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Classroom Assessments: The Impact on Teachers and Students Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 11th, 2019

Abstract

The main purpose of this study is to investigate classroom assessments and their impact to learners and teachers especially in the contemporary education paradigm. Fundamental to the investigations herein, four research questions will guide the findings and conclusion of this study as follows:

  1. To what extent are classroom assessments neglected in the contemporary teaching practices?
  2. What are the significances of classroom assessments to learners or students?
  3. What is the importance of using classroom assessment in teaching practices as perceived by experienced teachers?
  4. What are the dangers of neglecting the use of classroom assessments in the contemporary learning?

Teachers and students from elementary schools will be the main respondents to this study. Self-administered questionnaires and interview schedules will be the main data collection instruments in this study with teachers responding to interviews while students answering simple questionnaires.

Introduction

Globally, education has been changing with the dynamics within the world socio-economic realm. In addition, the teaching fraternities across the continents have been setting their focus on improving educational achievement for decades. Education is all about knowledge or concept delivery from an instructor to a learner through any desired teaching or instructional design.

Educational sectors have been engaging on a number of possible strategies to enable teachers in examining the extent of successfulness of instructions and concepts passed to students in every classroom session by developing a continuum of classroom assessments.

Formative and summative classroom assessment techniques have been in constant use with diminutive knowledge existing on their significance. This research seeks to explore classroom assessments and their significance to both students and teachers.

Background to the study

Given the existing socio-economical changes characterized by fluctuations in the requirements for professional qualification and development in all spheres of life, education has become the only source of hope for the contemporary generation. Students in elementary schools have been completing their basic education levels with either poor achievements or even no idea of what elementary education entails (Duffy et al., 2008).

The purpose of education is to enhance knowledge acquisition, improve or even change learner’s behavior, and more importantly prepare youngsters to occupy positions, progress, and shape the future world of professionalism. Nonetheless, if education objectives remain unmet, then efforts of both the learners and instructors are pointless and void (Holland, 2008).

Educational achievement has been a concern to learners, parents, teachers, and the entire public, which explains the reason behind the existence of rules governing this sector. Nothing seems imperative as having an equitable access and achievement of educational ambitions that subsequently influence personal and national growth (Chudowsky & Pellegrino, 2003).

In a bid to reinforce learning, governments have designed national curriculum standards, with regular annual assessments being key features principally to enhance teaching and learning for students (Pemberton, Rademacher, Tyler-Wood, & Cereijo, 2006).

For the teachers, the government has mandated the use of classroom assessments under the “No Child Left behind Act of 2001”, with manifold values for learners, teachers, families, and counselors embedded in this act.

Classroom assessments have been crucial in enhancing student learning and cognitive growth with evidence revealing that formative assessments are the most significant approaches in concept delivery (Moon et al., 2005). Regrettably, formative classroom assessments have remained underutilized, sometimes misrepresented, and even their impact underrated by teachers.

Purpose and research questions

The principal aim of this study is to investigate, analyze, and give a comprehensive appraisal of classroom assessments and their perceived significance to both teachers and students.

Nonetheless, to ensure a comprehensive coverage of the topic and give a deeper understanding into the problem and aim of this study, some research questions may remain imperative in culminating this study. Central to this subject matter, the study will use approximately four research questions to reinforce the argument of this exploration as follows:

  1. To what extent are classroom assessments neglected in the contemporary teaching practices?
  2. What are the significances of classroom assessments to learners or students?
  3. What is the importance of using classroom assessment in teaching practices as perceived by experienced teachers?
  4. What are the dangers of neglecting the use of classroom assessments in the contemporary learning?

Literature review

The utilization of educational assessments in teaching practices especially class-based assessments in examining the level of successfulness of concept delivery and instruction settings employed by teachers has attracted debates allover the globe (Stearns & Courtney, 2000).

More interest has pandered to the effectiveness of classroom assessments universally known as formative classroom assessment techniques concerning teachers and students contentment during learning. More noticeably, education has nowadays become a concern for many in the contemporary world including governments and civilians.

