Classroom Evaluation
In order to determine that the curriculum goals and objectives are being met, classroom evaluation has emerged to become a standard practice when assessing the learning outcomes of students. Prior to the implementation of the Common Core Standards, most evaluation methods were limited to measuring the knowledge and skills of students in the classroom alone. The drawback to this approach was not measuring how the knowledge and skills were being applied to real-life situations. Educational experts realized that students have to be transferring their acquired knowledge and skills outside of the classroom in order to perform more complex tasks when they progress further academically and beyond.

Stephen Chappuis and Rick Stiggins emphasized two forms of assessments that are crucial to measuring a student's level of learning: summative and formative.

  • Summative assessment involves the measuring of a student's academic progress at a certain point in time. This assessment usually involves compiling grading results from tests, quizzes, and other assignments to track a student's progress during a period of time in the school year.
  • Formative assessment occurs "while teaching is still underway, helping shaping decisions about what needs to happen next to better prepare students for the summative assessment" (Chappuis and Stiggins 2008). In addition, formative assessment is designed to help advance student learning.

Chappuis and Stiggins stressed a balance-system approach when utilizing these two assessment components. "When summative and formative assessments are high quality and purposefully planned, they are synergistic parts of the same system and can help form a more complete and accurate picture of student learning" (Chappuis and Stiggins 2008).

Although classroom evaluation has gained significance importance in education in recent years, "few teachers receive much formal training in assessment design or analysis" (Guskey 2003). Thomas Guskey emphasized three importants approaches that teachers need to utilize in order accurately assess student learning and to improve teaching instruction:

  • Make assessments useful for both students and teachers.
  • Follow assessments with corrective instruction.
  • Give second-chances to demonstrate success.

The three approaches set by Guskey are designed to help build a more collaborative learning partnership between teacher and student. For teachers, they can now determine if their instructional methods are having any success or not. If not, teachers would then be able to modify their instructional practice in order to help those students who have difficulty in the subject area. For students, they will have the opportunity to give input in regards to their learning development and knowing that teachers will be proactive in addressing their difficulties and concerns.


John Adams

Sources:

The Value of Classroom Assessment Techniques

Chappuis, S. and Stiggins, R. (2008). Finding Balance Assessment in the Middle School Classroom. Middle Ground: The Magazine of Middle Level Education, 12(2), 12-15.

Guskey, T.R. (2003). How Classroom Assessments Improve Learning. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 6-11.