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5 Key Ideas Quality Assessment

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Scherer indicates that in her opinion, there is an over emphasis on test scores, and that multiple measures need to be used more effectively to achieve quality assessment. McMillan (2011) supports this and states that assessment 'is much more than simply testing'. The following five key concepts represent quality assessment.

Quality assessment is carried out to inform our teaching, so that assessment tasks provide information which is needed by teachers to make effective decisions about student learning. Diagnostic information gathered will assist to identify any specific areas of learning difficulty. This information is then used to plan remedial learning activities and inform student and parents about the revised learning targets.

Scherer asserts that student involvement in their assessment can be an effective measure. In doing this you are enabling 'the student to take responsibility for their learning, understand how they learn' (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2011) and achieve valuable communication between student and teacher.

Furthermore by giving students clear learning targets and criteria that is required for the learning activity, with teacher guidance students are able to set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Chappius & Stiggins also believe that involving students will allow them to learn self-assessment skills, so that they can use teacher feedback to further develop their knowledge and skills.

To be assessment literate, as Scherer describes in her article, teachers need to have the ability to define and use the multiple measures appropriately, to reflect student learning. To have clear purpose of the assessment, and know that 'different purposes require different kinds of information and thus different kinds of assessments' (Stiggins, 1995). For example, classroom measures focus more on specific targets, whereas NAPLAN and standardised tests would provide governments with test results that are less specific.

Multiple measures serve to illustrate what students know, their level of skill, knowledge and understanding. It also, most importantly serves to help the teacher in planning future learning activities appropriate to the level of the student.

Both McMillan (2011) and Scherer agree that to use assessment effectively there is a need to go beyond formal testing and incorporate multiple measures into day to day interaction with students. To observe and monitor students' behavior and progress during instruction, allows teachers to assess students appropriately and continually.


Scherer, M. 2009 Multiple Measures: The tests that won't go away. Educational Leadership. 67 (3),5. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org

McMillan, J.H. 2011. Classroom Assessment: Principles and



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