Unit 5: Educational Assessment and Identification of Needs

5.1 Educational assessment: Concept and Scope

5.2 Factors affecting educational performance: individual, family and environment

5.3 Types of Assessment: Norm referenced and Criterion Referenced test, Comprehensive and Continuous assessment, Summative and Formative, Formal and Informal, Performance based, individual and group assessment

5.4 Tools and techniques of Educational Assessment: Observations, Interviews, Questionnaire, rating Scales, check list and Teacher Made Tests at different levels

5.5 Current trends and challenges in assessment: Independent, dual purpose and constructivist perspective and adaptations











5.1 Educational assessment: Concept and Scope


"To assess" derives from the Latin verb "Assidere", to sit by (originally, as an assistant-judge in the context of taxes). Hence, in "assessment of learning" we "sit with the learner”, and that implies that it is something that we do with and for our students rather than to them.

In education, the term assessment refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students.


Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning.

Conventionally, education system, particularly school education is guided and controlled by concern for results in examination irrespective of the quality of learning --whether fragile or sustainable. The competition, though artificial, for securing percentage of marks in the final examination creates unusual stress in the students leading often to mental break down and suicides. This must change. Change in the mechanics of examination will be too simplistic a solution, amounting to treating the symptoms, not the disease itself. Examination-stress is directly related to facing the challenge of examination with ‘fragile’ learning due to memorizing huge stock of information. In order to manage the stress factor in examination it will be necessary to ensure sustainable learning.

Instructional processes must be constructivist in its approach. Through constructivism, students will learn to construct their learning according to their own worldview that unfolds over the years of schooling. It is this learning to construct learning that will hold them into the adult life at work and later.

As our focus has been shifted from behaviourist to constructivist approach and our National Curriculum Framework, 2005 has put paramount importance to this new paradigm of assessment from constructivist perspectives, there is an urgent need of bringing about a change in the system of assessment.

Assessment in education is mainly associated with the growth of learning of the students. How much learning experience a student has acquired at a particular point of time against the expected learning outcomes? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a learner in the stipulated area of learning? To what extent the results of assessment can be helpful in strengthening the learning? These are some of the usual questions associated with educational assessment. Usually, the assessment in education is widely used in seeking the answer to the first question and that is concerned with ‘assessment of learning’ which is predominantly useful for teachers in designing the teaching strategies in facilitating the students to learn. But, with shifting of focus from teacher or subject-centered education to the learner and learning-centered education with the pursuance of constructivist approaches, the multifarious utility of assessment has come to fore in recent educational literatures and practices. Besides continuing with assessment of learning, the practices of using assessment for the growth of learning and converting assessment processes as learning processes are being increasingly used in the learning centered classrooms.

Educational assessment

Two different methods of educational assessment are in practice. One is Norm Referenced Assessment and other is Criterion Referenced Assessment. The selection of these methods of assessment depends on the purpose for which assessment is to be conducted.

Norm referenced assessment or norm referenced testing (NRT) is the more traditional approach to assessment these tests and measurement procedures involve the tests materials that are standardized on a sample population and are used to identify the test takers ability relative to others. It is also known as formal assessment.

Criterion-referenced assessment is concerned with whether a child is able to performs a skills as per the criteria set, or not. In contrast to norm referenced asst, which compares the performance to other, criterion reference asst compares the performance and individuals to the pre-establish criteria.

A comprehensive educational assessment of a student who is deaf or hard of hearing may be completed in order to establish baseline levels of academic performance, monitor progress over time, develop goals and objectives for a student’s IEP, and determine present level of performance. It is recommended that educational or academic testing be conducted along with assessments of receptive and expressive language abilities in order to determine a comprehensive picture of a student’s strengths and needs. Teachers and professionals should consider the goal of the assessment when selecting test measures because different kinds of measures (e.g., criterion-referenced, norm-referenced, alternate or authentic, curriculum-based) will provide different information. The use of typical, standardized, norm-referenced achievement tests such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II), Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement-II (KTEA-II),and Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ III) can be complicated by communication modality, difficulty with translating questions, use of hearing peers as the normative group, and lack of validity studies, but these tests still may be appropriate sources of information. Criterion-referenced tests and curriculum-based measurement probes may provide a more unbiased method of monitoring progress over time, especially when an individual student’s performance is compared against his or her own baseline rather than against those of hearing peers. Authentic assessments and collection of performance-based evidence (portfolios) complement other sources of educational data. Classroom observations may provide insight into how a student is accessing information in the classroom, benefiting from assistive listening devices, interacting with teachers and peers, and responding to instructional strategies.

