Teaching techniques in the K-12 and higher education requires the educator to incorporate significant tools for assessment. In the delivery of the curriculum, the teacher may provide pop quizzes in the long run to assess the overall understanding of students towards particular lessons. However, an educator will require short-term methods of identify whether or not the students comprehend the instruction given. In light of this, it is important to note that teaching is a formal interaction between the teacher and the learner. Each party conveys significant messages to the other either formally or informally. For the purpose of this discussion, the informal methods will be the primary concern. Teachers can use these approaches to assess the effectiveness of delivering instruction to the students.
Anecdotal Records Assessment
The anecdotal records assessment (ARA) identifies an informal method that teachers incorporate in following the learning process of the student. This technique involves the educator taking time to make an observational and qualitative description of the students’ progress. In this strategy, each student is recorded individually as a means of identifying the development noted over time (Wiliam, 2014). Therefore, this system is conducted cumulatively where the learning outcome is the primary focus. The derived analysis helps the teacher understand the changes that should take place to improve the learning process (Shute & Kim, 2014). In light of this, the teacher should ensure that anecdotal record looks at the learner as an individual apart from the rest. This practice guarantees an authentic assessment of the learner based on the teacher’s engagement with them in the classroom (Wiliam, 2014). Additionally, the instructor is able to record a wide range of experiences of the student in the process of literacy development. Even unintended outcomes are observed.
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The ARA can look to various experiences like behavior, emotions and academic information. Body language can determine the attention a student is paying to the instruction given. Poor body language like crossed arms or little or no eye contact with the teacher is an indication that the student is less receptive to the lesson. The teacher should also look out for cases of public display of negative emotions (Wiliam, 2014). In this case, a student who may be angered may slam the desk or throw tantrums for not getting the required attention. Through the recording process the teacher should use objective language with no judgment towards the student (Ruiz-Primo, 2011). The notes point out affective information. These include curiosity of the student, engagement levels and factors that motivate them to become attentive. A teacher should have skills in observing children while recording and managing the data drawn for this assessment.
Exit Cards or Ticket
Another method of understanding whether or not instruction is coming across to the students is through the use of formative assessment of exit cards or tickets. This strategy is symbolic of the process and timing of the assessment. The teacher gives this assessment towards the end of the class where learners answer some of the questions usually in reference to the lesson or topic learnt (Dyer, 2013). A broad question may be asked like, “list four things learnt in the class today”. This question identifies the knowledge gained by the student without taking formal assessments. An alternative question may be like “list 3 things that you have interest to know more” (Ruiz-Primo, 2011). This prompt looks at the curiosity aspect of the learner in the process of learning. It demonstrates that a student was attentive enough to note an issue that sparked his or her interest. In this case, it provides the educator with additional work to frame the future instruction plans.
There are usually instances where unintended outcomes occur and it is the educator’s duty to ensure they are addressed promptly. The exit card will pose a question like, “what topic remains unclear or what question requires clarification” (Shute & Kim, 2014). The answer provided by a student should come as an effective means of demonstrating that despite paying attention during the lesson the instruction was not effectively made clear (Dyer, 2013). This question will point to the teaching methods that the instructor applies during the class. Changing the strategies incorporated as a means of ensuring better understanding for all the students. The key factor to take from this practice is that teachers respond to the various aspects of learning identified by the students to ensure that learning takes place (Dyer, 2013). The student may also present particular skills at the end of a lesson to understand their thinking process. This practice gives knowledge of who knows what.
Two Stars and Wish
This formative assessment strategy incorporates the involvement of both the learner and the teacher in reviewing teaching and learning strategies. The students’ roles are to evaluate themselves in as much as they evaluate others (Shute & Kim, 2014). This practice ensures that the all learners are engaged in their own learning significantly empowering them. The two stars and a wish is designed to be a tool for providing feedback of learning process through peer and self-assessment (Dyer, 2012). The two stars represent two significant areas where the student’s academic outcome was excellent while the one wish is a description of an area that requires improvement. There are numerous ways in which this assessment strategy can be administered, however, all three practices can be done over time (Dyer, 2012). The first is taking work done by a student anonymously for review with the rest of the class. Each student provides valuable feedback on the piece of work to give the individual a general view of what is required from what was done.
In the second means of implementing the strategy, the teacher may disperse the class into numerous groups. Usually, pairing the students is considered more effective in ensuring appropriate reviews. Larger groups are used for discussion or other alternative techniques. The pairs will review each other to point out shortcomings and illuminate the excellent areas. The process is recognized as an effective method for language learning and mathematics lessons (Dyer, 2012). There is a step by step process of developing sentences that students can learn from reviewing each other’s work. The final means of implementing the Two Stars and a Wish method is through student self-assessment. In this technique, the student already has a general idea of what is required of him or her and identifies ways of making improvement (Ruiz-Primo, 2011). In this last instance, the students develop a sense of empowerment in their learning. Its continued practice results in improved student performance.
The process of teaching is an interactive process where the educator and the learner communicate with one another. The former has the duty to understand the strength and weaknesses of the student in effort to better understand whether or not instruction is coming across during the lesson. Though formal strategies provide evidence of this, it is the informal practices that give daily developments in learning. The anecdotal records assessment helps relate the observations of the teacher to the effective learning behavior. Poor body language and lack of appropriate eye contact are some of the observations a teacher can take note of. In the exit card strategy, the learner is asked various questions relating to the instruction at the end of the lesson. Two Stars and a Wish incorporate the process of commending and reviewing the works of a student by themselves and their peers. In each case, the educator draws ways of improving instruction techniques in the future.
Dyer, K. (2012) Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Idea Number Six. Teach Learn Grow, Online. Retrieved from https://www.nwea.org/blog/2012/classroom-techniques-formative-assessment-idea-number-six/#sthash.PaYVAFDH.dpuf
Dyer, K. (2013) Formative Assessment – Revisiting the Exit Ticket . Teach Learn Grow, Online. Retrieved from https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/formative-assessment-revisiting-exit-ticket/
Ruiz-Primo, M. A. (2011). Informal formative assessment: The role of instructional dialogues in assessing students’ learning. Studies in Educational Evaluation , 37(1), 15-24.
Shute, V. J., & Kim, Y. J. (2014). Formative and stealth assessment. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 311-321). Springer New York.
Wiliam, D. (2014, April). Formative assessment and contingency in the regulation of learning processes. In Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association , Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/FFXZOJ