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Classroom Assessment A Practical Guide for Educators by Craig A. Mertler Chapter 5 Informal Assessments.

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Presentation on theme: "Classroom Assessment A Practical Guide for Educators by Craig A. Mertler Chapter 5 Informal Assessments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Classroom Assessment A Practical Guide for Educators by Craig A. Mertler Chapter 5 Informal Assessments

2 Introduction  The main types of informal assessments include teacher observations, teacher questions, and student reflections.  The majority of assessments used in classrooms are informal.  Assessments occur in an ongoing, continuous manner.

3 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations: watching and/or listening to students as they perform an activity, or judging a product they have produced. purpose is to record and describe student behavior as it naturally occurs can provide information with respect to: the quality of student performances the processes and procedures students use to complete assignments the processes and procedures teachers use in providing instruction

4 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations (continued) characteristics many events are observed simultaneously or in quick succession classroom observations often focus on one event teachers should depend on the observations of students most events that occur in the classroom go unnoticed observations are quickly forgotten or distorted when recalled observations often require inferences

5 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations (continued) guidelines for use know what to observe know when to place limits on how much is being observed be familiar with what is being observed avoid extended inferences; look for substantiating evidence recognize that observations may overestimate achievement document observations that must be recalled later

6 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations (continued) record keeping Anecdotal records: short narratives that describe behavior and context.  used to document behaviors for later reference by teachers and others  interpretation may also be included  bias must be avoided in any interpretations  only record observations that have special importance and cannot be obtained through more formal methods of classroom assessment

7 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations (continued) record keeping (continued) Checklist: list of behaviors or outcomes, where teacher simply indicates whether each has been observed.  limited to situations where presence or absence of a condition is to be determined  more structured than anecdotal records  only two possible options for observations— observed or not observed

8 Teacher Observations  Teacher Observations (continued) record keeping (continued) Rating scales: similar to checklists; offer more specific feedback (along a continuum).  can indicate frequency or degree to which student exhibits a characteristic  can be used formatively and summatively  also referred to as rubrics ( holistic and analytic )

9 Teacher Questions  Teacher Questions: informal, unplanned, spontaneous oral inquiries posed by teachers to students. useful as a means of monitoring student understanding during instruction both lower- and higher-order questions can be posed can also be used as a form of student self-reflection

10 Teacher Questions  Teacher Questions (continued) characteristics can be obtrusive must be interpreted by others; must be clear can be directed to individuals, small groups, or an entire class details of questions asked and their subsequent responses are quickly forgotten

11 Teacher Questions  Teacher Questions (continued) guidelines for use develop questions from instructional objectives provide a clear problem for students to address allow sufficient time for students to respond avoid student embarrassment exhibit caution when reacting to student responses

12 Teacher Questions  Teacher Questions (continued) record keeping few structured techniques exist teachers may customize a variation of a checklist in order to document participation and responses

13 Student Reflections  Student Reflections: brief narratives or self-reports written by students concerning the subject matter being studied. variations of journals or learning logs completed periodically throughout a unit may consist of summaries of material, questions raised during class, characteristics of a project, etc. provide opportunities for teacher and students to discuss comments and questions

14 Student Reflections  Student Reflections (continued) widely used variation is the one-minute paper students are given last few minutes of class to respond (in writing and anonymously) to one or two questions specified by the teacher  What was the most important thing you learned from today’s class?  What question do you still have following today’s class?  I would like to know more about…  I am still unsure about… student responses are collected and synthesized by the teacher teacher begins the next class with commentary emphasize student responsibility to listen and process

15 Validity and Reliability of Informal Assessments  Often suffer to reduced validity and reliability due to subjective nature  Can be improved by avoiding some common problems  Validity can be adversely affected by prejudging or anticipating student behaviors inappropriate indicators of student characteristics are sometimes selected  Reliability affected by lack of adequate sampling of behaviors inferences drawn in one setting may not extend to others

16 Advantages and Limitations of Informal Assessments  Advantages are efficient and adaptable can be built into flow of lesson (no interruption) can be used to monitor instruction and learning  Limitations observations are limited only to those behaviors that occur naturally teachers observe only a fraction of student behaviors many informal observations go undocumented and, therefore, are likely forgotten

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