Educational Assessments: Why They are Important

How to be a better student

Assessment refers to different methods and tools tutors use to evaluate and measure learners’ academic readiness, skills acquisition, and educational needs. Assessments help shape the learning process at every point of the curriculum and give insights into the learner’s progress. 

Teachers need to track how well learners understand a subject throughout the learning process. Educational assessments, therefore, offer a great way to help teachers achieve this. It is a crucial part of learning that provides valuable feedback to help improve the process. 

Types of Academic Assessments

The following are three commonly used types of academic assessment;

Formative Assessment – Formative assessment applies in the first attempt of the teacher to develop instruction — direction of the learning process. Teachers can use formative assessments to measure student learning progress while teaching and use the feedback to adjust teaching strategies accordingly. 

Summative Assessment – Summative assessment or “assessment of learning” is a formal approach to evaluating student learning by comparing it to a certain standard. This is mainly undertaken at the end of a period or a module. A standardized test is an example of a summative assessment and provides helpful information for making learning decisions.

Diagnostic Assessment (Pre-Assessment) – Before creating instruction, it’s important to know the kind of students for whom you are creating the instruction. Diagnostic assessment is the tool used for this. The goal is to get to know students’ strengths and weaknesses and the skills they possess beforehand. The feedback will guide the teacher in making instructional, academic, and extracurricular decisions.

Why Perform Assessments?

Assessment Improves Skills

Assessment creates an excellent avenue for students to engage with various learning concepts. One of the significant advantages of assessment is that it improves the learning skills of a student with its multiple processes. Different types of assessments help improve learning skills in different learning stages.

Increased Engagement

Assessment triggers students to become more engaged and active in class. It links the students with real-world problems and provides ways to find solutions to these problems that help increase tutor-student engagement. The assessment also challenges the student to learn deeper in their pursuit of solutions. 

Encourages Self-Learning

Self-learning is a technique that helps develop students in many ways. It’s a process of studying through the learner’s methods. Assessments form the baseline for brain system development. It also helps improve an individual’s decision-making ability through the self-learning process.

Educational Evidence

All stakeholders, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators, need evidence that learning is taking place. A system that includes summative and formative assessments gives the best learning evidence. Assessments enable learners to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and determine how close they are to achieving their academic goals.

Customize Instruction

Diagnostic assessment makes it possible for the teacher to customize and individualize instruction. The teacher can identify learners who need extra guidance on a particular unit or module of study from the results. Consequently, if the teacher discovers that a student has mastered a unit, they can design activities that push the student further.

Computers Now Redefining Assessment

For many years, the word ‘assessment’ has been used to mean multiple-choice questions or writing in a crowded exam room. However, the considerable advancements in computer-based tests are now redefining assessment more so in the what, how, and when metrics of tests.

These advancements unleash more applications for summative, diagnostic, and formative assessments. These are applications that would not have been possible a few years ago. A great example of change enablers is i-Ready assessments

One powerful solution

The i-ready assessment suite provides a wide range of assessment needs as one powerful solution. The suite offers the data teachers need to target instruction where it’s needed most. The information it delivers is based on industry-leading assessment design concepts and backed by extensive validity evidence. Check out i-Ready pricing for more information on the rates.

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