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Assessment in Education

Assessment in Education

Author: Stacy Lohman

When creating lesson plans, it's important to begin with the end in mind. This means determining what students should know at the end of the lesson. These learning goals or objectives guide your creation of summative as well as formative assessments. A summative assessment concludes a unit of study to assess students’ understanding as a whole. Formative assessments allow teachers to chart student progress at the beginning and throughout the unit of study.




Basic teacher observation is an effective formative assessment tool for monitoring in-class behavior as a means of assessment. For example, if you teach a lesson on poetry and have students get into groups to respond to a set of discussion questions, you can use the discussion questions as a formative assessment or you can simply go from group to group and make notes on each student’s level of interaction. The teacher observes the students' behavior in a group setting to assess their content knowledge.

Ticket In or Out the Door

A “Ticket In the Door” or “Ticket Out the Door” is a strategy for assessing student knowledge on a day-to-day basis, using index cards or small slips of paper. Tickets In the Door require students to respond to a few questions as soon as they walk in the door. Tickets Out the Door require students to respond on their way out, as a way of summing up the day’s lesson and checking for understanding. There are several varieties of this method, for example the 3-2-1 method. This method asks students to list three things they learned from the day’s lesson, two interesting things and one question they still have. The 3-2-1 method can be used in any way you want, depending on the lesson and content.


Peer-assessment and self-assessment techniques allow students to engage in their learning and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the learning process, students can take control of their own learning. Self-assessment techniques, which can include goal setting, portfolios or guided practice with assessment tools, can help students become independent learners while also showing the teacher how they are retaining the information. Peer-assessments can assess students in two ways: by their performance in evaluating peers and their performance in evaluating their own understanding against their peers.

Using Learning Styles

One way of choosing different types of formative assessment is to use the concept of learning styles. Typically learners are categorized as either visual, auditory or tactile learners. Each learner has strengths and weaknesses and varying formative assessment techniques ensures that all learners’ styles are reached at least once. By varying the type of assessment you use, you can gain a more accurate picture of what students understand and know. For example, if you typically assess students by using written responses, try using graphic organizers or an activity that has students up and interacting with one another. It may not be that a particular student does not understand a concept, but rather their learning style is not being met.

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Learning Assessments in Education

Attached is a PowerPoint describing various assessments used in the classroom.

Assessing Learning in Online Education

The national learning outcomes assessment (LOA) movement and
online learning in higher education emerged during roughly the same period. What has not yet developed is a sophisticated understanding of the power of online learning and its concomitant technologies to change how we view, design, and administer LOA programs. This paper considers how emerging techniques, such as data mining and learning analytics, allow the use of performance and behavioral data to improve student learning not just for future iterations of a program but in real time for current students. Also considered are powerful learning methodologies which predate online learning but have found renewed utility when coupled with new technologies for assessing and assisting student learners. In this paper, we postulate that technology will enable educators to design courses and programs that learn in the same way that individual students learn, and we offer some conditions that we believe are important to further this goal. We conclude with a
consideration of how the faculty role will necessarily change as a result of these advances in our understanding of using technology to improve learning outcomes.