6 Types of Evaluation (and How to Use Them) (2023)

How are the different ones used?types of evaluationin your classroom to promote student learning?

School closings and remote or hybrid learning environments have presented some challenges for educators, but motivating students to learn and grow remains a constant goal.

Some students have lost some of their academic progress. Assessing students in a meaningful way can help motivate and empower them to grow as they become agents of their own learning.

But testing can helpmath anxietytoo many students. Assessments can be difficult to structure properly and are time-consuming to assess. And as a teacher, you know that student progress isn't just a number on a report card.

Assessments involve much more than taking an end-of-unit test or preparing for a standardized test. Assessments help shape the learning process at all points and provide you with information about student learning. Like John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Institute for Educational Research at the University of Melbourne, Australiaputs:

The primary goal of assessment in schools should be to provide interpretive information to teachers and school leaders about its impact on students, so that these educators have the best possible information about what steps to take with instruction and how to change and adapt. Very often we use assessment in schools to inform students about their progress and performance. This is important, of course, but it is more critical to use this information to inform teachers about their impact on students.Using assessments as feedback to teachers is effective. And this power is truly maximized when assessments are timely, informative, and related to what teachers actually teach.

Six types of evaluations are:

  • diagnostic evaluations
  • formative assessments
  • summative assessments
  • Ipsative evaluations
  • Norm-referenced assessments
  • Criteria-based assessments

Let's find out how assessments can test, support and promote learning.

What is the purpose of the different types of evaluation?

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Different types of assessments can help you understand student progress in a variety of ways. This understanding can informteaching strategiesthat use and can give rise to various adaptations.

In your classroom, assessments generally serve one of three purposes:

  1. Assessmentoflearning
  2. Assessmenttolearning
  3. Assessmentaslearning

Learning assessment

You can use assessments to help identify whether students are meeting grade-level standards.

Learning assessments are oftenbased on gradesand may include:

  • exams
  • Maps
  • final projects
  • standardized tests

They often have a specific character attached to those who communicate student performance to teachers, parents, students, school administrators, and district leaders.

Common types of learning assessment include:

  • summative assessments
  • Norm-referenced assessments
  • Criteria-based assessments

Assessment for learning

Assessments for learning give you a clear snapshot of student learning and understanding.while teaching-- so you can adjust everything from yourclassroom management strategiesto your lesson plans as you go.

Assessments for learning should always becontinuously workable. When creating assessments, keep these key questions in mind:

  • What do students still need to know?
  • What did the students learn from the lesson?
  • Did the students find this lesson too easy? Too hard?
  • Did my teaching strategies reach the students effectively?
  • What do students most often misunderstand?
  • What was the one thing you most wanted the students to learn from this lesson? Did I make it?

There are many ways to conduct assessment for learning, even in a busy classroom.We'll be covering some of them soon!

For now, remember that these assessments aren't just for students—they're meant to give you actionable feedback to improve your teaching.

Common types of assessments for learning include formative assessments and diagnostic assessments.

Assessment as learning

Assessment as learningactively engage studentsin the learning process. It teaches critical thinking, problem solving and encourages students to set achievable goals and objectively measure their progress.

They can also help engage students in the learning process! Oneexamination"showed that, in most cases, students pointed to factual knowledge as the reason why an assignment was interesting and engaging, followed by the way the content was approached in the classroom."

Other found:

"Students develop an interest in mathematical tasks that they understand, find relevant to their own interests and can handle.Recent studies of students' emotional responses to mathematics suggest that both their positive and negative responses decrease as the tasks become familiar and increase when the tasks are new.

Douglas B. McLeod

Some examples of assessment as learning include ipsative assessments, self-assessments and peer assessments.

6 types of assessments to use in your classroom

There is a time and a place for each type of evaluation. Read on to find creative ways to conduct assessments and understand your students' learning process!

1. Diagnostic evaluation

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Let's say you start a lesson in two digits.multiplication. To ensure that the unit runs smoothly, you will want to know if your students are proficient in families,set valueand one-digit multiplication before moving on to more complicated questions.

when structurediagnostic evaluationsabout your lesson,You get the information you need to understand student knowledge and engage your entire class..

Some examples to try include:

  • short quizzes
  • Journal entries
  • Student conversations
  • student reflections
  • classroom discussions
  • Graphic organizers (e.g. mind maps, flowcharts, KWL diagrams)

Diagnostic assessments can also help compare student progress. Consider providing the same assessment at the end of the unit so students can see how far they have come.

Using Prodigy for Diagnostic Evaluations

A unique way to conduct diagnostic assessments is to use a game-based learning platform that engages your students.

Prodigy Assessment Toolhelps you align the math questions your students see in the game with the lessons you want to cover.