As noted by Pemberton, Rademacher, Tyler-Wood & Cereijo (2006), a greater relationship between assessment and instruction has been noticeable in education with government agencies and policymakers strengthening their support in monitoring student progress using annual assessments as articulated in the state national curriculum standards.

Moon et al. (2005) comprehend this argument by asserting that learning is a dynamic process that involves discovering and constructing coherent and consistent meaning of the provided information and teaching experiences to accomplish knowledge acquisition.

Teaching is more like a communication process where the teacher acts as the source of information, the learning instructions act as the channel of delivering information, and finally the student acts as the receiver of information (Stearns & Courtney, 2000).

Both in communication and education, delivering information and receiving feedbacks are two crucial matters that make the two processes successful and in essence, much of the concepts governing communication dexterities normally feature in learning (Moon et al., 2005).

For any teaching concept to prove successful, students at the end of the lesson must be in a position to create meaningful and coherent demonstration of acquaintance achieved and at the same time link new information with their individual creativity.

Pemberton, Rademacher, Tyler-Wood, and Cereijo (2006) assert that formative assessments have been the most utilized classroom based assessments methodologies that enhance teaching outcomes by ensuring that teachers receive the desired feedback on the effectiveness of teaching and student comprehension that enable teachers to improve their instructional delivery.

In discussing of classroom assessments, a number of significant assessments types have been in constant use by some teaching professionals and proved imperative in examining the understanding of concepts in students. Performance assessments have been useful in the teaching profession since they assist teachers to measure available skills or abilities in learners (Strand, 2006).

Authentic assessments have been important in the teaching profession since instructors can measure the ability of learners to amalgamate learning with real-world problems or tasks (Frey & Schmidt, 2007).

Formative assessments, which have been in constant use for decades now, have aided in improving learning as teachers can access the level of effectiveness of the concepts discussed, receive feedback, and improve their strategies in successive teachings if necessary (Frey & Schmidt, 2007).

Finally, another significant classroom appraisal approach is the learning assessment or summative assessment that comes within predetermined periods aiming to provide teachers and instructors with an overview of the quality of instructions used by teachers during normal learning durations.

Teaching process as a congruent procedure

While trying to understand the perceived significances of classroom assessments in teaching and learning, a manifold of issues arise from the students and teachers’ contribution in the learning process itself.

In trying to identify where the relationship between classroom assessments and achievement of learning improvement occurs, Holland (2008) notes that the process of classroom teaching entails three major principles setting the teaching targets and objectives before attending the teaching session, providing students with the necessary learning experiences, and finally undertaking an assessment of the achievement of aims.

Classroom assessment, also known as authentic assessment or “performance-based assessments, engage students in real-world tasks and scenario-based problem solving more than traditional measures such as multiple-choice pencil-and-paper tests” (Moon et al., 2005, p.120).

For learning and teaching process to be successful, teachers or instructors must integrate and consider the influence of the three concepts as mentioned. However, an intensive research has indicated a higher concentration on what teachers need to cover during their teaching sessions rather than content delivery.

How classroom assessments seem neglected

Despite a growing literature on the importance of classroom assessments in schools as the main indicators of successful achievement of concepts through, research has noticed that teachers have constantly been underutilizing these assessments (Frey & Schmidt, 2007).

As noted earlier, education in the contemporary days has been core to every population across the world, thus efforts to attain good grades in schools have been in existence, but their efficacy has remained questionable (Frey & Schmidt, 2007). Teaching and the process of learning typically involves three foremost actors towards its successfulness, viz. learners, teachers and parents.

However, communal participation in education is also significant as well as the contribution of the government that comes in the form of financial reimbursements and resource allocation among other approaches.

In terms of overseeing school performance, the government is a great actor and assessment is part of the national curriculum standards (Pemberton, Rademacher, Tyler-Wood, & Cereijo, 2006). Lack of cooperation from these actors normally results to underperformance in schools that further leads to unforeseen troubles.