Teachers are encouraged to monitor educational progress closely in students who have hearing loss. Research shows that at least one-third of students who are deaf or hard of hearing have a secondary  disability (Paul & Quigley, 1990; Schildroth & Hotto, 1993) and this may impact educational progress. If a student is not making adequate educational progress, the IEP team should reexamine communication access and may consider referring the student for a comprehensive multi-disciplinary evaluation to rule out additional influences upon learning.

Aims and scope of Educational Assessment

Educational Assessment publishes original research on the design, analysis and use of assessment to deepen understanding of the performance and quality of individuals, groups, and programs in educational settings. It welcomes rigorous theoretical pieces and empirical studies (quantitative or qualitative) that can inform important national and international discussions in educational policy and practice. The journal is particularly interested in research that contributes new knowledge and encourages innovation in the areas of:

Educational Assessment does not publish instrument development or validation studies unless they demonstrate new methodology or otherwise contribute new knowledge to the fields of assessment and/or measurement.


5.2 Factors affecting educational performance: individual, family and environment


Education is crucial for the development of the country. How the schools have to give the knowledge is a prerequisite, but the other end receiving it should also be strong enough. Many of the times, it is observed that students with the same intelligence and the same school display a significant difference in the result. The performance of the students in the class just not simply depends on their understanding, but is also influenced by many factors. Many of these factors can have positive effects, while others might have negative effects on the students, thus influencing their academic performance. Some factors other than academic affecting the performance of the students are:

1. Socio-economic factors

2. Family

The family environment is the sum of physical and psychological conditions, which carries the development of individual personality and behavior, among which family relations and parent–child interaction are its important components, affecting children’s academic achievement, character quality, and the expression of psychological modeling functions. According to the family systems theory, the family is composed of several subsystems, which are interconnected and mutually constrained to make the whole family function well, and the better the coordination of the family system, the better the psychological shape and academic performance of the members. Leung and Shek (2016) divided family functioning into five dimensions: family members’ relationship, communication and adaptation, conflict and harmony, parental attention, and parental control; in other words, the more harmonious family functioning is, the higher the self-rated family environment score is, emphasizing that family cohesion and harmonious parent–child relationship can promote adolescents’ physical and mental development. 

Parents’ active participation in education has a significant effect on children’s academic achievement, educational achievement, and mental health, in particular parents’ support for the educational process, the cultivation of extracurricular interest, and the guidance of homework have a strong positive effect on the academic performance of adolescents. The family investment theory explains the effect of the family socioeconomic status on academic achievement. Parents with high socioeconomic status will invest more in their children’s education (parents’ attention, support, and investment), and their children‘s academic achievement will be better. At the same time, perceived positive emotional expression in the family, daily communication, rule-making, and conflicting parental relationships have varying degrees of impact on adolescents’ behavioral tendencies (learning method and problem behavior) and academic achievement (social science, reading, language, and natural science scores). 

As Bronfenbrenner emphasized family as a microsystem that directly affects individual development, it serves as an educational ground for children’s symbolic values, sense of honor and disgrace, lifestyle, and various action strategies. It is further speculated that the score of the family environment generated by a family atmosphere, parent–child interaction, and family rules will have a direct effect on children’s academic achievement.

3. Peer

In a diverse school, students tend to view themselves by the preferences or standards of their peer group, which subconsciously affects the acquisition of social values and the completion of their studies. In Coleman’s book “The Adolescent Society,” he points out that “teens suffering from rejection from peers is almost equivalent to being rejected by their parents”.

