Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Assessment Table of Contents/Assessment Chapter 3: Assessment for Learning (section)/Article 2 Reader Responses

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Learning to Love Assessment

Reader Responses[edit]

This article was full of ways to evaluate your students during the teaching process. Informative assessment makes complete sense. These two articles have changed my ideas about tests and evaluations; how and why they are given.Jnemo001 (talk) 02:57, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I really enjoyed reading this article. It is refreshing to see a young teachers point of view and to learn from the teachers mistakes as well as her successes. I find that very important because one day soon I will be a new, young teacher. I agree that assessments should be more than just tests. Yes in order to get grades for students tests are needed, but each and every student is different and by using assessments teachers can better assess each of their students. I want to be able to know how to reach each of my students and by reading this article I have learned how much a teacher can really care for her studetnts. Lwill031 (talk) 15:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I enjoyed this article quite a bit and can relate with some of Ms. Tomlinson's views of assessment. Many teachers label assessment as being a test-heavy task which serves as a measurement tool for learning outcomes. Traditionally, we equate a child's score to what they have or have not learned. My teaching experiences have taught me to look past summative assessment and utilize informative assessment in order to reach learners at all levels. I agree with Ms. Tomilinson's understanding that assessment is a great way to identify the best learning styles or preferences of her students. In a classroom that has a diverse population, it is essential to find what learning style is best for both the traditional and special education students. A teacher can provide useful feedback to her students which, when used effectively, can meet learning targets using a variety of tools geared towards individual and group needs. I agree with Ms. Tomlinson wholeheartedly when she says that assessment should be about the student, as well as the teacher. Acrow005 (talk) 00:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it was interesting that in the beginning the teacher in the article didn’t really enjoy giving tests. Definitely assessment doesn’t always have to be about tests. Tests are necessary to assign grades…etc.…but the assessment that exists in the classroom that isn’t all about tests is just as important. From reading this article it is apparent that this teacher really cared about the students learning the information that she presented in class and understood the importance of informative assessment. Ldomm002 (talk) 02:02, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I found this article to be incredibly interesting and helpful. Seeing things from the perspective of a young teacher learning from mistakes is a really great way for other new teachers to learn. It not only allows the reader to see the correct (or more useful) methods of assessment, but also how these ideas can be easily overlooked. The excitement of a classroom, students, etc. can seem a little bit like we are "playing school", like the author explains. What is truly important is understanding the purpose behind how we teach and test and how the students learn. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but I think once we realize that being a teacher also means learning from our students, I think many people will find it to be much easier. Khedl002 (talk) 01:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)khedl002

Between the two articles, I thought this one was the most informative. This article made me see assessment in a new light. The ten "insights" made me think about what assessment is really all about. Not just giving test for grades. I really believe that the 6th & 10th understanding is important. Assessment is not only for student. It is also to help us to become better teachers and learn different ways to give instruction. When we need to reteach, move ahead, or explain in different way. Assessment is not just about teacher, I agree that is about the student/teacher relationship and both being part of their success.Aferg006 (talk) 00:07, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I thought this article was an eye opener. I really liked the different understanding that author Tomlinson brought up. I agree with her 3rd understanding, because it may not be the way the teacher is teaching, but what is being taught. When teachers give assessments and see how the students respond, this gives the teacher a chance to interact with the student and ask questions as to what they understand about the subject/lesson.Msmhobbs04 (talk) 21:43, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I really enjoyed reading this well-written article on assessment The author admits that when she first became a teacher, she paid little attention to assessment. However, over time, she realized the importance and significance of assessment for both the teacher and student. I greatly agree with the 10 understandings of assessment, and they really opened my eyes and make me think. The first understanding, that assessment is not just about tests, is so true. Providing the student with multiple ways of assessment allows the teacher to see where the student's strengths and weaknesses are. One student may be a bad test taker but an excellent writer. In the second understanding, feedback is focused on. Rather than just giving a grade in the gradebook, providing feedback really allows the student to see which specific areas are their strengths and which they can improve on. As the third understanding explains, assessment does not have to be formal, and can occur at any time. The final understanding I thought to be a powerful statement. Assessment is not just for the teacher, but for the students as well. Through correct and accurate assessment, students become better learners. Afett001 (talk) 17:41, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I thought this was an outstanding article. Ms. Tomlinson provides a very thought provoking and insightful look into her evolution from seeing informative assessment as playing a minimal role in her classroom to becoming an advocate for it. I found two of her “understandings” particularly interesting. Understanding # 3, Informative Assessment isn’t Always Formal, shows the reader how important just observing a student can be in helping them. It allows the teacher to tailor methods of learning to specific individuals or groups so that they can maximize their learning ability. Understanding #6, Informative Assessment Isn’t an End in Itself, I thought was the most revealing “understanding” in Tomlinson’s article. She sees informative assessment as the beginning of better instruction. This article gives a clear understanding and examples of just how informative assessment can impact a classroom, both the teacher and the students.Sciaston (talk) 19:52, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

