A Guideline for Teachers to Assess Student Learning

Teachers are faced with multiple duties designed to help and encourage students to learn each day. Assessing each students learning progress is an essential step of the learning process. This assessment serves as an indicator of how much material the student has mastered and what areas still need to be reviewed. Experienced teachers will user a variety of useful techniques to assess a group of students properly.

Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom

1. Educational values are the basis of student assessment. Assessment is not the conclusion to a students’ learning career but simply a step towards educational excellence and improvement. When assessed effectively, teachers and students can both effectively strive for achievement. Our educational values not only effect the assessments themselves, but how we tackle them. When important educational factors such as our values and missions are overlooked, assessment tends to be a technique of ‘what’s easier’ rather than what needs to be improved. 

2. Student assessments are most productive when backed up by a mutual understanding of consistent learning patterns over a period of time. Learning is a complicated process and therefore should be treated as one. The learning process involves a gradual progression of student knowledge, abilities, values, habits and attitudes that affect various aspects of life both in and out of the classroom. During an assessment, these factors should be taken into consideration and a range of methods should be applied to promote growth and increased integration. When taking a solid approach towards assessment, we provide room for improving our students’ educational involvement.

3. Assessment is most effective when it contains clear and well defined principals for each program involved. The main purpose of an assessment is to help reach certain educational goals. It consists of comparing a students’ educational performance to a certain standard or expectation – derived from school mission statements, course objectives and a students’ personal goals and desired achievements. When a particular program lacks in purpose, assessment techniques are used to clarify educational goals and how they should be taught and learned. Clear and concise program goals are vital for a successful student assessment.

4. The outcomes of assessments are extremely important but the experiences that lead to those outcomes are equally of importance. Maintaining information about assessment outcomes is essential as this will help determine an important goal; where the students end up. Major factors such as teaching techniques, curriculum and student effort will play a huge role in determining these outcomes. Using assessment techniques can help teachers conclude what students work best under certain conditions and how this information can improve student learning.

5. Consistent assessment of students will provide better results than those that are episodic. Power is a key factor in the assessment process. Although any assessment is better than none at all, improvement is best stimulated when educational resources are provided persistently over a period of time. This may mean keeping records of each individual student’s progress and it may mean using similar examples of students’ performance throughout numerous semesters. The main objective is to encourage educational growth towards goals and to inspire constant improvement.

6. Assessment results in improvement when respected representatives in the community play a part in the students’ education. Learning is the basis of education across all campuses and involving important community figures over time can help improve our students’ education. Faculty also plays one of the leading roles but without the assistance of other educators such as administrators, librarians and even students themselves, assessment cannot fully be met. The participation of outside educational sources such as employers, alumni and trustees can also benefit students with appropriate goals and enriching experiences of the real world. For these reasons and more, assessment should be understood as a gradual improvement of learning by a wide range of educators to better inform students of the various aspects of education.

7. Assessments are typically successful when the questions addressed are those that people truly care about. The process of improvement and the importance of progress information are recognized through assessments but the issues that are dealt with needs to be valuable to others. Assessment principals should be applicable and credible to those involved. When determining proper assessment issues consider how and who will use this information. Assessment is a process rather than a gathering of information and results. It begins with a set of decision-making questions which leads to the interpreting of data, resulting in an effective guide to gradual improvement.

8. When part of a larger group of principals, assessment is more likely to promote improvement and change. While assessment by itself results in little change, valued educational resources on campuses are the largest contribution to a rewarding education. On these campuses, the valuable goal of leadership and increased educational performance is central to an institutions personal decision, planning and budgeting. Learning outcomes play a major role in the decision making of these institutions.

9. Through methods of assessment, educators are capable of meeting the responsibilities to students and the general public. As educators, the public trusts us to meet certain expectations and to meet the educational goals of our students. This responsibility puts forth a deeper obligation to our students, society and to ourselves as educators to consistently improve. Those who are accountable have an obligation to support these attempts of improvement.