Good assessments drive independence and learning, as well as motivate and shape students into being receptive and responsive to feedback. Bad assessments can embed fixed mindsets, negatively affect confidence, and result in a loss of trust.
It’s important to prepare our students for challenging assessments by teaching them the necessary skills for success.
The Following lists the idea for Improving High School Assessments:
1. Making it achievable:
Student learning has been affected by the pandemic, with learners who need additional support being most negatively impacted. As a result, these students are now trying to build new knowledge and skills on shaky or absent foundations. Of course, we try to adapt our classroom teaching to account for this and support our students as best we can. So it follows that we should also adapt our assessments with student success in mind.
Designing our assessments with this 80 percent benchmark in mind may require us to increase the accessibility for students by reducing the challenge until they’re ready to tackle more complex questions and tasks.
2.Knowing how to study:
As we make our way through the endless curriculum, we sometimes overlook the importance of teaching students how to study independently. Prioritise —whether you spend a small chunk of a time here and there or devote whole lessons to it. It will probably be more impactful in the lives of your students in the long run than the depth of content you might have to sacrifice in that period of time.
This can include, for example, modelling how to construct a concept map, revision games, showing students where to find study resources such as Quiz, and encouraging them to share ideas and practice using new learning techniques in a supportive and safe environment.
3. Know–what to revise:
Prepare a list of topics that might come up in the assessment, and share it with your students. If you have a class that is struggling with confidence, the more detailed you can be with this study list, the better. Help them to feel that their time spent studying is worthwhile in order to build them up to a place where they have the motivation to study on their own, even when they know not every topic will be assessed.
4. Take the time to personalize:
Taking the time to work individually with students and tailoring elements of your lessons to their needs can go a long way in increasing their motivation for classroom assessments. When you see that students are doing well with material, challenge them slightly beyond grade level to keep them engaged.
Similarly, take the time to work with your struggling students. Help them with those concepts they are finding the most challenging, and offer them learning strategies to take in material in a way that aligns with their strengths.
5. Encourage students to monitor their own progress
When students are able to see their progress towards various academic goals it can be a significant motivating factor. Consider having each student keep a chart of their assessment performance throughout the grading period. This gives your students a continuous visual of their assessment outcomes to date and can help them to recognise steps they need to take to improve their performance moving forward.Giving your students the chance to explain their own class and assessment progress to someone they care about can be more motivating than a conversation led by you.
6. Self test and Make–a–Note:
When completing your assessment, make a note of the skills and exam techniques required to answer the questions. Then consider if you and your students have covered these techniques in enough detail. For each skill and technique, make sure that students have been exposed to models of good work, so that they know what success looks like. They’ll also feel more confident during future assessments if they previously had the opportunity to apply these skills and techniques in a supported environment so that they know that they’re capable of achieving success.
7. Allow students to make mature decisions about the assessment date:
When assessment dates aren’t fixed, give students some options for dates and times. You can also encourage students to take more responsibility for organising their time in the run-up to the assessment by asking them to point out potential clashes with other deadlines or important dates.
8. Factor in choice within the assessment:
Within the assessment, you might be able to provide students with a choice of questions to answer or tasks to complete.Usually give high school students a choice of two extended-answer questions to complete in their end-of-unit assessments.Then set the question they chose not to answer as an open-book homework task.
The downside of providing choice within an assessment is that it can be harder to standardise, but the upside is that you confer a much greater feeling of control to the student, which in turn can be highly motivating.