This artilce was very interesting. It really exposed what many young teachers do as "playing school". Much like the author, my main intention is not to teach, but I want to be sure, if I do teach, to give the students as much as I can. I thought the article was very effective because it was set up in a FAQ way. The ten "understandings" that it laid out are things that I think many teachers are not clear about. I thought Understanding 4 was very important and eye opening. In the past, with expeirence I've had in being a student, I feel as if many teachers think that teaching and assessment are two completely different things and should be handled at different times in different ways. Contrarily, this is not the case. Teaching curriculum, giving feedback, and giving assessment should all go hand-in-hand. This article was very helpful and includes many things that I will try to keep in mind when I am teaching. Sbutl016 (talk) 22:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I found the article to be very powerful and helpful. I liked the insight where she said that assessment allowed her to become a better teacher. I think that we all need to assess ourselves as well as our students. They learn from us and we learn from them. She was also very avid about feedback. In one sentence I believe she mentioned how feedback would even ease the mind of a student who received a poor grade. It does make sense when you think about it. Pretty much everything you think assessment is, isn't. I believe that is the key to this entire article. It's not the tests, it's not the gradebook, and it's not even formal. Who would have thought? I acknowledge her for her believing that she still, after 30 years of teaching, is not done with insights on assessment. I believe this to be helpful to future educators to not only better their students, but themselves also. Hcomb003 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Carol Ann Tomlinson in her article shows not only her development of assessment practices but her own willingness to learn, a philosophy that I try to live by which is; you are never too old to learn, and you learn something new every day. She also shows that as teachers we have to be willing to try new ideas.Mlipl001 (talk) 03:06, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Another showcase of the subversive complexities that tend to spring up well after you've already entered the field of play. I quite enjoyed this. Although I think it's good to keep in mind all of the different facets/mantras that the author lists in accordance with assessments, it'd most likely drive you mad to try and implement them all. Keeping a filing system on the strengths and weaknesses of a multitude of students and adjusting testings/lesson plans in lieu of information gathered in such a way– seems entirely admirable, but problematic in a time consuming fashion. I whole heatedly agree that the traditional mindset of assessment, i.e. grading & testing, can prove to be utterly arbitrary, and a good teacher should always keep in mind other strategies to employ and meld into the framework of what they're trying to get students to learn. Hsmit022 (talk) 19:22, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

After reading and discussing assessments, I believe that both formative and summative assessments are imperative to a successful classroom. Formative assessments play a valuable role helping teachers determine where students are in their individual learning. These types of assessments also provide avenues for differentiation. It is critical to know where students are day-to-day in meeting targeted standards. A good teacher will use formative assessments in order to ensure a student’s success on larger summative assessments. Still, the assessment debate is tricky. Our country has placed significant value in high-stakes, summative testing. I am not entirely opposed to some summative assessments. Our students need to meet benchmarks. There needs to be some commonality in our curriculum. However, I do not support the fear we place in our students (or teachers) about these types of tests. I do not believe that grades or final results are the most significant reinforcement to children. I believe in the journey. I believe that students who are engaged daily will meet curriculum standards. I believe that good teachers will gain a greater understanding of their students by using formative assessment methods. I believe that students will then retain information long term, remain active in their journeys, and succeed as high stakes testing. The best thing we can do as teachers is to provide accurate, authentic assessments that challenge students within their “Vygotskian” Zone of Proximal Development. Learning how to do that is the hard part… By the way,…pardon the tangent. The first article was a good, educational, straightforward read. The second article was more interesting because of its personal nature, practical information, and style of assessments mentioned. I truly believe in the ways the author approaches her classroom. I have now read numerous articles stating the importance of assessments, regardless of the type. (Also noting the significance of effective feedback.) I am more interested now in learning specific techniques to create these assessments. I also enjoy articles that provide research on effective feedback techniques as well. Both of these topics are crucial to successfully managing a positive, growth environment. Abitt002 (talk) 03:17, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This was a very honest glimpse into teaching. I enjoyed her perspective very much especially the point she made about timeliness. I have often thought that the problem with assessment is there is not option to gain knowledge from them after they are done. In English I find it very helpful to continue to go through revisions and gaining feedback to improve the piece. That is something that is not necessarily done in other classes along the way. I find it important to make sure that there is continuous re-checks to ensure that the students is retaining the learning targets and not just give a big test that would encompass the entire semester. I often wondered how some professors got away with only assigning two grades for the semester, the mid term and the final which does nothing but cause undue stress and cramming!Jnewh001 (talk) 02:55, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I found this article to be very interesting and eye opening. It was great to hear from a young teacher and her first experiences in the classroom and with teaching since most of us in this class are in the same predicament! I really enjoyed her view on teaching and teaching practices, especially considering she openly acknowledged her mistakes and how far she has come from beginning teaching to three decades later. I do believe that the points she listed for understanding assessment are critical for other teachers and future teachers to look at. Most of the points she mentioned, I was not aware of either until I started taking some education courses at school. I feel that some of the points she made are the most important when considering assessment: assessment is not just about mistakes, not just for the teacher, and assessment is not just about 'after'. I believe these are important because assessment can not just be about these things, otherwise it will not be an effective assessment for the student or the teacher. I feel that the article was very insightful, and I enjoyed reading it and learning from it as well! Rburt005 (talk) 17:04, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This article certainly answered many questions or misconceptions that I had about assessment. Just like many other previous, current and pre-service teachers, I think assessment as grading assignments, projects and tests. However, just as Tomlinson addressed, assessment is greater than that; it is a learning process for both teachers and students. One of the understandings that I really related to was that “informative assessment isn’t about after”; it is a process that happens during and even before a unit. Many teachers do not have time to reteach objectives students have not gained an understanding of, because they have already moved on to a different topic. Time will always be an aspect teacher have to fight against, however, formative assessment can actually save time through preassessment and diagnostic assessment. By discovering what a student knows or does not know can save time and interest since the teacher is not moving ahead of their class, or boring them with what they already know.

