Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Involving Students/Secondary

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Involving High School Students in Assessment

Written by: Dbrod001

Effective instruction depends on sound instructional decision-making, which, in turn, depends on reliable data regarding students’ strengths, weaknesses, and progress in learning content...
(National Institute for Literacy, 2007, p. 35)

Learning Objective[edit | edit source]

The reader will be able to identify different forms of assessment in a high school setting.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

One of the biggest tasks high school teachers undertake is to successfully assess their students in a manner that is helpful to both students and professionals. The problems with achieving this goal include differing opinions on what kinds of assessments offer better feedback for students and teachers, and which forms of assessments more accurately test students. The main focus of the argument is the two different forms of assessment: summative and formative.

Assessing the Student[edit | edit source]

AP Psych Test.JPG

Summative vs. Formative[edit | edit source]

One side of the argument is summative assessment, with the focus being mainly on formal tests such as standardized tests, final exams, chapter tests, etc. These types of tests are usually given at the end of a certain period, and the student is given a final grade.

A major drawback to this type of assessment is that “…they do not inform daily instructional decision-making, nor do they provide information on individual student progress” (Hall & Adams, 2007).

The other form of assessment is formative – a more informal way of testing student knowledge by means of peer reviewing, practice quizzes, class surveys, etc. Formal assessments are usually given so student progress can be monitored by both teachers and students before formal tests are taken.

One flaw with formative assessment is whether or not it accurately depicts what the student is retaining in the classroom. As Hall & Adams argue, “…there is still a need in our case for continued test development to determine if the high pretest scores were the result of test questions that were too easy, testing common knowledge, or testing material students have learned in a previous course” (2007)

Involving the Student[edit | edit source]

There are many different ways to involve students in the assessment process. One is peer-to-peer assessment, which is when students review and critique their classmate’s work. An example of peer-to-peer assessment would be in a group setting. The class grades each other based on performance, involvement, and helpfulness, thus contributing to each other’s individual grade. In this setting, students depend on each other for their grades. A drawback might be that some students will grade with a bias, or will not be honest in their assessments.

Another way to involve students is to have them assess their own individual works. This technique allows students to see what areas they need to improve in and where their strengths lie. Again, the issue of honesty pops up when students are left to grade their own work. One way for a teacher to counter this would be to review the student's assessment and provide a reward based on their honesty.

Example[edit | edit source]


The example above is a rubric used in public schools in San Bernardino County, California. It can be used both for the teacher and the students to grade each other for group presentations. The rubric assesses how well the student is prepared for the presentation, and how effective the presentation is.

Based on my research, I think this is a good example of an assessment rubric if the class were a public speaking class. Because the rubric does not specifically grade the student on how well he or she knows the course material, I do not think it is providing proper assessment and feedback for any other class.

Questions[edit | edit source]

1. Which of the following is NOT a form of assessment?

A. Formative
B. Instruction
C. Performance
D. Summative

2. Ms. Smith had assigned her students an essay, and offered a rubric that the essay will be graded against. When the time comes to turn in the essays, Ms. Smith informs her students that they will be grading their own work based on the rubric previously given. What form of assessment is Ms. Smith executing?

A. Formative
B. Peer-to-peer
C. Performance
D. Solo/Individual

3. What is "performance assessment"?

A. A nation-wide test that students must take
B. Students grading their own work individually
C. When students assess each other's work
D. When students are assigned group work

4. Which of the following gives the BEST example of involving students in the assessment process?

A. Collaborating with the teacher to create fun activities
B. Evaluating each other's individual effort in a group project
C. Playing games that help reaffirm the learning targets
D. Taking a cumulative exam at the end of each chapter or unit

Answers[edit | edit source]

1(B) 2(D) 3(C) 4(B)

References[edit | edit source]

Hall, Scott S., & Adams, Rebecca A. (2007). A process for assessing standards-based curriculum: Lessons learned from a high school interpersonal relationships curriculum assessment. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 35(3), 253-259.

National Institute for Literacy. (2007). What content-area teachers should know about adolescent literacy. Washington, D.C.: NIL, NICHD.