Is Assessment Necessary?
Assessment is one of the most essential aspects of teaching. Assessment allows a teacher to understand what methods of teaching works best for their students and what learning styles their students have. This allows teachers to adjust their strategies to benefit their students’ needs and by doing so, the students will be able to learn to the best of their abilities and will be more successful in the classroom. Assessment allows the students to demonstrate their learning and they can do so in a variety of ways, it can be as simple as having the students answer an exit slip on the lesson taught or by having them answer questions throughout the lecture. A teacher must constantly assess in the classroom to understand where their students’ are in the lesson, if the students are understanding the material and if he or she can advance smoothly throughout the lesson/unit.
Assessment doesn’t necessarily have to be done by the teacher only. It is important for students to engage in assessment whenever possible. Whether it is through self assessment on the things they are learning, assessing the teacher to give them feedback on how well they are learning through their methods, or if they are assessing a peer. This allows the students to understand the importance of looking over things and finding ways of improving or retrying what is struggling. It allows them to build confidence and take actions about the mistakes that they have made and try and make something better out of it.
Something that us as teachers need to keep in mind is to keep assessment as positive as possible. Nothing is more discouraging than receiving a grade/letter on how well they are doing. It is better to provide some written feedback before assigning the final grade (evaluation). Giving students written feedback will make them realize in which areas they can improve on and grow on, they can find the understanding of these concerns and make changes to their work instead of having the feeling of being penalized.
Finally, we have to keep in mind that assessment is different than evaluation. Assessment focuses on the learning and the different things we do to to improve and learn. This could include little journals, projects or activities that allows the teacher to see where their students are at in the learning. Whereas Evaluation is all about the final grade one is given at the end of the unit. This can be done through tests, projects, or presentation. Evaluation is where a student could feel penalized because of the mark they are given or by the success that they had. This is why assessment is so important to do, it allows the teacher and student to be on the same page in the learning. They both can improve their methods and adjust accordingly so they can be successful in the future.