5 Key ideas about Quality Assessment Before identifying what a quality assessment is, one must understand what assessment means. To assess you must identify the purpose of the assessment, explain its targets, knowing the aim for the assessment is crucial as this determines what the assessment looks like, how it is administered and marked, and how the outcome will be used. Scherer indicates that there is an over emphasis on test scores, and that multiple measures need to be used to achieve quality assessment.
McMillan supports this and states that assessment ‘is much more than simply testing’. The following five key concepts represent quality assessment. The First key Idea, is that quality assessments must serve a purpose. Teachers need to be able to clarify the purpose of gathering the information. Standardised tests have a place in the curriculum, but they often lack purpose for the individual, that is why there are other ‘purposes’ for assessments such as diagnosing strengths vs weaknesses, monitoring progress and motivation.
Secondly, measurement and the use of methods to measure performance need to be established. Standardised testing is traditional and limited to one form of measurement, this fails to encompass the full knowledge that the students have gained as it lacks numerous opportunities to pass this type of assessment. Multiple measures demonstrate what students understand, level of skill, knowledge and interpretation. Most importantly it helps teachers plan future lessons appropriate to the students level.
Thirdly, evaluation is the interpretation of what has been measured and proved during testing. Criteria and performance standards are crucial towards evaluation as criteria demonstrate evidence of understanding the information, and setting performance standards as the benchmark, then assessing and reviewing the work against which the actual performance is measured. The fourth key idea of quality assessment lies in how the results are used; particularly how they are used to modify future teaching.
Once evaluation is complete, teachers need to “adjust instruction appropriately”, using evaluation to guide the instructional decisions. Finally, feedback is imperative for quality assessment. Providing constructive feedback in a positive way that “encourages internal attributions” it is key to show students that all assessment is useful for growth in learning. Scherer states one must be aware that gathering student data is not enough for further learning but rather teachers must learn to analyse the data and apply this information in the classroom.
Teachers must continually assess students and provide feedback that is informative. References Scherer, M. 2009 Multiple Measures: The tests that won’t go away. Educational Leadership. 67 (3),5. McMillan, J. H. 2011. Classroom Assessment: Principles and practice for effective standards-based instruction. Boston: Pearson. Stiggins. R. J. Nov 1995. Assessment literacy for the 21st century Phi Delta Kappan: