Assessment for Parents and Community Members

adult with two students

Educational assessment can occur in many different ways. Generally when we think of assessment, we think of traditional standardized paper and pencil tests. However, there are many different types of assessment that serve different purposes. State exams that are given at the end of the year are standardized assessments, such as the 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics exams. Standardized assessments are used to take a snapshot of what students know and can do at a certain period in time. In the classroom, teachers often used non-traditional tests on a daily basis, such as performance-based assessment. Using a wide range of assessment techniques is not only recommended, but necessary to ensure that students, especially early learners, are evaluated in a comprehensive way. Examples of performance based assessments that students may see can include, but are not limited to:

  • Checking for understanding: A teacher gauges understanding by interacting with students in the class. This can include asking questions, using exit tickets, mini-quizzes or even observing students to adjust his/her instruction.
  • Class projects: Students work on a problem that involves planning, researching, and presenting their findings.
  • Performances: This type of assessment may be used to demonstrate the culmination of a variety of skills such as presenting information in a video, debating, or playing an instrument.
  • Portfolios: A collection of student work that is gathered over time. This can include journals, artwork, blogs, or anything else that requires students to show progress over time.

As you can see from the above examples, performance based assessments can be informal or formal. They can occur multiple times during a lesson or over the course of the day and the year. For additional parent resources on assessment, visit the links below: