Basic Concepts of Classroom Assessment.
Overview of classroom assessment.
What is a Classroom?
A classroom is a platform where learners learn better, feel a sense of belonging, and feel encouraged to tackle challenges, take risks, and ask questions (Bucholz & Sheffler, 2009). It has a significant impact on learning outcomes and instruction is more effective when the classroom is positive and supports learning.
Purposes of a classroom
- It causes a change in learning expectations: the teacher and learners see extensive learning as learning for all students irrespective of how smart any learner is; it is generally for all learners.
- It causes a change in the perspective of responsibility for learning: it is no longer assumed that the teacher alone is responsible for learners learning. The teacher and learners agree that learners bear significant responsibility for their own learning.
- It causes a change in the role of classroom assessment: classroom tests are no longer viewed as the means to make grade-determining comparisons among learners or motivate learners to study harder. Instead, classroom assessments are seen by teachers as the means to gather evidence necessary to make instructional adjustments and by learners as the means to gather evidence to make learning tactic adjustments.
- It helps learners focus and engage in preferred learning methods by being actively involved in the learning process.
- It encourages in-class feedback and collaboration of learners.
- It creates an enriching experience for the learners.
- It results in learners feeling comfortable to participate in the learning process.
- Real-life scenarios and stimulation are put into consideration while teaching and learning to enable learners application of what they learn.
- Repeated exposure to material through repeated means.
- It shifts the atmosphere from a traditional, often competitive orientation to a more learning-for-all orientation.
Factors that Prevent a Positive Classroom Environment
There are many factors that can affect a positive classroom environment. Each of these can impact students’ focus and achievement in the class. They can also affect a teachers’ attitude in the class. Some of the factors that prevent a positive classroom environment include;
The physical factors: This consists of things such as noise, temperature (hot or cold), poor seating arrangements, lack of instructional materials and others.
The intangible factors: this includes factors such as the energy of the classroom, the rules, or the sounds within the room.
The teacher-factor: The way in which a teacher organizes their class, or how they control it, will yield positive or negative consequences for their students. Developing rapport with students is essential in creating a good classroom environment. If a teacher is unmotivated or negative there will be a direct impact on the students within the classroom.
Similarly, if a teacher is motivated and positive, he/she will likely have a beneficial impact on their students as well. It is important for a teacher to understand this cause and effect in order to understand how to organize their classroom to create a better learning environment.
Definition of Assessment:
Assessment can be defined as the systematic process of collecting or gathering information or data on the knowledge, attitude, ability and skills in order to review and use the information to improve or refine educational programs for the purpose of improving student learning and development.
Classroom Assessment — (sometime referred to as Course-based Assessment) – is a process of gathering or collecting data or information on student learning during the educational experience, designed to help the instructor determine which concepts or skills the students are not learning well, so that steps may be taken to improve the students’ learning while the course is still in session.
Purpose of Classroom Assessment
There are two general purposes for assessment:
1) To provide more effective instruction, and
2) To evaluate achievement or learning.
Uses of Classroom Assessment
Classroom assessment is used to:
- Inform and guide teaching and learning: A good classroom assessment plan gathers evidence of student learning that informs teachers’ instructional decisions. It provides teachers with information about what students know and can do. To plan effective instruction, teachers also need to know what the student misunderstands and where the misconceptions lie. In addition to helping teachers formulate the next teaching steps, a good classroom assessment plan provides a road map for students. Students should, at all times, have access to the assessment so they can use it to inform and guide their learning.
- Help students set learning goals: Students need frequent opportunities to reflect on where their learning is at and what needs to be done to achieve their learning goals. When students are actively involved in assessing their own next learning steps and creating goals to accomplish them, they make major advances in directing their learning and what they understand about themselves as learners.
- Assign report card grades: Grades provide parents, employers, other schools, governments, post-secondary institutions and others with summary information about student learning.
- Motivate students: Research has shown that students will be motivated and confident learners when they experience progress and achievement, rather than the failure and defeat associated with being compared to more successful peers.
Importance of Classroom Assessment
Classroom assessment should help the teachers to:
- Determining students’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Determining the learning styles of the students.
- Learning about students interests in various topics.
- Classifying students into groups based on their learning abilities, personal interests, characteristics, and achievements.
- Monitoring and following the progress of individual students.
- Providing feedback about students’ achievement.
- Specifying suitable teaching materials and activities.
- Discovering what students have learned and what they still need to learn.
- Deciding what to teach next.
- Determining how to adapt lesson content to students needs and learning styles.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of teaching methods.
- Assigning grades and feedback to students.
- Giving feedback to parents.
- Giving feedback to other teachers in the school and the principal.
- Communicating with other professionals to provide more effective courses.
- Recycling and revising previous lesson content
Classifications of Classroom Assessment
The two (2) broad classifications of classroom assessment are;
Formative assessment: Formative assessment is used by the teacher to qualitatively evaluate students understanding and learning needs during a lesson or unit. Fundamentally, the purpose of formative assessment is to improve teaching and learning during instruction.
Summative assessment: this focuses on the performance of students for a point in time, usually at the end of a unit to review outcomes.
References( Basic Concepts of Classroom Assessment)
Bucholz, J. L. & Sheffler, J. L. (2009). Creating a warm and inclusive classroom environment: planning for all children to feel welcome. Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 2 (4). Retrieved February 5, 2021 from https://elttguide.com/reasons-for-classroom-assessment-decisions-made-by-this-assessment/
Council of British International School (2004). The purpose of formative and summative assessment-striking the right balance. Retrieved February 6, 2021 from https://www.edglossary.org/formative-assessment/
Mislevy, R. J., Steinberg, L. S., Almond, R. (2003). On the structure of educational assessments: Measurement, 1, 367.
Weaver, B. (nd). Scholastic Red, Improving Reading Comprehension, Grades 3-5:The importance of assessment. https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/importance-assessment/
Basic Concepts of Classroom Assessment