Reflections - Assessment Observations
From my experiences in the classroom, as well as the group discussions, I have learned many things about assessing our students.† First we need to assess them often, so that we can see any problems happening, and correct them.† Second we need to use a variety of methods of assessment, as different students have different strengths and we need to access all of them that we can.† And last, we need to develop the next steps for each student, to help them improve in areas where there skills are currently lacking.†
Assessing students often allows you to get a large amount of information on each student.† Analyzing these assessments along the way, will allow the students to see where they need to improve upon.† This also ties into my second point.† Assessing often is great, but you need to use a variety of assessment techniques for it to be effective, and a true assessment of the studentís abilities.† For example, in the computers classes I was in we used a variety of techniques including the usual quizzes and tests, but also included their daily programming assignments, and demonstrations of their assignments for part of their mark.† The students would explain what the project was doing to us verbally for a part of their mark.† This allows us to evaluate us on the students writing ability (the tests and quizzes), their application of the knowledge (handing in programming assignments), and their verbal skills (explaining how the code works).† This is especially effective for programming classes where the students could easily copy the code of another student in the class, and hand it in as there own.† If it is someone elseís work, they will not be able to explain it as well as if it is there own.†
These assessments are a very necessary part of educating our students, but one of the crucial steps is to develop a plan for the next steps that students need to improve.† If we notice that a student is lacking in certain areas, we need to provide remedial assistance in some form to help them improve.† This may be customized to each student, or may be a generic exercise kept on file, but quite often something additional needs to be done.† For example, some of the grade nine students I was teaching were having trouble creating folders on the network drive to organize their files.† We happened to have an activity that taught some of the basic concepts of file management.† It was not a large activity that would make the students fall behind in their other work, but it taught them what they needed to know to get them up to the level of their peers in that respect.†
What I have taken away from this assignment is the need to assess my students often, and with a variety of methods, and then provide additional assistance where needed.† Many teachers just write the marks down and go on to the next assignment, but because of the nature of computer classes, one skill builds upon the previous one, so all skills are necessary for the students to be successful.† Without additional help, students can do poorly because they missed on concept.† I will always have additional help available for students that require it, as well as be willing to sit down at lunch and teach the concept using a different technique.† I know I wonít always be a perfect teacher for every student, and these techniques will help my students learn despite my downfalls.