Educational assessments play a key role in any successful teacher’s skill set. Educational assessments take many forms and can be adapted to serve a number of purposes, but their main purpose is to collect information about exactly what students have learned and what they are able to do with that knowledge. Once the assessment information is gathered it is examined and analyzed to provide teachers in all grades and academic subjects with a thorough understanding of a student’s skill level, including what they have learned, whether students are meeting basic standards, and whether any instruction needs to be reviewed.
The Family Psychology Place offers educational assessments in Calgary to provide teachers, parents and students with useful information about the effectiveness of classroom activities and instruction.
Formative and Summative Educational Assessments
Most educational assessments fall into one of two categories: formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are designed to provide a snapshot of how well students have understood what they’ve been taught and often take the form of a quiz or an essay, which can be graded or ungraded. Summative assessments, on the other hand, are always graded and usually take a more comprehensive approach, covering a wider range of skills, knowledge and understanding.
Other Types of Educational Assessments
While formative and summative assessments are the most common types of educational assessments administered, other types are used in some situations. Diagnostic assessments are tests given at the start of the school year so that the instructor knows how well students understand a subject or skill before it is taught. This allows teachers and students to concentrate on problem areas and pass quickly over material that students have already mastered. Norm-referenced assessments are used to compare students of similar ages and grade levels to a hypothetical average student in order to provide a percentile score of skill levels. For example, a student that is scored in the 90th percentile performed better than 90% of the other students who took the same exam. Criterion-based assessments employ standardized tests that simply measure the student’s knowledge of the subject matter being tested without comparing the results to those of other students.
For more information about educational assessments, or to schedule an appointment with us, please contact our office.
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