A teacher needs to keep on learning and grow constantly so as to improve his or her performance in the classroom. The two factors that can be highly effective to assist in this learning and growth are collegiality and collaboration. A teacher can learn a lot from his or her colleagues. Even the most experienced teachers can learn from their new colleagues. They learn new assessment techniques which can add to a teacher’s repertoire for differentiation of assessing students (Rossi, Freeman & Lipsey, 2004). This paper is a compilation of formal and informal assessment techniques used by my colleagues and I in a given one week period. It compares the dominant assessments and their effectiveness.
Comparison of the dominant assessments with the criteria from figure 3.1 in Nitko and Brookhart
I had a conversation with one of my colleagues regarding the assessment tools and methods they used within a given week. The methods my colleague used were largely similar to the methods I used. However, there were a few differences. Of the list of assessment tools, there were two assessments that seemed to be dominant over all the others. The first one is the thinking processes and the skills represented by the student. The second dominant assessment was reliability and objectivity employed by the teacher in carrying out the assessment. Comparing the former with the criteria from figure 3.1 in Nitko and Brookhart, students are required to express their thinking ability in both criteria. It is the thinking skills of a student that will help the teacher know the effectiveness of their teaching on the student. In the case of the later, my colleagues and I tried to ensure that the assessment employed is reliable. It is the same as in the criteria from figure 3.1 in Nitko and Brookhart. This will ensure consistency, fairness and practicality (Nitko & Brookhart, 2011).
Levels of Knowledge
For each of the dominant assessments discussed above, different levels of knowledge are required according to the Bloom’s Taxonomy. The first dominant assessment (thinking processes and skills) requires factual and conceptual knowledge (Nitko & Brookhart, 2011). A student should be able to learn and present facts. A student who can learn facts and present them clearly indicates his or her ability to think critically. The conceptual knowledge will enable them learn ideas and generalizations as well as theories. This will enable the student apply whatever they learn in various situations. Teachers should be able to use their knowledge in assessing students for their thinking skills and test the levels of knowledge above. Metacognitive knowledge can also be relevant in these assessments. This tests the ability of the student to understand what they know. The most important thing in learning for any student is to understand what they learn. It is what every teacher should look for in their assessment (Popham, 2003).
In the case of the second dominant assessment (reliability and objectivity), the levels of knowledge required is the procedural knowledge. The students are tested on their ability to understand things and demonstrate them. Their demonstrations need to be consistent. This increases their reliability as well as their objectivity. Teachers should have the ability to test these in students. It will ensure that their assessment is fair to all the students and it is consistent with other assessment used in the classroom (Popham, 2003).
Teachers learn from each other through collaboration. They should collaborate with their colleagues so as to learn the best ways to carry out their assessment for efficiency and effectiveness. The two dominant assessments used by most teachers are the thinking processes and skills of a student as well as reliability and objectivity. All the other assessments are under these two dominant assessments. The two require various levels of knowledge.
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