Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chapter Five: Classroom Assessment

Key Terms                       
  • EvaluationEvaluation assesses the performance of large group of pupils for the purpose of determining how effective a program of study in a country or region has been. Classroom teachers often cannot use evaluation to make instruction decisions.
  • AssessmentAssessments are conducted by teachers in their own classrooms to make instructional decisions about pupils and to provide feedback to parents, children and the school community. There are many different kinds of classroom assessment but all of them require the teacher to record results in some way.
  • Test: Tests are usually paper and pencil assessments which produce a quantitative result. Some tests are written by teachers and others are produced by textbook companies or by school districts.
Why Do We Need to Use Classroom Assessment?

Student Needs. Assessment helpis in:
  • determining student strengths and weaknesses 
  • determining learning styles of our pupils 
  • learning about student interests in various topics 
  • placing students into learning groups based upon achievement and personality factors 
  • monitoring and following the progress of individual pupils 
  • diagnosing the group’s learning progress as a whole 
  • providing feed-back about students’ achievements
Teacher Purposes. Assessment helps the teacher in:
  • planning instructional activities
  • discovering what pupils have learned and what they still need to learn
  • deciding what to teach next
  • determining how to adapt instruction for student needs and learning styles
  • determining which content to include and which content to exclude from instruction
  • evaluating the effectiveness of our teaching methods
  • assigning grades and giving other feedback to students
  • giving feedback to parents
  • giving feedback to other teachers m die school and the principal
  • communicating with other professionals in order to provide more effective instruction
Misconceptions about Classroom Assessment

Public exams/tests tell us what children know.

Public exams do not give the whole picture about learners. They will not necessarily reflect all that the children have learned. They may also not tell all that children know about using the foreign language in real situations for purposeful activities.

Language is acquired in a sequential order and in discrete pieces so we need to test in the same way.

Children often acquire language in chunks rather than in discrete items and they can use these chunks for real- life purposes. 

Teacher observations are neither reliable nor valid.

Well-trained, experienced teachers who are familiar with learner standards are good judges of how children are learning and can give an accurate assessment of an individual's or a group’s learning progress.

Assessment is separate from instruction.
Classroom assessment is most effective when it is integrated into the instructional experiences of the classroom. 

Basic Principles of Classroom Assessment
  1. Multiple Formats. Effective classroom assessment uses multiple formats to assess pupils in a variety of different ways and in a variety of contexts.      
  2. Clear PurposeIt must have a dear purpose and reflect what children have actually learned about using the new language.
  3. Part of Instruction. It is included in actual classroom instruction. In this way, assessment supports and enhances learning. Assessment of this type takes place prior to, during and following instruction. It at what we teach and the way we teach it.
  4. Provides Useful Feedback on Learning. Effective classroom assessment provides feedback to improve learning for the teacher, parents, other teachers and learners.
  5. Recorded Efficiently. Effective classroom assessment provides information which can be recorded in an efficient manner and be used to make decisions about instruction.
What Kinds of Instructional Decisions are Informed by Classroom Assessment?
Before Teaching
  • Input 
  • Students' abilities 
  • Appropriate materials
  • Learning activities.
  • Learning targets.
  • Way of Organization.

During Teaching   
  • Is my lesson going well? A
  • How to make it better.
  • feedback of each sttudent.
  • Students' readiness to move on.
After Teaching
  • The level of achieving targets.
  • Strengths and weaknesses 
  • The effectiveness of students' learning and materials.
Examples of Classroom Assessment

Teacher Observation:
  1. Checklist: A checklist is a quick way to determine if a student has satisfied predetermined criteria. Checklists are often used during classroom observations.
  2. Rubric: They are descriptions of different levels of performance used to assess student levels. Teachers share rubrics with the children prior to the assessment process so that the pupils know exactly what they are required to know or be able to do to achieve a high level. They can help to assess performance in a global or holistic way. They can also be designed to assess discrete skills in a more analytical way. Teachers can create rubrics to reflect the objectives of their teaching.
  3. Anecdotal Record: These are brief comments written by teachers that describe student behavior and/or performance at a given observation.
Checking for Understanding (Oral questioning):
  1. No checking/ presses on: The teacher who continues to teach despite learners' inability to learn the new material.
  2. Reads body language: The teacher watch for signs such as posture, and facial expressions which signal attention or confusion, yet children can display false attention posture.
  3. Asks checking questions: Teachers ask recall or comprehension (understanding) questions. 
  4. Dipsticks: is a way of checking the understanding of all or most of the pupils in the class, frequently, on the same topic or concept, during instruction.
  5. Questions: (one-question quiz)
  6. Drawing sketches
Story Retelling: after a listening experience can become an assessment technique when the teacher determines criteria for assessing the retelling and records the students' performance.

Portfolio: are student- selected samples of work which are self-assessed and evaluated by criteria which are determined by the teacher and the class collaboratively.