The Assessment Process
Effective classroom assessment in mathematics:
- addresses specific outcomes in the program of studies
- shares intended outcomes and assessment criteria with students prior to the assessment activity
- assesses before, during and after instruction
- employs a variety of assessment strategies to provide evidence of student learning
- provides frequent and descriptive feedback to students
- ensures students can describe their progress and achievement and articulate what comes next in their learning
- informs teachers and provides insight that can be used to modify instruction.
The assessment process starts with planning based on the program of studies learning outcomes and involves assessing, evaluating and communicating student learning, as shown in the following diagram.
Involving Students in the Assessment Process
One of the best ways to help students understand what will be assessed is to establish the assessment criteria with them. Working with students to develop rubrics and other assessment tools is a powerful way to help students build an understanding of what a good product or performance looks like. It helps students develop a clear picture of where they are going, where they are now and how they can close the gap. This does not mean that each student creates his or her own assessment criteria. The teachers have a strong role to play in guiding students to identify the criteria and features of understandings they want their students to develop.
A second way to involve students in a meaningful way in the construction of assessments is to work with them as a class to identify what good work looks like. What is the difference between strong and weak work? What performance criteria do they think are important? Does everyone understand what to do to attain the expected outcomes? This type of student involvement takes time and teachers may need to encourage students to contribute in meaningful ways.