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6 Types Of Assessments In Education

  • Mar 22, 2022
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 6 Types Of Assessments In Education

One of the major roles of a tutor is to assess the growth of students and empower them in the best way possible. Conducting assessments is one of the most effective ways to do this. Not only does it help you analyse the progress of your students, but you can also identify possible areas of improvement from test results. 

But, how do you choose the most effective assessment method for your students? 

Well, the first order of business is to understand the different types of assessments and their purpose - it’s crucial to pick the right tool to avoid barking up the wrong tree.

This article focuses on the six most common types of assessments. We’ll also discuss their significance and the best strategies to implement them. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Diagnostic Assessments

Starting a new semester or a topic calls for identifying what the students already know. Imagine asking your class a basic question and getting confused glances in return. Not the expected response, right? This is why it is imperative for tutors to understand whether their students have the foundational knowledge to move on to the next topic or chapter. 

This is where diagnostic assessments come in. These assessments are specifically tailored to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of a student. The main goal is to devise a teaching model or an academic plan to discover and fill out any learning gaps. For example, let’s say you’re starting with three-dimensional shapes and the concept of volumes. Thus, it would be best to first take a quick quiz to assess the students’ knowledge on two-dimensional shapes and areas. Or you could create a short and sweet flowchart to recap important points learnt previously.

2. Formative Assessments

Is the learning curve for all students the same? Are there any students who need special attention to learn a specific topic? 

A formative assessment can help answer these questions. This is a quick-fire method designed to monitor and measure the progress of students while teaching. Tutors can then use the gathered information to adjust their teaching strategies accordingly. For example, you can hold class discussions or assign group projects to check the retention power of your students. This will also let them reflect on recently taught topics, thus offering a quick revision. At the same time, you can track how student knowledge is growing in real-time, right from your online classroom.

3. Summative Assessments

Summative assessments focus on whether the information retained by students meets the standardised criteria. These are generally your mid/final term exams, which grade students after a couple of units have been completed. Such tests evaluate the retention power and time management skills of the students. Of course, conducting summative assessments can be a daunting task. But as a tutor, you can make it more fun by including debates or presentations in them. If that’s not your style, then just go with the traditional pen and paper method, but provide clear instructions and questions.

4. Norm-Referenced Assessments

Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s performance against a group of students or peers. Such tests help evaluate whether a student requires additional learning support or lacks certain language skills. Although students dread this assessment, it is essential to streamline the learning process. Moreover, it helps tutors tailor their teaching methodologies according to student needs.

5. Ipsative Assessments

Motivation is vital to instill a love for learning within students. Ipsative assessments ensure that students are given multiple chances to improve and excel. Unlike norm-referenced exams, it underlines self-competition and the difference between past and current student performance. In other words, a tutor will determine the student’s progress based on their previous work.  For example, two-stage testing methods are commonly used in ipsative assessments. This helps students learn from their mistakes and motivates them to do better.

6. Criterion-Referenced Assessments

Criterion-referenced assessments grade a learner’s performance according to a fixed criterion or standard. The resultant scores helps tutors estimate the need to change the current teaching methodology. For example, let’s say only two students in a class of ten are able to score 40+ out of 50. This hints towards either the lack of the right learning method or some other underlying issue.

In order to cover the different aspects of teaching and learning, tutors need to incorporate a variety of different assessment methods instead of sticking to one. Conduct ipsative tests to motivate students or engage students in group projects (formative) to see if they’re on the same page as you - the possibilities are endless.

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