Another understanding that I liked was the most important one, that “informative assessment isn’t just for the teacher”. In my opinion, high-stakes testing has taken assessment to a level where we try to improve students’ grades, but not improve their learning. We are so focused on trying to make academic yearly progress or receive funding, that we are almost missing the main reason for teaching: students. Students can be learning objectives, the answers to them and take a high-stakes test, possibly even passing it. However, it does not tell us that the student is a learner; it only tells us that the student is able to regurgitate all the facts we have given them. It also makes the experience of learning nonexistent, because they are just repeating facts. I do believe that teachers have to take accountability for their students learning, and the same basis applies to students. In fact, I even think students want to be responsible for their own learning, because they can say “I did this, not anyone else.” In order for this to happen though, teachers have to share the responsibility and power of assessment with their students, to have an evolving classroom environment. Adart001 (talk) 20:00, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This article was interesting because it explained the different ways one can use informative assessment. I thought informative assessment was taking a test, however it can be just about anything that assesses the students progress. The author explained that some students are just not good test takers, therefore they can be assessed with different methods to see if they are really learning. Drawing diagrams, answering questions in class, and having a one-on-one discussion with the student helps a teacher find out if the student is retaining the information taught in class. This is a great idea, and helpful for me as well, because as an art teacher (especially in elementary school) students do not usually take tests. Therefore, I will have to assess their knowledge of the lesson based on hands on activities and through discussions. Even though these ways are different from a written test, it is still using informative assessment. Hcogg001 (talk) 20:12, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh my gosh, what I have to look forward to in my teaching career. This article reminded me of something I heard at the training I received while signing up to be a substitute teacher for the Virginia Beach public school district. The lady that gave us our training; who had been a teacher for 28 years told us that there were 3 important stages that teachers go through in their career. Within all these stages Informative assesments are very important for a teacher to develop. First, we are in survival mode, you are able to manage the class room, get pass the initial judgmental thoughts of what do the students think of you, how are they going to perceive you and are they going to like or make your life miserable .The author survived this step being able to get passed the classroom management section and allowing herself to move forward. The second mode would be actually teaching the lesson plans as made and follow the curriculum hoping that the students would respond positively to the information given. Understandings 1 , 2, 3 and 4 would fit under this mode. As she got passed the fact that assessment was not only about test, grades, following lesson plans and assessments that only fit formally with the curriculum she allowed herself to modify her way of teaching and looking at the assessments towards students to get to the next step. Mode #3, become a good and respected educator. At this point you realize that students all have different means of learning and that in order for us as educators to get students to succeed in a subject and actually internalize the material you really have to break down the class in individual students and small groups. Understandings 5 and so on describe all the characteristics that every good educator should asses while in a teaching career. Students all have different strengths and weaknesses, they should all be asses formatively to make sure that they understand the material as well as given feedback to let them know where they stand as far as what they are required to know to continue forward in their education. When both students and teachers get to this point the student-teacher relationship becomes more fluent in a way that the students trust the teacher and asks for feedback to be able to improve in those areas to take responsibility for their education. Bpenn005 (talk) 02:22, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Wow, what a great article. This was the most interesting article I have read in a while. Ms. Tomlinson really lays everything out in the open in a step-by-step format that really examines the assessment process that she took. I especially liked the statement she makes, "I am not finished with the insights yet because I am not finished with my work as a teacher or learner" (Tomlinson, C. 2007). We definitely need more teachers like her! After observing in classrooms and working in education previously, it is relate to her way of thought in the beginning...classroom management overtaking classroom assessment and learning for that matter. Understanding your students individually, as well as a whole, is the way to help those who are struggling find their place and even those who have surpassed, find their place as well. Definitely an article worth keeping in my files!Scarlett1 (talk) 04:05, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

How fortunate we are to learn from someone who has experienced first hand the positive and negative effects of assessment. Ms. Tomlinson portrayed her discoveries on the most effective ways to assess a class, she couldn't have been more accurate. As though it were common sense, I found myself nodding at her every revelation. It just makes sense, how could it have possibly been any other way? How could we at one point administered a blanket test and believed it to assess everyone equally? This article is definitely one that I will refer back to. It will be an excellent resource as to how and when to assess my students. I was able to draw positive correlations between her ideas and those of my past experiences with teachers I've loved. Mrs. Lena Williams, my eighth grade teacher would emphasize my strengths which gave me a tremendous drive. I remember wanting to make her proud, she set the bar high and told me constantly that I was capable of achieving it. She gave me the option of a written quiz as oppose to oral since she knew it was a weakness of mine. I excelled in her class, because she payed attention. I've found since then that I perform in classes where feedback is offered, not just constructive but praise as well. Typically, when you give the student your attention, they'll return the favor. I found my place and was able to understand my learning style because of teachers like Mrs. Williams and Ms. Tomlinson. I can only hope that I'll be just as effective. Rpaige (talk) 06:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)