In addition, in a better school, this peer effect will be amplified accordingly, that is, in a better school environment, students can interact with better peers, and the quality of making friends will be higher. They supervise each other in learning, and their academic performance will be better (Wang et al., 2021). Previous studies have not taken the quality of adolescents’ peer interaction as an important variable for research. Therefore, based on the quality of peer interaction in adolescents, that is, the “negative” or “positive” behavior of friends will affect their external performance and internal cognition, it is inferred that the more positive the quality of peer interaction, the more conducive to higher academic achievement.

4. Teacher's effectiveness

5. Facilities at school

School should not be a mere place of rooms filled with a board and benches. The school must have suitable facilities for the overall development of the child. The major facility available at the schools must be a well-maintained and equipped library. This acts as a resource for filling the young minds with quality content about various fields. Schools must permit the students to participate in various activities, conferences, seminars, cultural programs, educational visits. Facilities at the schools usually result in higher fees that are affordable for financially sound parents. This is possible only with a pioneering vision by the school authorities. This can significantly improve the character development of the students. Government or trust-funded schools have immense resources to improve the academic performance of the students of every income criteria.

6. Individual

Student-related factors are those that are internally related to a student’s engagement to study and learn. These factors include the individual’s habits, attitude, cognitive abilities, and personality. 

Because we're all unique individuals, we each have a special learner profile, or a set of descriptions about who we are as learners. The term is broad and includes things like cultural background, gender, and personality. If you want to learn how to roast a duck, it might make sense for you to look up a recipe and read about it. For others, they would be better off watching a video or working with a friend. Some may even prefer to take a class. Our personal factors impact how we learn best and create our learner profile, kind of like a fingerprint of us as learners.

7. Environment

Factors affecting a student educational achievement include the culture of school the student attendance, the attitude of the principal and teachers to the students, motivation and the value transmitted by the school in general.

Environment of both home and school contribute to the development of students. Next to the home, the school is the most important experience. In the process of the development of the students, the school to which the student attend also influences academic of the student. Learning can also be defined as the process od acquiring more knowledge and understanding in other to be useful to the environment.  Learning environment needs to be constructive in nature engaging learner in sense making or reasoning.

It's not just the children's learning capacity that determines their academic performance. Many external factors influence this and must be changed or improved to bring out the best result. By improving the socio-economic factors, family background, peer and school facilities, a major leap in the academic performance of the students can be observed.

In India, schools and colleges follow general conventional teaching methodologies to teach students with deafness. The lack of expertise in pedagogy adds to the barriers faced by students with deafness receiving effective educational services. Prior academic achievements, student background attributes, and eLearning attributes are considered as the factors that affect the academics of a student. For a student with hearing impairment, the attributes related to hearing impairment may also need to be considered. The identification of these characteristics that influence students with hearing impairments' academic performance may aid educational stakeholders in developing tailored and individualized teaching plans for them, as well as policies that will enable them to pursue higher education possibilities. Additional accommodations are required for including students with hearing impairment in mainstream schools. The identification of characteristics that influence students with hearing impairments' academic progress may aid in the identification of such adjustments.

The analysis of factors that affect the academic performance of students with hearing impairment can significantly improve their quality of life, with technological advancements and machine learning. This can help the authorities to provide equal opportunities to all without any barriers.

Based on the characteristics, the features are divided into 3 categories – (a) background details which include independent features like age, gender, family background, education of parents, annual income, state, and district (b) prior academic details like independent features (c) deafness related independent features like percentage of hearing loss, type and degree of hearing loss, family history, mode of communication, Type of school, speech training, Cochlear Implant, Hearing aid use. Figure 1 illustrates the key characteristics identified which are linked to students with hearing impairments' academic achievement.

In the case of a student with hearing impairment, one of the major barriers he faces throughout his life is the communication barrier. Sign language is considered as his mother tongue and recent studies show that bilingual education that is written language through sign language is very effective in the education of students with hearing impairment.



5.3 Types of Assessment: Norm referenced and Criterion Referenced test, Comprehensive and Continuous assessment, Summative and Formative, Formal and Informal, Performance based, individual and group assessment


Criterion Referenced and Norm Referenced

When we look at the types of assessment instruments, we can generally classify them into two main groups: Criterion-referenced assessments and norm-referenced assessments.