A study conducted by Moon et al. (2005) indicates that there is considerably a high lack of seriousness on the way teachers and assessors from the national curriculum standards are considering the effectiveness of classroom assessments and annual assessments respectively.

In this study, a collaboration of the government and teachers combined assessment of students in certain schools revealed that both teachers and the government education officials have a notion and “history for demanding that assessments provide quantifiable information about student learning that is both reliable and valid” (Moon et al., 2005, p.129).

Unfortunately, according to the findings of this study, teachers and the government assessors normally rest on historical perceptions and philosophy that classroom assessments are effective learning approaches, but little normally exists in the practical learning.

In fact, according to Duffy et al. (2008), several teachers have been concentrating of lengthy and time-consuming discussions that finally yield very little to the student’s general understanding of the concepts taught, leading to poor performances.

Perceived significances of classroom assessments

Since the introduction and inclusion of classroom assessments in the national curricula standards by numerous governments across nations, a lot has protracted in research concerning the influence of both formative and summative assessments in the teaching and learning procedures (Stearns & Courtney, 2000).

Research has noted that the government must have done a commendable job by introducing mandated assessments and high-stake testing activities as learning conditions since they have awakened performance in school as they positively affect faculty and learners (Duffy et al., 2008).

Typically, teachers utilize three common classroom assessment approaches that may be uneasy to identify, but only the procedures normally can signify how they operate.

According to Strand (2006), teachers can employ a series of assessments including authentic performance assessments, performance assessments, or even formative assessments in determining the students understanding of the concepts and instructions discussed during learning. All these teaching assessments have proved significant in determining the student’s progress and assessing the quality of instructions.

Merits of classroom assessments to teachers

While trying to understand the imperativeness of using classroom assessments in teaching practice and their impact-perceived significance to teachers, three aspects that come clear are feedback, improved learning, and enhanced competence amongst teachers (Pemberton, Rademacher, Tyler-Wood, & Cereijo, 2006).

Teaching is similar to communication in an organization where the information source or sender should obtain feedback from the receiver, just as the teacher would want to know whether the student understood the taught concepts (Bouck, 2006).

Before getting further to the curriculum-based assessment that the national curriculum standards require, teachers develop learning objectives before commencing with any lesson and thus feedback attainable through classroom assessments is essential.

Nothing is important to teachers like achieving their objectives at the end of a teaching period as this aspect motivates them and gives them confidence in their professionalism (Chudowsky & Pellegrino, 2003). Teachers’ motivation comes from understanding that through achieving their lesson goals, their confidence in teaching profession improves and their competence usually augments to a certain length.

Other significances of classroom assessments to teachers include improved learning and time management in the teaching practice. Teaching profession is quite a challenging career as teachers struggle to produce different professions from challenging working environment (Holland, 2008).

One important aspect of classroom assessment approaches is time management where instructors come to understand the importance of organizing their teaching duration in the most convenient manner to accommodate the assessment and avoid nuisance to other teachers. More often, each subject takes approximately 35-45 minutes whereby teachers must impound to such conditions (Stearns & Courtney, 2000).

Classroom assessments have also been important to teachers since they provide teachers with a flexible working structure that allows them to rest or feel relieved from discussion and classroom shouts that occasionally lead to psychosomatic disorders.

The assessments are also important in the sense that teachers are capable of making informed decisions like classroom arrangements, sorting students according to their abilities, and developing coherent strategies over the compatibility of instructions with the student’s learning.

Merits of classroom assessments to learners

Classroom assessments are not only important to teachers and instructors, but also quite significant to students. Classroom assessments are important features in the learning process since they aid in improving students understanding given the fact that learners have to respond to certain questions from the topic and concepts discussed (Duffy et al. 2008).

As noted, students are only comfortable in their learning when they notice that they can respond and perform all the evaluation tests given by their instructors.

