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Philosophy of Assessment Sheldon, 1

Philosophy of Assessment
Laura Sheldon
North Carolina State University
ED 312
Professor Feldman
December 8, 2017
Philosophy of Assessment Sheldon, 2

Introduction
I believe that the purpose of assessment is to measure student’s mastery of a subject, and
allow the data to drive further instruction as a measurement of the teacher’s effectiveness. I
believe that assessment consists of a variety of methods and styles, that test students across the
full range of Bloom’s taxonomy while offering a variety of assessment methods that allow
students to be creative while demonstrating that mastery. I believe that assessment is a tool for
teachers, allowing them to redirect instruction as needed to ensure that students can exhibit
mastery in each standard. I believe that with continuous formative assessment and instruction,
students can succeed on the summative assessment.

Five Belief Statements


1. The Cycle of Assessment:​ The cycle of assessment is a technique used by teachers in
which they assess student understanding before, during, and after instruction. This cycle
includes pre-assessment, formative assessments (in many forms) as well as summative
assessments. These, and use of the data to shape instruction, can create powerful, targeted
instruction for students needs. In practice, a teacher can pre-assess to see that students
don’t require a lot of instruction into the definition of literary terms, but that they need a
lot of help with the application of how those literary terms affect the novel. The cycle of
assessment could also be applied if a content standard isn’t met in the summative
assessment. Here, a teacher would go back to the content, reteaching and reassessing until
students are competent with the content/skill.
2. Assessment throughout the school year:​ Assessment throughout the school year is an
important way to ensure that students are prepared for the required end-of grade testing.
Assessment should be constant, as well a normal and expected part of everyday class. In
order to accomplish this, student assessment will increase in difficulty over the year as
students increase in ability.
3. Creating assessments (formative and summative):​ Assessment creation should be done at
the beginning of planning for a unit, allowing what I believe demonstrates mastery to
shape the unit that is created for it. I believe that formative assessments need to vary, in
length, complexity, and format in order that the student can demonstrate their knowledge
through a variety of means. Formative assessments especially offer a lot of opportunities
for creativity and technology, however we have to be sure that formative assessments
align with and build towards our summative assessments. One way that we can do that is
with backwards design.
4. Bias in assessing students:​ Assessments can be biased against certain demographics of
students, but as educators we hope that this is not an issue that is encountered regularly.
Bias can occur with content matter, language, examples, and with discussions, and can
negatively impact some students even if they have the same understanding of the subject
Philosophy of Assessment Sheldon, 3

material. It is our job as educators to create fair, unbiased assessments that allow our
students to demonstrate their knowledge, and prevent us from accidentally and unfairly
being biased against them. While one seemingly obvious answer would be multiple
choice questions, we can (and should) move beyond this by creating detailed rubrics for
our students and ourselves.
5. Assessing diverse needs and diverse learners:​ I believe that it is vital for instructors to
differentiate assessment for the sake of their diverse learners. This should be done to fit
the needs of the students, while maintaining a level of difficulty that is on par with the
regular assessment. There are a vareity of ways to differentiate assessments, and it is
through the relationships and monitoring students that teachers learn best how to serve
their students while still creating a fair and equitable exam.

Sample Syllabus Section


Grading Scale
Coursework will be weighted as follows:
Homework: 0%
Classwork: 15%
Group Work 0%
Formative Activities
Projects: 25%
Quizzes: 20%
Tests: 40%

Homework:
Think of homework as practice. When you learn how to play chess, you don’t expect to win at
first. When you learn to play an instrument, you aren’t ready for a performance yet. Homework
will be assigned somewhat regularly, and will be important practice for the things we learned in
this class. Now, as you can see above, homework is not factored into your grade for this class.
However, homework is still required and I will be collecting and grading it in order that you
know how you did. Homework will be a requirement in order to take tests.

Classwork:
Classwork is an essential component of your education in this class. It will be collected
frequently and graded for accuracy. The exception to this is group work. While collaboration is
an essential skill and something that we engage in often in the classroom, group work does not
necessarily reflect everyone’s understandings. In the event that group classwork is graded, there
will be a supplemental personal grade associated with it.
Philosophy of Assessment Sheldon, 4

Projects:
Projects are important to demonstrating your knowledge in this class in a way that truly allows
you to be creative. There will be several options in order for students to take ownership in the
projects and determine the best option for them, as well as what they are most interested in. As a
result however, I will have high expectations for all finished products.

Quizzes:
Quizzes are intended to demonstrate your knowledge and prepare you for what the test will be
like. In order to prepare, students should look over their classwork, preferably 2-3 nights a week.
I will announce most quizzes 3-4 days in advance, allowing you opportunities to study over
several nights.

Tests:
Tests will be announced at the beginning of each unit. By reviewing classwork, quizzes, and
your notebook, you should be prepared to take the test. It is required for you to submit all
homework for grading before taking the test. Retakes are allowed and encouraged, but you are
required to come before or after class for help at least ​three​​ times in order to do this. Retakes are
offered in the two weeks after the test was given the first time. In the event that, because you
didn’t take the test the first time because homework hadn’t been turned in, you may take the test
in the first week and can still retake the test by the end of the retake period. For example, if the
test was scheduled and completed by classmates on Monday the 1st, the last day to retake the test
is the 15th. If a person doesn’t take the test until the 9th, they still must have retaken the test by
the 15th.

Attendance:
Attendance is important for you as students, because our time in class is vital to your learning
process. In return for your attention, I will seek to make class both entertaining and enjoyable. It
is important to note that attendance goes beyond being present; it also extends to preparedness,
focus, and meaningful participation.

Late Work
You should do your very best to turn in work at the due date. However, extensions on projects
and assignments are available upon request. I believe that the key is communicating, and
communicating early. Much like the real world, deadlines serve a definite purpose. However, the
quality of the work is most important. If challenges to complete an assignment are not
communicated in person or at least 6pm on the night before, leniency on due dates is much
harder to offer. Late work extensions will be offered on a case by case basis and are not
guaranteed.