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Teachers know that high-quality assessments are an important part of the teaching and learning process and quality assessments are designed to help students know where they are in relationship to what they need to know. That’s why so many educators emphasize the importance of assessments that are student focused and measure true learning and the relevance of assessment data in setting student goals and plans for reaching those goals.

Students are key decision-makers about their own learning and it is critical for them to be engaged participants when it comes to assessment. Many students can be intimidated by assessment, so being transparent about the learning targets in advance of an assessment can help students feel more incentive to perform well.

What makes assessment valuable to a student?

  • Students can show what they know.
  • They see their progress over time.
  • Their learning is at the heart of the assessment.
  • It helps them see where they are in relationship to the target.
  • It needs to be authentic so that it has value for the student.

Points to Raise with Students

Ultimately, assessments should be seen by students as a tool for monitoring their progress. Specific topics for discussion may include:

  • What each assessment is intended to measure
  • The importance of all classroom assessments and the need for all students to do their best
    on all tests
  • How assessment results will be used by the teacher and the school
  • What parents will learn about assessments and outcomes

Learning requires teamwork, with both the teacher and student equally committed to progress and success. If a teacher is working harder than a student, learning will not happen. High-quality assessments are focused on measuring a student’s progress. It is important for educators to help students see that, regardless of where a student is in their learning, progress matters.