Angela Antoniello May 24, 2011 Curriculum, Evaluation, & Assessment Donna Norman My Philosophy of Classroom Assessment One of the primary elements of education emerges in the form of assessment. While assessment elements differ among different instructional domains, it’s clear there are a number of assessments methods that pertain to all levels and forms of education…
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This essay considers my personal philosophy of assessment. One of the primary considerations I recognize in terms of assessment is developing a means of judging student participation and effort throughout the marking periods and course. One of the primary challenges I had when originally considering assessment was the nature of developing assessment strategies that are student specific, or measure objective standards of comprehension. While ideally classrooms are constituted by students of the same level of achievement, in reality this is not always the case. Early in my teaching career I recognized that I would have to make the difficult decision of requiring all students to achieve the same level of achievement. From this foundational level I then began to design assessment strategies that required students to achieve an objective standard of accomplishment. In these regards, I have been greatly influenced by constructivist theory of assessment, specifically a text Understanding by Design. This text contends that assessment should be designed from a top-down structure with the end goal in mind. Working from this theory, each semester I considered the ultimate objective for the course and then worked back from that in developing assessment strategies that would work as standards bearers for the marking period. Still, I recognize that this approach to assessment should only be used to construct a general approach to curriculum development. As is later demonstrated, the most effective instruction and assessment will consider the learner’s background knowledge and phenomenological grasp of the learning material in developing dynamic and multi-varied assessment mechanisms. In addition to these constructivist approaches to assessment, I have become more directly acquainted with direct methods of assessment. It’s indicated that one of the primary such means of demonstrating direct assessment strategies is through the teacher’s active involvement in student learning. In these regards, “the teacher a) presents information, b) develops concepts through lecture, c) requires students to recite or respond to questions, d) provides feedback and reteaching as necessary” (Payne 63). In terms of my own assessment strategies, I implement direct methods in a variety of ways. After determining the end of course objective I would then break down the marking period into manageable units (chapters). Within each of these units (chapters) there would be a final exam and quizzes. The quizzes were implemented in large part as a means of motivating students to remain consistent with scholastic work throughout the chapter. In these regards, oftentimes I approached quiz grades with a more lenient approach than I did the chapter tests. The student quiz scores also functioned to aid me in identifying areas of student progress that are more in need of attention. Indeed, student quiz assessment was a learning process for the students as well, giving them an early idea of elements of the text that they must further study. With the final exam then students had to demonstrate their mastery of the material. Rather than functioning as a learning aid, the final exam existed solely for the purpose of measuring the student’s achievement in relation to the objective progress they made within the specific unit. Through research I have discovered a
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Philosophy of Assessment.
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