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To set up a diagnostic assessment, use your assessment tool to create onePlanthat guides students through a skill. This adaptive assessment will help students with prerequisites when they need additional guidance.

Create my free teacher account now

Want to give your students a preview of the next lesson?Find out how Prodigy helps you prepare important lessons.

2. Formative evaluation

The fact that students have reached the final exam does not mean that they haveHe mastered the subjects of the unit..formative assessmentsHelp teachers understand student learning as they teach and provide them with information to adjust their teaching strategies accordingly.

Meaningful learning involves processing new facts, adjusting assumptions, and drawing nuanced conclusions. as researchersThomas Romberg and Thomas CarpenterDescribe it:

"Current research indicates that acquired knowledge is not simply a collection of procedural concepts and skills stored in long-term memory. Rather, knowledge is structured by individuals in meaningful ways that grow and change over time.

In other words, meaningful learning is like a puzzle: having the pieces is one thing, but knowing how to put them together becomes an engaging process that helps reinforce learning.

Formative assessments help you track how student knowledge grows and changes in your classroom in real time.Although it requires a bit of time investment, especially in the beginning, the rewards are worth it.

A March 2020examinationfound that providing formal formative assessment evidence, such as written feedback and quizzes within or between teaching units, helped improve the effectiveness of formative assessments.

Some examples of formative assessments include:

  • Maps
  • group projects
  • Status reports
  • class discussions
  • Entrance and exit tickets.
  • Short and regular questionnaires
  • Virtual classroom tools likesocratico¡Kahoot!

When conducting formative assessments in your classroom, it is best to keep themshort, easy to qualify and consistent. Introducing students to formative assessments in a low-stakes way can help you benchmark your progress and reduce math anxiety.

Find more interesting formative assessment ideas here!

How Prodigy helps you take formative assessments

Prodigy makes it easy to create, deliver, and score formative assessments that help keep your students engaged in the learning process and give you actionable data to fine-tune your lesson plans.

Use your Prodigy Teacher Dashboard to create oneAssignmentAnd make formative assessments easy!

assignmentsTest your students on a specific skill with a set number of questions and can be differentiated for individual students or groups of students.

Create my free teacher account now

For more ideas on using Prodigy for formative assessments, read:

  • How to use Prodigy for spiral revision
  • How to use Prodigy as a ticket in or out
  • How to use Prodigy for formative assessments

3. Summative evaluation

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summative assessmentsmeasure student progress as an assessment of learning. Standardized tests are a form of summative assessment andprovide data to you, school leaders and district leaders.

They can help communicate student progress, but they do not always provide clear feedback on the learning process and can promote a "teach to the test" mentality if care is not taken.

In addition, they are stressful for the teachers. Oneharvard studyfound that 60% of teachers said that "preparing students to pass the required standardized tests" "most dictates" or "significantly affects" their teaching.

Does that sound familiar?

But the fact that it is a summative evaluation does not mean that it cannot be attractive to the students and useful for teaching. Try creating assessments that deviate from the standard multiple-choice exam, such as:

  • record a podcast
  • Write a script for a short play.
  • Prepare an independent study project.

Regardless of the type of summative assessment you give your students, remember some best practices:

  • Keep it relevant in the real world where you can.
  • Ask clear questions and easy instructions
  • Provide a rubric so students know what is expected of them.
  • Create your final test after, not before, class
  • Try blind grading – don't look at the assignment name before grading

Use these summative assessment examples to make them effective and fun for your students!

Prepare students for summative assessments with Prodigy

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Did you know you can use Prodigy to prepare your students for summative assessments and deliver them in-game?

To useassignmentsto differentiate each student's math practice or send a final test to the whole class.

Or use oursexam preparationtool to understand student progress and help them prepare for standardized tests in an easy and fun way.

See how you can compare student progress and prepare for standardized tests with Prodigy.

Create my free teacher account now

4. Ipsative evaluations

How many of your students get a bad grade on a test and become so discouraged that they stop trying?

Ipsative evaluationsis one of the types of evaluationaslearn itcompares previous results with another attempt, motivating students to set goals and improve their skills.

When a student submits a piece of creative writing, it is only the first draft. They train athletic skills and musical talents to improve, but they don't always have the same opportunities when it comes to other subjects like math.

A two-step assessment framework helps students learn from their mistakes and motivates them to do better. Additionally, it removes instant gratification from goals and teaches students that learning is a process.

You can incorporate ipsative assessments into your classroom with:

  • Maps
  • A two-step testing process
  • Project-based learningactivities

A study on ipsative learning techniquesfound that when used with distance learners in higher education, it helped motivate students and encouraged them to act on feedback to improve their grades.

