In teaching and learning, high quality assessment is essential to gather data and evidence of student learning that is utilised to inform and adjust a teacher’s instructional practice in a perpetual quest to investigate and discover what works best.
“The word assessment comes from the Latin assidere (to sit beside), and assessment literacy means to begin with a clear vision of what is possible for every learner.” – Lyn Sharratt
The College outlines an assessment cycle through the academic year to gather data as evidence with the intent to improve student learning and build teacher capacity to enhance the teaching and learning process.
Formative assessment is used before and during teaching to ascertain where students are in their learning to inform teacher instructional practice. Summative assessment provides evidence of teacher impact on student learning and informs the next steps in the teaching and learning cycle. It is through the triangulation and analysis of formative, summative and other data sources that brings a clarity of student understanding and performance.
Students can also cycle through a process of self-assessment to monitor their learning and progress guided by a series of questions:
- How do I learn best?
- How am I growing?
- What is still unclear?
- How am I functioning in the group?
- What did I learn?
- How do I feel about my learning?
- What discoveries have I made?
- How did I do?
- How have I improved?
- Where do I stand?
- What are my strengths?
- Where are my areas for growth?
- What do I need to do to improve?
- What is my next step?
- How can you help me?
- How can I help myself?
When reflecting and evaluating progress and performance it is essential to approach this with a growth mindset where errors are viewed as feedback for future success.
“Errors invite opportunity. They should not be seen as embarrassments, signs of failure or something to be avoided. They are exciting, because they indicate a tension between what we now know and what we could know: they are signs of opportunities to learn and they are to be embraced.” – John Hattie