Plan with the end in mind

The ‘end’ is what students are expected to know and be able to do as the result of a lesson, activity, unit, or year. Student teachers need to learn a variety of ways to try and discover what has truly been learned – from facts to big ideas and the ability to express those. Knowing what is to be accomplished makes assessment planning easier and more effective. The next section gives some ideas of how to frame the questions that might drive the lesson, unit or yearly plan.

Creating the essential questions for a lesson or unit            

There are many models for thinking about creating questions. Bloom’s taxonomy (original or digital revision) emphasizes six levels from basic knowledge to evaluating and creating with that knowledge.

 McTighe and Wiggins emphasize ‘essential questions’ as questions that stimulate thought, provoke inquiry, and transform instructional inquiry as a whole. These are very open-ended questions that will cause students to think about how to use the facts and ideas they are learning in bigger situations. They are the questions that you want to start with when planning courses, untis and projects.

Videos explaining for, of, and as assessment

Assessment for, of, and as learning

These are common terms for describing different kinds of assessment:
            For – formative assessment – designed not to evaluate but to help students understand where they are in their learning and what they need to do to improve.
            Of – summative assessment – designed to evaluate what students know at a particular point in time.
            As – assessment itself as learning – reviewing the assessment in order to understand what elements of learning have been missed and how to improve. A chance for reflective learning. read more


Finding good ways to report student progress can be difficult, but most student teachers will find themselves in situations where the school has specified how this is to be done.

Student teachers need to learn at the outset how they will have to report results so they can plan their assessment techniques with this in mind.

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Assessment types

Assessments range from casual conversations and observations in the daily routine to  more structured items such as quizzes, lab reports, and tests and moves through to the big projects such as essays, video, audio, and drama.

Student teachers need to be aware, and try, a variety of types of assessment and learn which kinds suit what they are trying to assess.

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Assessment as Teacher learning

Assessing students is important, but student teachers also need to recognize the importance of assessing their own teaching and learning.

They should take the initiative for this assessment. Follow the link to learn more about how this might be done.

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