I need help with the following questions:
3. What recommendations can you make regarding assessments being used in school today?
The first point I would like to make is that there is NO best or most effective method of assessing learning. We use multiple testing instruments, multiple assessments over a period of time to the the best picture of our students' ongoing growth. A teacher who continued to use only one method is not being flexible. Also, relative to that, we need to test our own tests to see if they are REALLY evaluating our students as they progress. Finally, I would have to say that YOU are the best and most effective assessor of learning. You have a large tool-kit to use - learning styles inventories, standardized tests, observational techniques, criterion-referenced tests - but ultimately the truest test is in your gut. What has your experience of this student been over the period in question. One more thing: you MUST be able to defend your assessment. Even though our intentions for our students are always good, we might be misunderstood. Therefore, keep records of all your testing, even anecdotal records like student conferences and homework. You must supply the students with a rubric, for example, of how assignments will be graded. This is so they know what is going to be expected of them. This will greatly enhance their learning. Also, any assessment information you get is sort of like a flow-chart whereby the information you get flows back to you and you then adjust instruction and assessment to fit the newest, latest assessment. I have to continue to emphasize that assessment is ongoing.
Now I will attempt to address your questions one at a time.
1. What does current research suggest is the most effective method to assess student learning in todays education?
Current and recent research suggests ongoing and open-ended means of assessing student learning. This would include classroom observation, regular conferences with students, reading and responding to homework and classwork as much as possible. It does not exclude traditional "testing," a word that seems to be politically incorrect these days. Standardized tests are good. They tell you where your students are relative to the rest of the population. Standardized doesn't mean "published." It means that the results of testing many thousands of students across the nation, from representative and randomly selected schools, to "norm" students according to the reading or grade level. These of course include ACT, SAT, GRE, but they include ...
Student assessment forms are discussed.