Assessment drives instruction. That’s a generally accepted statement in education, but what does it really mean? Teachers across the country are shifting their instructional practices in order to teach more complex content while preparing students for the high school equivalency exams. Proper use of assessment is critical.
According to research from Henry L. Roediger, a leading expert in assessment in education, “We now know that testing, including self-testing, is an especially powerful form of study.”
In an article by Benedict Carey, Carey states that it is believed that students who take many small quizzes throughout their preparation perform better on high stakes test. The frequent use of assessments is extremely beneficial for students who have gaps in their knowledge. Through the use of multiple assessments, these gaps can be identified and appropriate instruction targeting the gaps ensures the student is prepared for the high stakes test.
Who do mini-assessments throughout the learning experience help improve achievement? In addition to identifying knowledge gaps, when taking a test, the student is consciously making an effort to retrieve information recently learned or stored in their memory. Memory and learning are complicated processes. Recalling information and making associations in the context of the assessment make it much easier to correctly answer similar questions at a later date. Teaching and assessing learning go hand-in-hand. Check out Carey’s article for a more in-depth discussion of assessment.
Source: Studying for the Test by Taking It. Benedict Carey. New York Times – November, 2014.