How Do We Assess?
As we discussed in Chapter 1, teachers routinely deal with large-scale testing which is external to their classrooms, often with more at stake (or higher stakes). They routinely engage in small-scale testing, which is internal to their classrooms and measures achievement at the end of a unit or course with less at stake or (with lower stakes). Such testing, often referred to as assessment of learning, tends to be a special event, a signpost or marker in the flow of activity within a course. On the other hand, assessment for and as learning is part of ongoing classroom assessment practices. In Chapter 2, we examined how defining learning goals and outcomes, and designing our learning activities and assessment tasks in relation to those goals and outcomes, can both support our students’ learning and inform and focus our teaching. Before discussing the processes and procedures of classroom assessment planning and practices, we will highlight some of the key differences between large-scale testing and classroom assessment practices. We will then walk you through classroom test development in Chapter 4.
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