Making Classroom Assessment Work response (CH 1)

Assessment is an important aspect of the teaching profession and chapter one of Making Classroom Assessment Work does a good job of providing a baseline for new teachers. Assessment is the “gather[ing of] information about student learning that informs our teaching that helps students learn more” (Davies, 1). Since student learning is the most important aspect of assessment the chapter encourages both assessment for learning and student involvement of assessment as key factors in student engagement and student improvement

In my ELNG 351 class we’ve recently discussed assessment for learning in relation to high/low stakes writing. As an English major I like the idea of using low stakes writing assignments throughout the year to prepare students to write a larger paper; which is something I did not experience in high school. This type of assessment for learning allows students to explore their own writing while also working on the technical writing skills learned in class. This style of learning is beneficial to students because “it is when students do something the second and third time that they come to understand” (Davies, 7). Allowing our students the time and space to explore their own learning using this kind of assessment makes them accountable for their own learning and encourages their investment. Another thing that encourages student accountability is creating assignment rubrics with the class as it “increases student learning” (Davies, 3) which reminded me of a text I read in my ELNG 351 class that suggested “[having] students write a cover letter or writers log to hand in with the…final version” detailing what they were proud of, what they struggled with, etc. This would allow me as the teacher to give more specific feedback and allow the student involvement in how they are being assessed.

Elbow, Peter. (1997). High Stakes and Low Stakes in Assigning and Responding to Writing. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 69.

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