Norm-Referenced Assessment:

A norm-referenced test scores a test by comparing a person's performance to others who are similar. You can remember norm-referenced by thinking of the word 'normal.' The object of a norm-referenced test is to compare a person's performance to what is normal for other people like him or her.

Definition: A test or other type of assessment designed to provide a measure of performance that is interpretable in terms of an individual's relative standing in some known group- Gronlund (2000)

Norm Referenced Assessment or Norm Referenced Testing (NRT) is the more traditional approach to assessment. These tests and measurement procedures involve test materials that are standardized on a sample population and are used to identify the test takers ability relative to others. It is also known as formal assessment.

Norm referenced assessment is defined as a procedure for collecting data using a device that has been standardized on a large sample population for a specific purpose. Every standardized assessment instrument will have certain directions that must be followed. These direction specify the procedure for administering the test and ways to analyze and interpret the results and reporting them. Examples of the more commonly known formal assessment devices are the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for children – Revised (WISC-R), The Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Ability (ITPA), The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Revised (PPVT-R) and Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT).

Advantages of norm-referenced assessment
Norm referenced tests are widely used in special and remedial education for many reasons.

  First, the decision of categorizing the children as exceptional or special is mainly based on the test results of NRTs.

  Second, it is easy to communicate test results to parents and others unfamiliar with tests.

  Third, norm-referenced tests have received the most attention in terms of technical data and research. They are specifically useful in problem identification and screening.

Disadvantages of norm-referenced assessment
The use of norm referenced tests data for the purpose of educational programming is questioned in many instances for the following reasons.

  Information obtained from norm-referenced testing is too general to be useful in everyday classroom teaching. Many educators disregard the prognosis and interpretative types of data provided by standardized tests because the information is often not directly applicable to developing daily teaching activities or interventions. What does knowing a child’s WISC-R score or grade equivalent in reading specifically tell a teacher about what and how to teach? For instance, what is important is to know whether the child needs to learn initial consonants or is he having difficulty with comprehension.

  NRTs tend to promote and reinforce the belief that the focus of the problem is within the child. It is because the primary purpose of NRTs is to compare one student with another. However, although a child may differ from the norm, the real problem may not be within the child but in the teaching, placement or curriculum. Educators must begin to assess teacher behaviours, curriculum content, sequencing and other variables not measured by norm referenced tests.

Criterion-Referenced Assessment

 Definition: A test or other type of assessment designed to provide a measure of performance that is interpretable in terms of a clearly defined and delimited domain of learning tasks." Gronlund (2000)

A criterion-referenced test is a style of test which uses test scores to generate a statement about the behavior that can be expected of a person with that score. Most tests and quizzes that are written by school teachers can be considered criterion-referenced tests.

There are multiple ways to score a criterion-referenced assessment. These include:

Criterion-referenced assessment is concerned with whether a child is able to perform a skill as per the criteria set, or not. In contrast to norm referenced assessment, which compares one persons performance to others, criterion referenced assessment compares the performance of an individual to the pre-established criteria. In criterion-referenced test, the skills within a subject are hierarchically arranged so that those that must be learned first are tested first. In maths, for example addition skills would be evaluated (and taught) before multiplication skills. These tests are usually criterion referenced because a student must achieve competence at one level before being taught at a higher level.

Advantages of criterion referenced assessment
The criterion-referenced test results are useful:

  to identify specific skills that need intervention. 

  to determine the next most logical skill to teach as the implications for teaching are more direct with criterion referenced tests.

  to conduct formative evaluation, that is, the performance of the student is recorded regularly or daily when the skills are being taught.

This makes it possible to note the student progress, to determine if intervention is effective and to help decide the next skill to be taught if achieved, if not to decide what other strategies or methods and materials are to be used for teaching.

Disadvantages of criterion-referenced assessment

  Establishing the passing criteria for a specific skill is a problem in criterion-referenced testing. For example, if a test were needed to determine, whether student had mastered high school mathematics, there is a problem of determining exactly which skills should be included in the test. Further, should a student pass the test if 90% of the questions are answered correctly or only if 100% are correct? These decisions must be carefully considered, because setting inappropriate criteria may cause a student to struggle unnecessarily with a concept.

