Principles of Assessment
Feedback, either written or oral is key to student success. Comments help students understand your thinking and provide them with a next step. Make a point of writing one or two sentences on submitted work, or conference with students while walking/monitoring the room. I always find however, that written feedback is more valuable to students when you can also sit down and talk about it. OR, give the feedback and no mark, until the students have actually read your comments!
Provide reflection questions and conference with students so they can explain what they have done before you begin to mark it.
Give students criteria and have them create their own rubrics. Share marks and feedback with parents.
I believe that strong students will learn regardless of the format we give them. Weaker students are limited in their ability to follow one format and need something that works for them. Good teachers are able to create both types and pull the same information from students, regardless of their assessment option.
There is definitely a place for both types of assessment, as long as the teacher and students both know that the end result will be the same for everyone. It is very important that we mix up our types of assessment so that students are engaged and have the ability to show what they know in a way that is effective for them.
Teachers use assessment for learning through formative and summative assignments. Formative tasks are used to track student progress and provide teachers with enough data that they can give detailed feedback to students. Summative tasks are used when the teacher is certain that students are ready to demonstrate their knowledge before moving on to a different topic/skill.