The process of learning that involves the use of classroom assessments enables learners to develop meaningful and coherent representations of the knowledge gained from teachers, interpret it actively, and develop curiosity from the learning process that makes the learning process more engaging to learners (Moon et al., 2005).

More importantly, classroom assessments facilitate creative and critical thinking that has been crucial in most successful students and much of it results to strong cohesion among teachers and learners resulting to authentic learning.

Research Methodology

The purpose of this study is to examine classroom assessments and their perceived imperativeness to the learners and teachers. This study intends to undertake a primary research to authenticate the effectiveness of prior studies and individuals perceptions regarding the importance of classroom assessments to teachers and students.

This study will utilize survey research design where approximately four elementary schools will participate in this study. In trying to undertake a primary research on this paper, both quantitative and qualitative research design methodologies will be significant.

Therefore, this study will use a mixed research approach where data collected in the form of facts, ideas, and opinions and that which will involve figures and numerical will remain relevant in comprehending this paper.

Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) assert, “Mixed methods research is formally defined here as the class of research where the researcher mixes or combines quantitative and qualitative research techniques, methods, approaches, concepts or language into a single study” (p.14).

Targeted population and data instruments

Target population is the type of respondents expected to respond to the survey while data instruments are all materials related to the collection of information from the respondent group. Teachers and students will be the target respondents to this study since the study variables are directly connecting the study to the two actors in the education paradigm.

An approximated number of 24 teachers will respond to the research instruments with about 20 teaching staff and 4 headmasters or any administrative members forming the first respondent population. Since the population for the study is enough for analysis of the data that it will produce, the study will not do any sampling.

Interview schedules will be useful in collecting important information from the teaching staff and administrators while self-administered questionnaires will be imperative in collecting data from learners. All procedures, including inquiring for proper permission from the respondents, will enable the study to collect data successfully without nuisance and the data collected will be properly analyzed, interpreted, and discussed.

Conclusion and recommendations

The most anticipated findings of this study will be of great significance to the teaching fraternity within the schools studied as well as the entire global education paradigm, only if the researcher follows the right channels to disseminate the data collected and analyzed from the study.

For the teaching fraternity, teachers and instructors will be in a position to identify the accrued benefits of integrating classroom assessments in their teaching practice, acknowledge how they influence learning, and identify the best instructional design that suits their learners.

Learners will understand why formative and summative assessments appear throughout their learning period, receive coaching on how they can appreciate, and change their attitude towards assessments.

Governments across developed and developing economies will understand the importance of integrating classroom assessments in their national curricula standards. Students intending to research future on this topic will use this study as a referencing tool.

Reference List

Bouck, E. (2006). Online assessments in the content areas: What are they good for? Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(2), 67-73.

Chudowsky, N., & Pellegrino, W. (2003). Large-scale assessments that support learning: What will it take? Theory into Practice, 42(1), 75-83.

Duffy, M., Giordano, A., Farrell, B., Paneque, M., & Crump, B. (2008). No child left behind: Values and research issues in high-stakes assessments. Counseling and Values, 53(1), 53-66.

Frey, B., & Schmitt, L. (2007). Coming to terms with classroom assessment. Journal of Advanced Academics, 18(3), 402–423.

Holland, E. (2008). Refocusing educational assessments on teaching and learning, not politics. The Educational Forum, 72(3), 215-226.

Johnson, B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

Moon, R., Brighton, M., Callahan, C., & Robinson, A. (2005). Development of Authentic assessments for the middle school classroom. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 16(3), 119-135.

Pemberton, B., Rademacher, A., Tyler-Wood, T., & Cereijo, M. (2006). Aligning assessments with state curriculum standards and teaching strategies. Intervention in School and Clinic, 41(5), 283-289.

Stearns, C., & Courtney, R. (2000). Designing assessments with the standards. Science and Children, 37(4), 51-55.

Strand, A. (2006). Using assessment to improve the effectiveness of early childhood education. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(6), 671-680.

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