Thursday, June 23, 2011

Assessments that end up being Lost Learning Opportunities

Exams, finals, standardized tests, and final papers are common assessment tools used at the end of the school year but they often short change the learning process.  While many of my peers in edtech would say it is the tools themselves that shortchange student learning, my issue is not with the tool but with what happens after the assessment is given. Too often, assessments are given, graded, and reported without an opportunity for student reflection or checking for understanding. As a result, students regrettably look for the grade rather than consider the review as an opportunity. Assessments are an opportunity to explore misunderstandings or engage in discussions about questions that were specifically designed to push students to demonstrate critical thinking and creative problem solving.

So maybe it's time we discuss this issue with our respective schools because in the end, a final assessment does not have to mean the end of learning.