I Gwyneth Hughes bog,Ipsative assessment: Motivation by assessing progress, writes: "Not all students can be top performers, but all can develop and achieve their personal best. Focusing on learning rather than meeting standards and criteria can also be efficient in the use of resources."

While educators can use this type of assessment during pre- and post-test scores, they can also use it in reading instruction. Depending on your school's policy, you can e.g. record a student reading a book and discussing its content. Then repeat this process at another time of the year. Then listen to the recordings together and discuss your improvements in reading.

What might it look like in your classroom?

5. Norm-referenced assessments

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Norm-referenced assessmentsare tests designed to compare an individual with a group of peers, usually based on national standards and occasionally adjusted for age, ethnicity, or other demographic data.

In contrast to ipsative assessments, where the student only competes against himself, norm-based assessmentsdraw from a wide range of data points to draw conclusions about student performance.

Types of norm-referenced assessments include:

  • IQ test
  • physical assessments
  • Standardized college entrance exams such as the SAT and GRE

Proponents of norm-based assessments point out that they highlight the differences between test takers and make it easier to analyze large-scale trends. Critics argue that they do not encourage complex thinking and may inadvertently discriminate against low-income and minority students.

Norm-based assessments are most useful when measuring student performance to determine:

  • language abilities
  • degree preparation
  • Physical development
  • College Admissions Decisions
  • Need for additional learning support

Although they are not typically the type of assessment conducted in the classroom, you will likely have access to data from previous tests that can give you valuable insight into student performance.

6. Criteria-based assessments

Criteria-based assessmentscompare an individual student's score against a learning standard and performance level,independent of other students around him.

In the classroom, this means that student performance is measured against grade-level standards and may include final or capstone tests to assess student understanding.

Outside of the classroom, criteria-based assessments appear on professional licensure exams, high school exams, and citizenship tests, where a student must answer a certain percentage of questions correctly to pass.

Criterion-based assessments are most often compared to norm-based assessments. Although both are considered types of assessments of learning, criteria-based assessments do not compare students to their peers. Instead, each student is graded to provide feedback on their strengths and areas for improvement.

How to make effective assessments

You don't want to use a standards-based assessment to determine where the learning gaps are in your classroom, and ipsative assessments aren't the best for giving your principal a high-level view of student achievement in your classroom.

For your teaching, here are some best practices to help you identify what type of assessment works and how to structure it so that you and your students get the information you need.

make a rubric

Students do their best work when they know what is expected of them and how they will be graded. Regardless of whether you assign onecooperative learningproject or an independent study unit, a rubricCommunicate clear success criteria to students and help teachers maintain consistent grades.

Ideally, your rubric should have a detailed breakdown of all the individual parts of the project, what is required of each group member and an explanation of what the different performance levels look like.

A well-developed rubric allows several teachers to grade the same assignment and get the same grade. It is an important part of assessments for learning and assessments of learning, and teaches students to take responsibility for the quality of their work.

There is a lotonline rubric toolsto help you get started: try one today!

ask yourselfbecauseyou provide the evaluation

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While student grades provide a useful picture of achievement and help communicate progress to school leaders and parents, the ultimate goal of assessments is to improve student learning.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is my plan for results?
  • Who will use the results besides me?
  • What will I learn from this evaluation?
  • Given what I know about their progress and learning styles, what is the best way to present the assessment to my students?

This helps you prepare students effectively and create assessment that drives learning.

Don't stick to the same types of evaluation: mix them up!

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End-of-unit assessments are a proven (pun intended) staple in any classroom. But why stop there?

Let's say you're teaching a unit ontimes fractions. To help you plan your lessons, take a diagnostic assessment to find out what students remember from last year. Once you are sure they understand all the prerequisites, you can start delivering your lessons more effectively.

After each math lesson, hand out short exit tickets to find out what students understand and where they still have questions. If you see that the students are struggling, you can go back to the lesson or do a small group intervention duringstation rotations.

When you think the students are ready, they can get a learning assessment. If students do not meet the success criteria, additional support and support may be provided to help them improve their understanding of the subject. You can promote a growth mindset by reminding students that mistakes are an important part of learning!

Now your students are masters at multiplying fractions! And when standardized testing season rolls around, you'll know which of your students need extra support and where.

Build your review based on data you've collected through diagnostic, formative, summative, and ipsative assessments to get them to do well on their standardized tests.

Final thoughts on the different types of evaluation.

Remember: learning goes far beyond a single score or assessment!

It is an ongoing process, with many opportunities for students to build onegrowth mindsetand develop new skills.

Prodigy is a fun, game-based digital learning platform used by over 100 million students and 2.5 million teachers. Sign up today to make assessment easy and differentiate math learning with a free teacher account!

Register now!


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