Coming to Terms With Classroom Assessment


As the field of education moves forward in the area of assessment, researchers have yet to come to a conclusion about definitions of commonly used terms. Without a consensus on the use of fundamental terms, it is difficult to engage in meaningful discourse within the field of assessment, as well as to conduct research on and communicate about best assessment practices. For this article, we reviewed journal articles, position papers, thought pieces, and classroom assessment textbooks, focusing on the definitions of the terms performance assessment, authentic assessment, and formative assessment. We provide a summary of the literal definitions provided and the components, format, and intentions of each type of assessment. In addition, we underscore the important distinctions made by researchers in the field between performance assessment and authentic assessment. Some researchers suggest performance assessment and authentic assessment are synonymous, and others view performance assessment as a component of authentic assessment. Understanding authentic and performance assessments is important to have a sound theoretical basis for decisions made within the classroom. The purpose and benefits of formative assessment represent another area of discussion within the field of assessment. Formative assessment may be used solely to inform the teacher, or it may be used as a powerful means of providing feedback to students, allowing students to alter their strategies to improve learning. We emphasize important distinctions between the formation of learning and the formation of behaviors or strategies that promote learning. Finally, to avoid confusion, classroom assessment should be classified based on the assessment's intended purpose.


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

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Journal Title

Journal of Advanced Academics