Student Assessment System and Teaching Strategies

The differences between formative and summative assessment

According to Gorlewski, formative assessment differs from summative assessment in many ways. For instance, the former emphasizes theory and practice while the latter emphasizes knowledge and skills. In this regard, formative assessment provides results about policy while summative assessment provides results about knowledge. Formative assessment is sometimes known as assessment for learning while summative assessment is sometimes known as assessment of learning. While the formative assessment is detrimental to the process of education, summative assessment is beneficial to the process of education. Formative assessment emphasizes policy and pedagogy. This is closely linked to high-stake testing, which is practiced widely in the country. Summative assessment emphasizes the knowledge gained by students. This enables teachers to examine students’ progress effectively. Moreover, it ensures that students learn as required. However, it should be noted that both summative and formative assessment methods are significant for learning (Gorlewski 94-97).

Characteristics of an effective student assessment system

According to Stiggins, both assessments of learning are needed to improve classroom assessment. These are formative and summative assessment methods. Under the current circumstances, Stiggins claims that only one of the assessment methods is in place. The author argues that an effective student assessment system is one that involves both assessments for and of learning. Therefore, the first characteristic of an effective student assessment is the inclusion of both summative and formative assessment. Secondly, priority should be put on ensuring that these assessments are accurate in depicting student achievements. Moreover, such an assessment system should prioritize the use of both assessment methods for the benefit of students. In essence, an effective assessment system should strike a balance between assessments for and of learning. Moreover, the system should monitor results more frequently than in the current system. Riggins suggests an online system for formative assessment. Moreover, self-assessment by students should also be incorporated in formative assessment to achieve effectiveness (Stiggins 1-10).

What it means to understand something

Wiggins and McTighe argue that understanding is achieved through the attainment of six facets. These include explain, interpret, apply, perspective, empathize, and self-knowledge. In this respect, the authors postulate that one can understand if he/she can explain thoroughly with support from justifiable evidence. Moreover, one can be considered to have achieved understanding if he can interpret whatever is learned appropriately as well as in different dimensions. In addition, that individual should be able to apply the concept understood effectively and in different concepts. Furthermore, the individual should have the capability of empathizing. This involves finding value from the concept as well as the perception of sensitivities involved. In addition, it requires one to be able to perceive fully the concept. This is known as self-knowledge, which is aimed at shaping the student’s understanding. Moreover, one should also be able to relate ideas. This can be done through backward design, which involves the identification of desired results, determination of acceptable evidence, and planning of instructional strategies (Wiggins and McTighe 44-62).

List and discuss the characteristics of an effective rubric

Turley and Gallagher argue that one should examine the purpose of rubrics before declaring them effective or ineffective. One of the characteristics of an effective rubric is the law of distal Diminishment, which ensures scrutiny of the rubric before approval for use. Therefore, an effective rubric should be able to define its use, the context in which it can be used, the policymakers (the person(s) who decides), and the ideological agenda that drives decisions in the rubric. When all these questions are addressed in any rubric, then it can be considered effective. In essence, teachers should be skeptical of any rubric received. This would enable them to examine the rubric for effectiveness before use. For instance, some rubrics may be designed for teachers’ assessment while some for classroom assessment. Therefore, when the characteristics above are examined, a rubric can be considered relevant for a given task or not (Turley and Gallagher 87-92).

Proper uses of standardized test data

The author talks of four standardized proper uses of test data; they include informing parents or their children’s performance, informing teachers of the same, allocating supplemental resources, and selecting students for special programs. The first two are important in enabling the parent and teacher to gain insight into student performance. This enables them to take corrective actions. The third is important in enabling policymakers to allocate funds under the needs. Finally, the last use ensures that the right students are admitted to different programs (Popham 16-20)

Select and explain why one of the misuses would have negative consequences

Standardization of tests is sometimes misused. According to Popham, evaluation of teachers is a misuse of these standards. The author argues that if this system is inapplicable in a group of teachers, then it should not be utilized by individual teachers. Moreover, there is usually a change in performance from year to year based on the kind of students a teacher handles. These dynamics are inevitable and should not be used to evaluate teachers. Teacher effectiveness is quite complex to judge because this depends partly on the kind of students he/she handles (Popham 16-20).

Differentiate between item teaching and curriculum teaching

Item teaching involves instructions that are item based while curriculum teaching involves instructions that are knowledge/skills-based. It is also important to note that in item teaching, the teacher gives students information that is illustrative of the test. In this regard, learning is centered on practice activities or illustrative items that border around the actual items in the test. In this regard, this mode of teaching does not emphasize the general knowledge or skills of the student but on the student’s ability to pass the test. On the other hand, curriculum teaching is centered on a given body of knowledge or skills. It tests the cognitive skills of students in the given body content (Popham 24-31).

Define each term and explain why curriculum teaching is better than item teaching

Curriculum teaching is defined as the process of directing student instructions towards a given body content (skills/knowledge). On the other hand, item teaching refers to the process of directing instructions towards a test. The latter usually involves the teaching of students to attain higher scores without regard to their knowledge or skills. In the process, item teaching does not achieve the basics of understanding. It is merely a process aimed at mastering the contents of tests. In such instances, if the test is changed abruptly, students fail terribly since they have not achieved the required skills for working on all areas of the curriculum. In this regard, curriculum teaching is better than item teaching. This is true because students are usually prepared for a challenging field. This requires critical analysis, which is inadequate in item teaching (Popham 24-31).

Works Cited

Gorlewski, Julie. “Research for the Classroom: Formative Assessment: Can You Handle the Truth?” The English Journal. 98.2 (2008): 94-97. National Council of Teachers of English. Web.

Popham, James. “Teaching To the Test: High Crime, Misdemeanor, or Just Good Instruction.” Educational Leadership. 58.6 (2001): 16-20. Print.

Popham, James. “Uses and Misuses of Standardized Tests.” Educational Leadership. 85.622 (2001): 24-31. National Association of Secondary School Principals. Web.

Stiggins, Richard. “Assessment Crisis: The Absence of Assessment for Learning.” Kappan Professional Journal. 2.6 (2002): 1-10. Phi Delta Kappa International. Web.

Turley, Eric and Gallagher Chris. “On the Uses of Rubrics: Reframing the Great Rubric Debate.” The English Journal. 97.4 (2008): 87-92. National Council of Teachers of English. Web.

Wiggins, Grant and McTighe Jay. Understanding by design: The Six Facets of Understanding, Victoria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1998. Print.