My name is Dr. Camesha Hill-Carter and I teach Teacher Education Methods in Reading Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In Teacher Education, we often come across three types of assessments: diagnostic, formative, and summative. Regardless of the assessment, teachers often lose sight of what the data gathered from the assessments actually mean. Should educators look for growth of a student, accuracy of skill taught, or just completion?
Once a student fails a particular skill or strategy, the educator reteaches and reassesses the student. Often, the educator averages the two scores together and makes a new score- does that makes sense?
Hot Tip: Assessments and grading should focus on how well – not when – the student mastered the designated knowledge and skill (McTighe& Connor, 2005). The following analogy, provided by McTighe and Conner (2005), demonstrates the idea behind this ideology. A driver education student fails his/her driving test the first time. After diligently studying for the exam, the student decides to take the test again, passing on the second attempt. The driver examiner does not average the first test and the second nor does the new license indicate the driver passed the test on the second attempt. The student passed.
How would this revolutionize your class? The community of learners you serve? Removing the old grade when a new grade is achieved speaks to learning from one’s mistakes and having an opportunity to retrain and reassess. Ask yourself this question: How many times did it take you to attempt to pass a test that was detrimental to your employment? If your answer is more than once, you were given an opportunity to do your best, even if you had to come back six months later to do it over. Doing their best is what we want of our students.
McTighe, J., & O’Connor, K. (2005). Seven practices for effective learning. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 10-17.
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