27 Ways to Assess Students Understanding

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April 7, 2014
After we have seen the difference between summative assessment ( assessment of learning) and formative assessment( assessment for learning), today I am introducing you to Mia's list of the 27 tips to reliably and validly assess your students learning performances. This work is based on Gagne et al book "Principles of Instructional Design".

Here is a quick round-up of the tips Mia included in this graphic:
  1. Observe the student individually and with others as they perform the task.
  2. Ask the student to repeat the performance multiple times for reliable results.
  3. Use an evaluation form. Ask student to evaluate himself. Ask other students to evaluate the group. Discuss
  4. Interview the students. Ask the student more in depth follow up questions.
  5. Mix up the ways in which the performance is done. Evaluate each with the same rubric. Search for true understanding.
  6. Listen carefully to what the student is saying.
  7. Weed out lucky guesses
  8. Does the student exhibit the correct emotion about the subject.
  9. Ask the student to use the rule in a new context.
  10. Give the student a second chance to go back, evaluate their performance, and do it over.
  11. Observe the student performing on their own. Students can start groups, but then observe solo performances.
  12. Watch for accuracy in the performance.
  13. Keep the objectives close at hand.These are what you are looking for mastery of.
  14. Use a rubric. Give it to the students at the beginning of the lesson. Evaluate how they do using the same rubric.
  15. Quiz the students throughout the lesson to make sure they are on track for the performance assessment .
  16. Match the final assessment to the assessments that were conducted throughout the lesson.
  17. Prepare the students. Demonstrate the expected performance.
  18. Show students performances from past classes.
  19. Watch for the student to perform the main point of the objectives.
  20. Watch for the student to perform the particulars of the objectives.
  21. Use an easy to follow test to assess he performance. Pilot the test several times. Ask student to point out flaws.
  22. Ask students to challenge the correct answers. If they can prove a better answer, hear them out.
  23. Assess the performance when the timing is right. Are the students at a place where they can best demonstrate understanding ? are they hungry?
  24. Assess learning in a predictable manner. Have a pattern of how your Events in Instruction occur. Create a predictable pattern for students.
  25. Limit outside noise or clutter for the best performance conditions
  26. Teach the students coping skills to relax and demonstrate what they know.
  27. Assess what you asked for. If you have an opinion about something not asked for, give it, but don't grade it.

tips for assessing students