Wednesday, December 19, 2018

5 Top Ways of Surveying the Progress of Students

by Sankar (writer), Kolkata, July 25, 2016

Every student is a blessed one. Because, every student is unique and enriched with creative potential.

In addition, every learner also possesses various levels of understanding and learning skills. An ideal teacher is capable of identifying the perspectives, learning styles and values of every student, thereby contributing to a healthier academic environment.

Obviously, as a teacher, you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every student. Having observed them closely, you must have also recognized the students who are more meritorious compared to the others. These students are known to surpass most of their peers in terms of academic performance. And naturally, there are a few who always lag behind and are not able to cope up with the speed at which the class is advancing.

Do you know why such a discrepancy exists? Have you ever thought whether this should remain or is there a way to obliterate this difference?

Well, it is simply due to the fact that the traditional education process fail to offer equal learning opportunity for all kinds of students.

But, the question arises what kind of a teaching technology can come to the rescue of teachers for bridging the knowledge gaps of students?

Let me elucidate.

‘Personalized instructions’ is the magic wand that can enhance student learning and trigger a noticeable transformation in student grades. This sort of an individualized teaching approach has originated from the system of evaluation of students – popularly known as ‘assessment’.

Unless you are familiar with the understanding and analytical skills of learners, how would you be certain that your lectures have been fruitful? Therefore, an appropriate system of assessment is the need of the hour for amazing teachers.

Ways for Teachers to Assess the Progress of the Students

How can teachers assess how his students are progressing?

It, in fact, is not that difficult.

All you are required to do is fuse your teaching formula with two different forms of assessment, namely:

·Formative assessment

·Summative assessment

If you are able to add these two assessment theories to your classroom, nobody can hinder your success as an effectual educator.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment interprets student learning by providing continuous feedback to teachers. His feedback is essential as it aids them in improving their teaching techniques. Furthermore, it is also a powerful tactic that makes students learn their lessons swiftly and easily.

For instance, it involves asking students draw a chart in the class to explain a particular topic they have just learned.

Or, it might also include instructing students to summarize an academic lecture, or mention the main points of the lecture in two or three sentences. You would come across various web resources that can be utilized to assess your students formatively.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is another way to evaluate the progress of the students in your class. With it, you can understand how the students are performing by comparing their learning against a specific yardstick. Generally, it comprises the following:

·A school project

·Midterm exams

·A paper

·A recital

In other words, this form of an assessment refers to classroom activities that are employed to examine the learning of students against some kind of a standard.

Best Ways to Measure Student Progress

Now, I would like to explain to you about the different ways in which you can leverage the two types of assessment to measure student progress in learning environments.

Here’s a quick look at some of those.

#1. Questioning:

So, what is the smartest procedure of teaching, dear teachers? Any idea, any of you? Is it conducting class tests daily for an hour? Or instructing them to complete assignments?

Okay, here it is for you. A quick look at the smartest ways to teach the students.

Teaching a chapter in a way that sparks some questions in the process, to the students is probably one of the smartest teaching strategies across the globe, as put forward by Dylan William. Dylan William is a former expert on formative assessment theory.

According to him, the lessons that instigate learners to interrogate teachers in the midst of the lessons boast of higher productivity and good quality.

Some teachers ask a series of questions to the class prior to opening the textbook or turning to the blackboard.

So, do you think it works? If so, why?

Oh, it does work like crazy since it engages the students even more.

#2. Feedback

Alongside questioning, ‘feedback’ acts as a perfect tool to measure the progress graph of the students. It is, in fact, another crucial element that determines if your pupils are actually ‘learning’ their lessons in the true sense of the term.

Do you think a ‘one liner’ feedback from the end of teachers, in the form of a ‘comment’ is substantial for the students? Yes, you provide them with comments like “Good effort”, “Fair”, or “It could have been better”. But these hardly send learners the intended message. Therefore, I would suggest you do away with these shortcuts.

Instead, let your communication be complete, concrete, and yet, concise.

Please understand that until you let your students know, ‘what’ exactly could have been ‘better’, they would be highly doubtful about their errors or their issues. Obviously, it would not prove to be helpful for any learner. Your timely and detailed feedback would motivate learners to put additional efforts in presenting their project or completing an assignment.

#3. Peer Assessment

Birds of a feather flock together, indeed!

If you have taught in a classroom even for a single day, I bet you have realized how challenging it is to address each and every student. It’s really a mounting challenging to reach out to all the students in the class that has a strength of as many as around 50 students or even more.

“It is humanly impossible”, that’s what you might have felt at time while teaching such a large class.

So, what’s the best way to solve this issue?

In such a case, you might explore the option of ‘peer assessment’, especially because learners are more comfortable with their fellow classmates who belong to similar age-groups approximately.

Peer assessment is slightly similar to ‘peer tutoring’, since it emphasizes on encouraging peers to grade the performance of one another.

For instance, you can instruct students to work in groups. They can discuss certain redundant topics together and complete class assignments. This, in fact, can be done in a great way if you form separate groups. It can even be an excellent exercise for team building.

Now, they should exchange their exercise books and go through the notebooks without any discrimination. Also ask them to mark the answers or problems that have been completed by students and grade them properly.

#4. Self-assessment

I agree that important instructional resolutions are generally taken by education administrators, teachers and other faculty members. However, you should know that students must be placed at the heart of this decision-making process. This is because young learners spend a major portion of their day at school, interacting with teachers, the school principal, and their classmates.

Therefore, you should also let your students evaluate their assignments at some point of time.

You might practice it at least twice a week. And I am sure your pupils would love you for it. For instance, you can inspire your students to study their individual work independently. Follow it up by explaining your students about how they can grade themselves.

While they go about the task, you should also remind them to be honest and diligent.

It would also indicate the attitude of your students.

#5. Projects

If students gain the opportunity to work on a project, the knowledge that they have imbibed is reinforced.

This is important because with this enhanced knowledge, they can analyze a particular topic or subject more beautifully.

Moreover, projects also keep students interested in their syllabus and the topics you teach them. And when you instruct them to collaborate in various group projects, it also helps them to learn the significance of team spirit. Students enjoy a greater insight into their topics when they indulge in projects, investing their time and energy in a good research.

These are some of the most effective ways teachers can measure the progress of their students. Be it Chemistry, Math, Biology, Economics, History or any other subject, it is essential for you, as a teacher, to understand the ways through which you can measure how the students are faring in the class.

You can do some research to find even more to find some unique ways to measure the progress of the students after you have taught them a few lessons.

Wishing you all the best for your student assessment sessions, dear teachers!

About the Writer

Sankar is an academician as well as a content developer. He loves framing engaging write-ups for parents, students and the teachers alike and offers clear as well as practical ideas to make learning fun. In his free time, He loves reading and traveling.He suggest LearnPick Blog for more educational information.
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