  It is difficult to decide exactly which skills should be included in the test.

  There is also a problem that the skills assessed may become the goals of instruction rather than selecting the skills that the child should know. Due to this, the teachers may narrow down their instruction and teach in accordance with what is measured on the test rather than what is truly required for the child to know.


Distinctions between Criterion-referenced and Norm-referenced testing





To determine whether each student has achieved specific skills or concepts.

To find out how much students know before instruction begins and after it has finished.

To rank each student with respect to the
achievement of others in broad areas of knowledge.

To discriminate between high and low achievers.



Measures specific skills which make up a designated curriculum. These skills are identified by teachers and curriculum experts.

Each skill is expressed as an instructional objective.

Measures broad skill areas sampled from a variety of textbooks, syllabi, and the judgments of curriculum experts.


Each skill is tested by at least four items in order to obtain an adequate sample of student
performance and to minimize the effect of guessing.

The items which test any given skill are parallel in difficulty

Each skill is usually tested by less than four items.

Items vary in difficulty.

Items are selected that discriminate between high
and low achievers.



Each individual is compared with a preset standard for acceptable achievement. The performance of other examinees is irrelevant.

A student's score is usually expressed as a percentage.

Student achievement is reported for individual skills.

Each individual is compared with other examinees and assigned a score--usually expressed as a percentile, a grade equivalent 
score, or a stanine.

Student achievement is reported  for broad skill areas, although some norm-referenced tests do report student achievement for individual skills.



Comprehensive and Continuous assessment

Meaning of Continuous: The term ‘continuous’ refers to regularity in assessment. The development of a student is a continuous process. Therefore, students’ development should be assessed continuously. Evaluation has to be completely integrated with the teaching and learning process. Evaluating students on a continuous basis in a cyclic manner is one aspect of CCE. The term ‘continuous’ includes ‘Continual’ and ‘Periodicity’ aspects of evaluation.

Meaning of Comprehensive: The second term associated with CCE is ‘comprehensive’. The term ‘comprehensive’ implies that evaluation of learners’ performance is carried out in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas.

Nature of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation:

The nature of CCE is so comprehensive that it includes almost all aspects of student’s development. It integrates assessment with the teaching and learning process; emphasizing assessment of learner abilities in scholastic areas along with the co-scholastic areas.

Purposes of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation:

CCE attempts to minimize fear and anxiety among our learners about examination and evaluation. CCE helps learners, parents, and teachers in the following ways:

A) Scholastic Assessment

Scholastic areas comprise all the activities that are related to various subjects within the academic curricular; the educator aims to align the cognitive domain objectives along with different subjects.

To get a better understanding of this they can refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy which is a framework to classify learning objectives.

The educators must ensure that the students participate in various activities in all the subject areas; in case the student falters anywhere the teacher should guide him/her accordingly. The learning objectives can only be achieved through online assessment and active engagement from the students combined with productive feedback and guidance from the teachers; this is where the importance of continuous and comprehensive evaluation lies.

B) Co-Scholastic Assessment

It has been a long and repetitive practice of most schools to focus more on the scholastic activities while ignoring the co-scholastic activities. With major educational reforms introduced over the years, schools and colleges alike have emphasized co-curricular activities. These activities include:

Life Skills

The essential abilities that enable an individual to deal with any given situation tactfully and effectively are called life skills. In other words, these are psycho-social and interpersonal skills that help people to make decisions, make appropriate judgments, come up with innovative and creative solutions to a problem and enhance one’s productivity.

UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO have enlisted ten core life skills that are instrumental in dealing with daily challenges and overcoming difficulties. The core skills are as follows:


Formative Assessment

 Formative assessment provides feedback and information during the instructional process, while learning is taking place, and while learning is occurring. Formative assessment measures student progress but it can also assess your own progress as an instructor. For example, when implementing a new activity in class, you can, through observation and/or surveying the students, determine whether or not the activity should be used again (or modified). A primary focus of formative assessment is to identify areas that may need improvement. These assessments typically are not graded and act as a gauge to students’ learning progress and to determine teaching effectiveness (implementing appropriate methods and activities).

