A Guide to Assessing Student Learning and Performance

A Guide to Assessing Student Learning and Performance
source: vanderbilt.edu

Learning is an intangible process and only takes place in the student’s mind. But as a tutor or parent, how do you measure this? As complex as the idea is, learning is measurable through performance and different assessments as outlined in this guide.

Different companies have come up with assessment systems to make the process easier. A good example is the i-Ready assessment system, which you will find more about later in the guide. But before getting into specific systems, here are some general types of assessments and considerations..

Table of Contents

Types of Student Assessments

Categorization of student assessment depends on the time that the evaluation takes place. This categorization and assessment is conducted either daily or cumulatively after a course. While one of the assessment types focuses on grading students, the other one aims at giving feedback and input to help improve student performance.

Summative Assessments 

These types of assessments aim to measure student performance at the end of a unit or course. They feature quizzes, tests, and grading of other course activities to calculate the grades of each student. The results show how well each student and the entire class performed on the course. This is one of the most common assessment methods in the world.

Formative Assessments

Compared to summative assessment, formative assessments aim at measuring learning each day through a continuous approach. The approaches include rubrics, comments on submitted assignments, emails, and face-to-face interactions between tutors and students.

The feedback is specific and relevant to each student; hence, it helps determine strengths and, most importantly, improve on weaknesses. The teacher can also ask questions at the end of each class to determine if students understood the main areas of the topic.

What to Consider When Assessing Student Learning 

All student assessment systems are designed to holistically ensure reliable, standardized, valid, and practical processes to provide accurate results. Besides the assessment system comprising all the necessary qualities, you must consider other factors while assessing students to avoid bias.

The crucial factors to consider include:

  • Inclusion of both direct and indirect assessments by using both types of assessments — summative and formative.
  • Evaluate the assessment system to ensure it directly aligns with the projected learning outcomes of the course or unit.
  • The system should be reasonable and sustainable in terms of resources and time for both students and tutors.
  • The results from the assessment system should be able to give room for improvements among the students, tutors, the course, and even the system itself.
  • Ensure that the system’s effectiveness is to provide students with feedback to enable them to improve their performance progressively.

Using the i-Ready Assessment System

There are many student assessment systems in the market, but the i-Ready assessments system comes with i-Ready answers. Besides many valuable strengths of the system, like being comprehensive, it is available online and onsite at affordable student subscriptions.

Down to the specifics, the i-Ready assessment system enables tutors to measure and monitor learning abilities through strengths and weaknesses. The system covers grades K-8. The diagnostic tests can measure students’ abilities above and below their grade level. For K-1students, tests run between 10-15 minutes, two-three times for each subject. The tests run for 45 minutes, two times each subject for grades two and beyond.

These assessments cover phonics, fluency, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and comprehension. All the tests are available in English, and they cost $6 per student. In conclusion, while choosing an assessment system, choose one that will go beyond academic results. Doing so will ensure growth in all the necessary aspects of your students.