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Evaluating student performance and achievement can be challenging without a clear understanding of the materials discussed in Unit 15. As stated in my Unit 9 Reflection, “evaluation or assessments are the products and materials, such as tests and projects that students complete to demonstrate their understanding of the content. There are basically three types: initial, formative and summative.”
Initial assessment is used to determine what students already know about a topic or what they can do. It is often used to place students in a particular course or level. Unit 15 examples of initial assessments are Placement and Diagnostic Tests. Formative assessment is the ongoing checks that the teacher makes to determine if the students are retaining the knowledge and skills of the lesson or unit. It also allows the teacher to adjust the focus of future instruction. Unit 15 refers to these as Progress Tests. Summative assessment comes at the end of a unit to determine the students overall content and skills proficiency. Summative assessment in Unit 15 are best exemplified by practice and achievement tests and external examinations.
However, there are other methods for evaluating and assessing student achievement. These include formal and informal, alternative, authentic, peer and self-assessments. Formal assessment includes graded written examinations or classroom presentations. Informal assessment includes observations, interviews and checklists. Alternative assessment is used in place of traditional pen-and-paper tests such as portfolio development. Authentic assessment is the use of real-world tasks to demonstrate learning. Peer-assessment is the evaluation in the form of feedback by a peer of a work in progress. Self-assessment is the assessment by the students themselves of their understanding and skills and can be formative or summative.