 In another example, at the end of the third week of the semester, you can informally ask students questions which might be on a future exam to see if they truly understand the material. An exciting and efficient way to survey students’ grasp of knowledge is through the use of clickers. Clickers are interactive devices which can be used to assess students’ current knowledge on specific content. For example, after polling students you see that a large number of students did not correctly answer a question or seem confused about some particular content. At this point in the course you may need to go back and review that material or present it in such a way to make it more understandable to the students. This formative assessment has allowed you to “rethink” and then “redeliver” that material to ensure students are on track. It is good practice to incorporate this type of assessment to “test” students’ knowledge before expecting all of them to do well on an examination.

Types of Formative Assessment 

·      Observations during in-class activities; of students non-verbal feedback during lecture

·      Homework exercises as review for exams and class discussions)

·      Reflections journals that are reviewed periodically during the semester 

·      Question and answer sessions, both formal—planned and  informal—spontaneous 

·      Conferences between the instructor and student at various points in the semester 

·      In-class activities where students informally present their results  

·      Student feedback collected by periodically answering specific  question about the instruction and their self-evaluation of performance and progress

More specifically, formative assessments:

·      help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work

·      help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

·      draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic

·      submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture

·      turn in a research proposal for early feedback


Summative Assessment

Summative Assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. Many associate summative assessments only with standardized tests such as state assessments, but they are also used at and are an important part of district and classroom programs. Summative assessment at the district and classroom level is an accountability measure that is generally used as part of the grading process.

Summative assessment is more product-oriented and assesses the final product, whereas formative assessment focuses on the process toward completing the product. Once the project is completed, no further revisions can be made. If, however, students are allowed to make revisions, the assessment becomes formative, where students can take advantage of the opportunity to improve.

Types of Summative Assessment 

·      Examinations (major, high-stakes exams)

·      Final examination (a truly summative assessment)

·      Term papers (drafts submitted throughout the semester would be  a formative assessment) 

·      Projects (project phases submitted at various completion points could be formatively assessed)

·      Portfolios (could also be assessed during it’s development as a  formative assessment) 

·      Performances 

·      Student evaluation of the course (teaching effectiveness) 

·      Instructor self-evaluation

Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

·      a midterm exam

·      a final project

·      a paper

·      a senior recital

Difference between Formative & Summative Evaluation





To monitor learning progress during instruction.

To assess learning progress at the end of teaching.


Ongoing, continuous

At the end of the instructional process.


Feedback to the Teacher and Students

Assigning Grades, & Extent of achievement of jobs.


Teacher made tests & Observational techniques.

Rating scale & Evaluation of Projects


a)     Information for modifying instruction.

b)     Prescribing group of individual remedial work.

a)     Certifying pupil’s mastery of the learning outcome.

b)     Assigning grades.


a)     Information for modifying instruction.

b)     Prescribing group of individual remedial work.

a)     Judging the appropriateness of the course objectives.

b)     Effectiveness of the instruction.


Daily continuous interaction.

Delayed instruction.


Guiding the development process.

Making an overall assessment.


Oral questions and observation.

Terminal Exams. Unit tests. Project Evaluation. Teacher- aid evaluation.



Formal and Informal

Formal assessment

A formal assessment is a strategy that is utilized to check the information level of an understudy by giving them a score in an objective type test. It is the method for figuring out what the understudy has realized during their talk or guidance period. 

Tests and quizzes are the most widely recognized example of formal assessment.

Educators use this type of assessment when they need to know the information measures of their understudies. Formal strategies for evaluating tests assist the instructors with being familiar with the exhibition of their understudies. This helps understudies focus closer during their talk and go to it cautiously.

It assists the understudies with getting better grades by performing great in the class. It gives an outline of an understudy’s information. 

A few different reasons for formal assessments are as per the following:

·       It assists the educator with understanding the learning holes among understudies and lets them in on which subject should make sense of something else.

·       The proper assessment additionally assists the educator with perceiving the qualities and shortcomings of understudies contrasted with different understudies.

·       It likewise assists them with being familiar with how much information that understudies gain from the point.

