Althoughmany people use these words interchangeably, tests and assessments donot refer to the same thing. Tests are tasks given to the learner todetermine their level of knowledge about a particular subject. Anassessment is a process of documenting the degree of a student’sknowledge to help the make improvements in the learning process. Thebest way to use assessments in the middle and high school classroomsis making use of formative and summative assessments. A teacher canuse formative assessments to analyze the progress of the students’comprehension during the teaching and learning process. For itsmaximum effectiveness, the teacher should ensure a high level ofstudent involvement for students to assess themselves and help othersto learn more quickly. Summative assessments have a defined date andtime and assist the teachers in finding out how much a student knowsat that point. These assessments include standardized tests that areaccountability measures for grading purposes (McMillan,2013).
Teachersshould consider practicality and efficiency in selecting assessments.These two factors lead to the creation of an evaluation that meetsthe teacher’s objective of analyzing the students’ level ofknowledge using a process that is inexpensive and easy to execute.The assessment should have a level of complexity that matches theability of the students to make it an effective measure of studentknowledge. It should also be easy to administer to save time, energy,and resources. Reliability is important, as it will give the teacheradministering it accurate, consistent, and dependable information.Validity in an assessment refers to how well it measures theparameters that an instructor would be interested in knowing. It isimportant as it helps one know how suitable the evaluation is for aparticular situation (McClure, Sonak, and Suen, 2014).
McClure,J. R., Sonak, B., & Suen, H. K. (2014). Concept map assessment ofclassroom learning: Reliability, validity, and logisticalpracticality. Journalof research in science teaching, 36(4),475-492.
McMillan,J. H. (2013). ClassroomAssessment: Pearson New International Edition: Principles andPractice for Effective Standards-Based Instruction.Pearson Higher Ed.Topof Form
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