This chapter discusses the record keeping side of assessment. I have been teaching for 13 years and I don’t think I’ve had much discussion about the best way to keep a record of student learning. However, it is a vital role in the accuracy of keeping track of students’ progress. Some of the topics discussed in the chapter were quite obvious but they were necessary reminders for effective record keeping.
One of the first decisions that need to be made in record keeping is to differentiate formative and summative assessments and which specific assessments should be used for assessment to record. This decision should be made in the planning stage of a unit.
Another decision to be made is which information students will keep track of that would benefit their learning. This was an interesting angle that I hadn’t thought of in my classroom. But, since the students are invited to participate in their learning, it is a natural step for the students to keep track of their learning. In my math class, I believe this happens informally when they’re doing homework and class work. I purposely have the students mark their own work so that they are able to know if they’re not understanding a concept if they’re getting answers wrong. Also, I ensure that we look at the solutions together so that the students are able to see where they went wrong.
Everyone has their own system of scoring and recording the assessment results. The book provides three guidelines for record-keeping. First one is to organize entries by learning targets. This is when you record a specific score or result for each of the learning objectives or targets. Second, is to track information about work habits and social skills separately from the scores for learning targets. Lastly, to ensure that raw scores are recorded as this will give a more accurate portrayal of performance than percentage or a symbol.
Other things to think about regarding assessment is knowing where to keep the scores. Will it be digital? Will it be in a gradebook? How will it be organized by units? Semesters?