Informal Assessment

The informal assessment method is an intuitive assessment method where teachers do not evaluate student performances on some grade or metrics. Rather they focus on observing students’ performances and progress at different stages of their learning time frame. 

It is conducted using various forms of evaluation. An example of informal assessment could be a teacher asking her students to summarize their learnings at the end of the day. She can then understand how much the students have understood the topics. 

Another way for teachers to evaluate the student performance is that the teacher can ask students to fill out an exit survey, with close-ended questions where students can express their understanding and doubts regarding their learnings. 

Informal assessment is dependent on how a teacher wants to conduct it and provides immediate feedback from students.

Similarities Between Formal Assessment And Informal Assessment

Learning about how formal and informal assessments are similar can help highlight the differences better. 

The three characteristics both assessments share are – 

1.     Instructor feedback. 

2.     Educational assessment. 

3.     Instructional needs. 

Let’s find out more about these shared characteristics. 

1.     Instructor feedback – both of the assessment methods allow the instructor to give their feedback on the student’s performance. In the case of formal assessment, the feedback is general (grade, score, marks) and is sent to students without any personal notes or suggestions. 

In the case of informal assessment, as it is an individual assessment, instructors can give personal feedback to the students and advise them in person.

2.     Educational assessment – educational systems use both these types of assessment to measure students’ performance in their academics, and then decide how to mold the learning process for them.

3.     Instructional needs – depending on the results from formal and informal assessments, educational stakeholders can further decide to make changes regarding the learning process, grading system, assessment criteria, academic curriculum, etc.


Formal Vs. Informal Assessment: Difference





Formal assessment refers to a grading system-based evaluation to monitor students’ knowledge.

Informal assessment refers to a method of student evaluation that does not have any standard grading criteria. 


Norm-referenced: teacher measures students’ performance based on their average performance in class.

Criterion-referenced: student’s performance is evaluated individually. 

Quizzes, writing samples, project-based assignments, presentations, etc.


Tests, quizzes, surveys, and questionnaires.

Exit surveys, observation, and oral presentations.


When teachers want to measure students’ performance based on specific standards or criteria.

When teachers want to have immediate feedback on the student’s knowledge so far.


·       Minimum chances of examiner bias due to criteria standards.

·       Makes students pay more attention in classes.

·       Acts as a pass for students to move further with the next learning stages.

·       Teachers have better look at students’ learning abilities.

·       They can observe performance at various learning stages.

·       Gives a chance for improvements.

·       Allows students to approach a subject from various angles. 

Grading system

Uses a rubric or standard assessment criteria.

Teachers use students’ past performances to judge their recent performance. 


To know students’ overall performance at the end of the learning process. Teachers sometimes compare students’ performances with each other.

To track students’ learning progress and any doubts or difficulties they face.


·       Provides a broader view of student knowledge.

·       Evaluate the performance at surface level to assign a grade or score in the end.

·       Provides a narrow but detailed view of student knowledge.

·       Focuses on individual student improvements.

·       Teachers can modify their teaching methods according to students’ performance from time to time.


It is controlled by the instructor and they can modify it based on individual student requirements.

It has a pre-defined method of evaluation and instructors have no control over it.

Score comparison

Students’ performances are used to compare with other students in the same class or age group.

Students’ performances are compared to their own performances from the past. Hence, it is an individual assessment. 


Performance based assessment

Performance-based assessment is a method. In addition, it measures a student’s ability to put into practice skills and knowledge. Also, it measures the ability which they acquire from a given unit or units of study. Furthermore, it also finds out a student’s ability to develop as a professional.

To develop a performance-based assessment program use the following manner:

1.     Identify goals: First of all, it should clearly explain the aim of a performance-based assessment in detail. This is important because then there will be no confusion later.

2.     Select core standards: After the selection of goals takes place, then comes the selection of certain core standards. This refers to the key activities and tasks that take place within an assessment.

3.     Review assessments: This is the most important step. Here a review of assessments takes place and the progress of the assessment is found out. In this step, everything should go according to plan and if not, then corrections are made. The review should take place always during the program.

