Assessment and Evaluation
This information is provided to help parents and families understand how teachers communicate about a child’s learning progress at school. It provides some ideas on what questions a parent might ask their child’s teacher in order to better understand their child’s learning progress. This information may also provide insights for parents about how they might support a child’s learning at home.
As a parent, your interest in your child’s learning can have a tremendous impact on his or her learning progress.
You may have questions about how to become involved in your child’s learning. Things may have changed since you were at school; for example, the idea of student self-assessment and the use of portfolios, or the ideas of assessment “for” learning and assessment “of” learning.
What may have remained the same, however, is the importance of providing children with descriptive and constructive feedback about their own learning. In doing so, children begin to understand what they learned well and what they can do to improve their learning. Providing a clear picture about the next steps for learning is referred to as assessment “for” learning.
There are many different methods teachers use to gather information concerning your child’s learning progress. Some of these include
- work samples
- quizzes and tests
Your knowledge about the variety of methods can help you talk to your child about his or her learning at school.
Assessment “for” and “of” learning ....
Providing descriptive and constructive feedback to children and involving them in self-assessment, record keeping, and communication about their learning is called assessment “for” learning. Assessment “for” learning helps students understand whether they need to improve their learning and how they might improve it. Students tend to be motivated to learn more when they know what they have done well.
Sometimes students are provided with evaluative feedback, which tells the learner how she or he has performed compared to what was to be learned. This is also called assessment “of” learning and may be reported using letters, numbers, or other symbols on a report card or within a grading period.
Both assessment “for” and “of’ learning provide useful information. The classroom teacher uses both forms of assessment to help make decisions about teaching and to help students learn more. Sometimes evaluative information provides a picture of how a large group of students is performing within a particular program at a certain point in time. Both forms of assessment provide information that may help teachers, administrators, students, and parents work collaboratively to support a child’s learning progress.