Assessment: Evidence of Learning and Involving Students

How will I know what students are learning and how will students?

Evidence of Learning

In chapter five of Making Classroom Assessment  Work, Davies discusses how to ensure the evidence of learning we collect is valid and reliable (45). Triangulation is a model that can help teachers gather valid and reliable evidence (46). The three suggested ways of gathering evidence are: observation, conversation, and product (45-46). Gathering assessment is something that I have struggled with in the past. I associated it with assigning grades, which I don’t like doing especially when I was only teaching one class. The practice of triangulating the assessment during the learning process is helping me to see how I can assessment to improve learning rather than create a focus on grades rather than learning. In this vain, Davies says, “[c]onsider assessing more and evaluating less. We interrupt learning if we evaluate too often, whereas assessment information can guide instruction and support learning” (52). This is the exact feeling I had when I was marking students work. Triangulated assessment gives me a way to gather evidence of learning that I, and I’m sure students, feel is accurate. I am sure it will take adjusting and great effort, but it has carved a path for a destination I definitely want to reach.

AssessmentTriangulation

I know I will have a full comprehension of what students are learning and have learned by consistently assessing over a period of time and by collecting evidence of learning in different ways.

Student Involvement

The next natural step is outline in chapter six. The idea of involving students in the gathering of evidence and the assessing of their learning builds off of previous chapters.While I believe gathering evidence and assessing in multiple ways will provide an accurate view of student learning, involving students will make the learning process more personalized and also allow students to take “ownership” of their learning (57). I think that having students determine what success would look like and generate clear ideas of how to show their learning will help them learn. I like the idea of creating a collaborative classroom environment. I believe that giving students responsibility for their learning will motivate them to learn better than if I were to dictate what and how students will learn. Ultimately, I want students to see how their education can suit them and their needs. I want students to be comfortable and know that what matters is what they are learning, not that they get 90% on one “large-scale assessment” (51). If students are involved in assessment, then they will have a better understanding of where they are going and where they need to improve. I like this method, because it prepares them to self-evaluate and encourages life-long learning. This skill is transferable in so many ways. This practice support the idea of co-constructing knowledge, which is important because I don’t believe education revolves around me — it has to be more collaborative than that.

Davies, Anne. Making Classroom Assessment Work. 3rd ed. Courtenay, B.C.: Connections Pub., 2011. Print.

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One thought on “Assessment: Evidence of Learning and Involving Students

  1. Paige,

    Once again, I found your blog post to be insightful and well written. I’ll begin with discussing what you wrote about chapter 5. I had never interacted with this idea of triangulated assessment before, but I agree that this model helps us as teachers to go beyond the idea of assigning grades and go into deeper learning. Like you, assessment has been on area I have struggled with since coming into the education faculty. I also used to associate assessment with things such as texts, and that is why I initially struggled with the idea we need assessment in every lesson. I had no idea how that could be possible because we cannot assign an essay or do a test in every class. But, through readings, like the ones we have done in class, and some of the discussions we have had, my thinking about assessment and evaluation has become more nuanced. I have begin to see how assessment goes past the world of grades and takes us into areas that will actually help us to guide our students to greater understanding.
    As for chapter 6, I also agree that involving students in assessment is very important. Not only does it help students take ownership of their learning, it also helps to minimize the gap between teachers and students. For much of history, there has been a huge gap between these two groups of people. However, through students being involved in their assessment students are able to take over a small part of the classroom and see that the teacher is not some high and vaulted figure. I believe this is very important because how are we supposed to relate to our students if they believe we are some sort of judge who pass down marks from on high.

    Another great post and I look forward to your next one,
    Jordan Halkyard

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