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Types of assessments of learning

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 13 September 2022, 09:50 SAST
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We are all aware that there are different types of assessments, as mentioned last week in the assessment resource we shared that outlined the differences between assessments of learning and for learning. These assessments can be further broken down, below are the identified types of assessment of learning:

1. Diagnostic assessment (known as Pre-assessment)
This assessment assesses a student’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills prior to instruction. It sets the baseline to work from. This type of assessment should be conducted at the beginning of the school year, at the beginning of a unit, at the beginning of a lesson, etc.

2. Formative assessment
Assesses a student’s performance during instruction, usually occurring regularly throughout the instruction process. For example, a doctor’s ‘check-up’ provides data to revise instruction. Try to find tools that will assist you in checking whether students have understood lesson content while also promoting student reflection.

3. Summative assessment
This assessment aims to measure a student’s achievement at the end of instruction. By using measurements of student performance, summative assessments can be helpful for educators to improve units and lessons year over year because they are, in a way, as much of a reflection on the quality of the lessons themselves.

4. Norm-Referenced assessment
Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s performance against other students. Here standardised tests are used as a norm-referenced assessment to test the average 

5. Criterion-Referenced assessment
These assessments measure a student’s performance against a goal, specific objective, or standard. This kind of assessment should be integrated throughout your curriculum to guide the adjustment of your teaching over time. 

6. Benchmark assessment
This assessment evaluates student performance at periodic intervals, frequently at the end of a grading period. You can use this type of assessment to predict student performance on end-of-the-year summative assessments. Benchmark assessments can help communicate essential facts and data to parents and districts.

Are there other assessments that might have been left out that you feel other educators should know about? Sign up and add your comments below.

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