Student assessment is one of the most critical activities that a teacher cannot ignore. In any case, student assessment is a responsibility for every teacher (Nitkor & Brookhart, 2011). Student assessment entails evaluating learning and development of a student. In addition, the development of both social and emotional aspects of the student is highly addressed in a student assessment activity. Other important purposes for a student assessment are to monitor a student’s well-being, cognitive and language development. Nonetheless, educators perceive the importance of student assessment to be highly related to the following reasons. First, student assessment improves a student learning capability by offering learning goals to a student. The student assessment activity establishes means of understanding student capabilities and providing skills and knowledge to harness their leaning capabilities (Nitkor & Brookhart, 2011). The most applicable types of student assessment are formative and summative assessments. Most importantly, student assessment offers teachers with a benchmark on how to improve on teaching techniques.
One of the formative assessment strategies involves the application of visual representation of information (Fisher & Frey, 2007). In this respect, the visual representation consists of words and pictures. However, there are other effective formative assessments strategies such as the use of collaborative activities and the use of graphics and charts.
To determine the formative assessment, the lesson plan had the following as the learning objectives for K-12 students.
First, learning objectives are to improve social and emotional needs for the disabled learners. In additional, a lesson plan also seeks to improve self- esteem through social interactions. Another objective is to improve learners’ skills in solving mathematical problems. In addition, lesson plan aims at improving the learner’s comprehension and oral reading. From the above lesson plan, the use of visual representations is crucial.
As indicated earlier, visual representations include using words and pictures. In some instances, visual representations include using photographs, charts and 3-D diagrams. The reason for using these visual representations is that they make complex studies, especially in science and mathematical seem accessible and cognitively traceable. In fact, visuals such as diagrams and pictures harness learners’ ability to discover things for themselves. Scholars have attributed visual representations as key to improving learner ability to think and comprehend relations of studies. K-12 learners have the ability to think in abstract. In this case, learners are able to connect relations that exist among concepts in various studies. One major component of visual representation is that they provide visual-spatial elements that allow the brain to comprehend images of an item and understand its meaning.
One lesson activity that allows the use of visual representations is using maps in the study of geography. A map allows learners to understand what the visual or image stands for. For example, various components of a map provide the idea that the earth has countries, continents oceans, mountains and lakes.
During the students’ assessment, a student comprehension that a map can illustrate features such as oceans, lakes and countries is an example of their improved skills in reading, thinking and comprehension. In this case, maps can be included in the geography lesson and other related subjects.
Summative assessment is using evaluations at the end of certain instructions, lessons or curriculum. In most cases, summative assessment evaluates the effectiveness or outcomes of long-term goals (Afflerbach, 2007). Not only does summative assessment help the teacher in assessments, but also for the learners in improving their academic endeavors.
Unit-tests are one of the most used summative assessment techniques (Afflerbach, 2007). Students write tests at the end of the unit as instructed by the teacher to evaluate their understanding of the unit. However, the following are some of the objectives for the lesson plan that is using summative assessment.
The first objective is to demonstrate the understanding abilities of the students in major subjects such science, mathematics, social studies and languages. The second objective is to evaluate whether the teacher and students recognizes the sources of the subjects’ major concepts. The third objective is to ensure that the teachers and learners apply concepts learnt as well as apply them in other relevant areas of studies.
In this case, the teacher will administer unit-tests for each unit learnt at the end of the week. The unit-tests will consist of questions for the students and submitted to the teacher the following week, before the commencement of a new unit.
The reason for using unit-tests rather than end of term tests and students report cards is that unit-tests have the following benefits. First, the unit-tests can provide the teacher with new directions on teaching the next unit. Unit-tests are benchmarks for future learning objectives. The summative assessment increases reliability among teacher. Also summative assessment offer validity to activities instructed by the teachers as well as the validity of teaching techniques applied.
The passing of students in unit-test validates the improvement of skills and understanding of concept by learners. In this case, students are to have unit-tests for each subject at the end of each unit on a weekly basis.
Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2007). Checking for understanding: Formative assessment techniques for your classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Nitko, A. J., & Brookhart, S. M. (2011). Educational assessment of students, 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.