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Reflections on Assessment

By Lynne R. Dorfman

In education, the term assessment refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students. A good part of the school year in most districts has focused on student assessment as well as in the teaching and learning in higher education. Student assessment is a critical aspect of the teaching and learning process. Whether teaching in elementary school or at the undergraduate or graduate level, it is important for educators to strategically evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching by measuring the extent to which students in the classroom are learning and applying the concepts and strategies.

Understanding our purposes for assessment and thinking about how we collect rich data to drive our instruction is essential. Assessment should always be purposeful, informative, and useful to us as facilitators of learning. Martha L. A. Stassen et al. define assessment as “the systematic collection and analysis of information to improve student learning.” (Stassen et al., 2001, pg. 5) This is the most important task of student assessment in the teaching and learning process – to improve student learning. Here are some thoughts about assessment. Can you add to these lists? Read more