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Chapter One – Making Classroom Assessment Work January 15, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECS 410.
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In the beginning of Chapter 1, it begins by describing the difference between what assessment is and what evaluation is. It goes on to say that, assessment is “gathering information about student learning that informs our teaching and helps students learn more” while evaluation is when “we decide whether or not students have learned what they needed to learn and how well they have learned it.” (p.1) After this explanation, Anne Davies, proceeds with giving us an example of a research paper that the students have a week to complete. She then goes on explaining in detail different ways/steps in which this paper can be assessed and how we can go about evaluating from there. This chapter also emphasizes the importance it is to get your students involved in the creating of the criteria for which they will be evaluated on.

In my EMTH 350 class we have been talking about different instructional practices such as the student-centered group and the teacher-centered group. I can say I have a pretty clear understanding of what the teacher-centered group is since that is how most of us have been taught. However, I cannot say that I have ever experienced or encountered a student-centered teaching approach myself. So I wouldn’t really know how to go about dealing with this kind of a teaching approach. After reading this chapter, it has gave me a better understanding of how to go about dealing with a student-centered teaching approach. This chapter talks about the fact that “when the students are involved from the beginning, they are more ready to learn.” (p.5) I think this is important as the students need to know from the beginning what is expected from them so they can achieve their full potential and learn everything they need to know in order to be successful. I also like the fact of how it talks about including your students in the process of making the criteria for the class so that students are maximizing their learning more than if the teacher just created the criteria themselves. This not only enhances the students learning but it also gets the students involved with what they are interested in learning as well. Another important aspect that is talked about in this chapter is how we as future teachers need to take advantage of peer assessment and self-assessment as much possible. It is important for teachers to assess students but it is also important for peers to assess one another. It is beneficial to gain different perspectives from each other. The teacher ultimately does not hold the golden key to learning. We all do!

Some thoughts I have now after reading this chapter are will student-centered teaching be very beneficial in the future? I think a student-centered teaching approach is a great way to help your students get more involved in their learning. This way you also have an idea of what it is your students want to learn and be evaluated on. But at the same time how will you be able to monitor every student’s needs/learning abilities and evaluate every student equally when all your students are at a different learning level? How beneficial is a student-centered learning approach then if 100% of your students are not benefitted from this approach? Then my final question is how do I go about teaching and evaluating students in the best possible way that benefits all students equally?

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