together to solve a problem or answer a question concerning a reading assignment. This technique requires students to think about a topic or answer a question independently and then share their thoughts with their classmates. Using this strategy can help you increase student participation in class, improve focus and attention and engage students more effectively in academics.
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