It’s coming up to that time of year again where us teachers need to assess our students for report writing. Many of our cherubs dread assessment time for various reasons, whether that be because they are not confident with the content or they are just nervous about the pressure of assessment tasks. But we teachers can help them out! So here are our formal assessment tips to help your students perform well and make the most of their opportunity to show you what they know.
Vary your formal assessments
We all know some students perform better than others in exam conditions while others thrive when they are making a speech to the class. Therefore, it’s in our students’ best interests if we change up our assessment tasks a bit! There are plenty of different formats that your cherubs can submit an assessment task in. You could set an exam or pop quiz, ask students to write and essay or report or they could make a presentation or a speech. Set the type of task you think most of your students will exceed at to allow them to show off their strengths and score as many marks as possible. Make sure you change up the format each assessment period to allow all your students an opportunity to shine!
Give students plenty of notice
Students will benefit from being given plenty of notice about their upcoming assessment tasks. Informing your cherubs well ahead of the due date or exam date will prevent them from experiencing unnecessary stress that may cause them to underperform. Two weeks is a good notice timeframe to aim for. Make sure you provide your students with their assessment notice and ask them to sign off on any records if that is your school’s policy.
Allow students some revision time
Some of your students may need to revise content before diving into an assessment task in order to perform well. You could allow your cherubs some time in class, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to look over the content that is being assessed in the task. You could also encourage your fast finishers to use their extra time for assessment revision. Provide them with a copy of Teacher PD’s Assessment Revision resource to help them make the most of their revision time.
Encourage your students to ask questions
Remind your students they’re not on their own and you are here to help them with their assessment tasks. You can do this by encouraging your cherubs to ask questions about their assessments. Make yourself available to ask questions at a set time or at the end of each class in the lead up to the assessment’s due date. This way, you can explain anything your students need clarification on and set them up for greater assessment success.
Teach your students how to write bibliographies and references
Bibliography and reference lists can be confusing and overwhelming for students at times. This is often because they aren’t exposed to proper bibliography and referencing procedures throughout their earlier schooling years. If you are teaching younger students, take the time to teach them how to put together a bibliography or if they are seniors, show them how to reference. You can simplify this task by directing your cherubs to websites such as Citefast or Cite This For Me which can help them to generate accurate references. This helps students understand how to avoid plagiarism in their assessments and prepares your higher achievers for university or other further education.
Provide your students with valuable feedback
Once your students have completed their assessment tasks, it’s time for marking and feedback! While you are marking your cherubs’ work, take down some notes to help you write appropriate feedback for your students. Kindly tell them what they did well, where they made mistakes, if there was any grammatical or metalanguage errors and any suggestions you have for future improvement. You could use Teacher PD’s free Assessment Feedback resource to help you present this feedback to your students. Providing them with this detailed feedback will allow them to fully understand their grades and how they can improve for next time.
We hope these formal assessment tips help your students to do their best and make the assessment process easy for you this term!