Assessment is the linchpin to driving essential skill and competency development. Traditionally, assessments have often been used as an indicator of what students know, understand, and can do, after the learning has been completed.
More recently, educators have implemented formative assessments, allowing students to receive ongoing feedback about their learning during the learning process.
Often, students are given their own agency and reflect on their learning, set their own goals and next steps, and work in partnership with their teacher to identify gaps and opportunities for deeper understanding.
In a world where learning has gone online, many educators are rapidly upskilling in their use of technology and rethinking their approaches to teaching and learning. Now more than ever in this new paradigm, educators need to also rethink their approach to assessment.
As states and districts cancel standardized testing for the year, this moment is a huge opportunity for educators to move away from content-driven rote memorization testing towards a more holistic, authentic approach to assessment. With students learning online remotely, there must also be a fundamental shift in the understanding of the purpose of assessment. In a world where pen and paper, or even digital tests, cannot be administered with any “fidelity” due to lack of supervision, what is the goal of assessment? This is an opportunity to use assessment as a tool to help students see themselves on a continuum of learning and to spark deeper learning.
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