4.     Develop scenarios: Here selection of one scene takes place out of many scenarios. Here the selection of the best scene takes place by the students. This 

Overall, performance-based assessments should be:

·       Authentic – The projects should be reflective of tasks that would be encountered in the real world or a workplace environment. 

·       Time bound – There is a set time limit for when the project needs to be done. This is similar to deadlines that learners will experience in the real world.

·       Open-ended – Students have flexibility in how the task can be completed. There is not just one right answer. 

·       Process/Product orientated - The end goal is ideally not just a typed paper. It is something tangible that students can see. There is also more focus on the steps taken to achieve the end goal. 

Performance-based assessments should reflect real life by being complex with the possibility of multiple correct answers. They should also have an urgency to solve the issue within a set period of time. 

For example, check out this example of a performance-based assessment used in a high school classroom below. In this assessment, students were asked to role play as air traffic controllers and use their math skills to assess a dangerous situation

Performance-based assessment avoids the use of traditional testing methods. There is a lot of personal judgment involved which may not give the best results. There is no agreement as to what is right and wrong because a teacher decides what is right and wrong.  As such many teachers in this assessment do not agree with one another.

Critics also argue that this type of assessment reduces the importance of traditional schooling. Traditional schooling helps in learning about the basics of a study but professional based assessment mostly avoids the use of basics.

Also in the evaluation of performance-based evaluation, there are a huge number of differences among the teachers. As such one teacher may grade a student positively but another can grade him negatively for the same work.

Individual and group assessment

Assessment of a group

For a music ensemble or a creative team, assessment begins with an in-depth conversation with the entire group, with band members individually, and with others who are crucial to the success of the group. The end product is a reporting session with recommendations for action.

Here are some examples of groups and teams who benefit from this:

The assessment includes discussion of the key areas of leadership, artistic vision, collaboration, decision-making, shared goals, and ability to productively manage disagreement and conflict.

We specialize in helping people say the things that are hard to say — and articulating the problems that are hard to define.

Assessment of an individual

For an individual, assessment begins with a confidential discussion with the person concerned, to clarify their goals and frustrations. We will talk to others who deal with this individual — offering the chance for these people speak anonymously and very frankly. This approach is the 360-degree assessment, and is enormously helpful in filling in blind spots. It can help people see what’s been holding them back.

The feedback session will be made to the individual and others if agreed upon ahead of time. We will make recommendations to the individual on how to make the most of their gifts while avoiding the pitfalls.


Group assessments are often not easy to design. In line with the ‘fit for purpose’ principle, the advice would be to only use group assessment if communication, collaboration and/or contribution to group process are important purposes of the assessment. Group assessments which are purely focused on the quality of a joint product or a joint assignment, and where each of the students receives the same grade, may not be the best use of this format. Such group assessments encourage free riding and unequal division of labour – meaning that none of the students will have engaged with the whole task – and are likely to overlook the important aspects of group performance, namely collaboration, communication and contribution.



5.4 Tools and techniques of Educational Assessment: Observations, Interviews, Questionnaire, rating Scales, check list and Teacher Made Tests at different levels


The assessment process involves collection of data through various modes. This is essential as the assessor or teacher aims at collecting information in all the areas of development of a child, which helps the teacher/assessor in making appropriate decisions. These methods include directly testing the child, observing the child in various environments and interviewing parents and significant others and rating scale.

Observation is an extensively used method to collect data while assessing or evaluating the child’s performance. It helps the assessor or teacher to observe the child’s performance herself and record the data objectively. The assessor/teacher may observe the child in structured or unstructured environments depending on the activities to be assessed. For example, the teacher observes the child before, during and after lunch time to assess the child’s ability in terms of eating, washing, cleaning, sharing, taking responsibility, which is a structured (structured observation) environment. Observing the child during interval, or games period in the play ground to assess the group behaviour of a child is unstructured observation. However, the teacher may plan a game or a sport event to observe whether the child follows the rules of the game is again a structured observation. To explain further, when the teacher purposefully plans activities or selects or simulates environments to assess a specific ability of a child, it is called structured observation, whereas in unstructured observation, the teacher observes the student with a specific purpose in mind but she does not purposefully plan an activity.

Types of Observation

  Participative observation- The one in which the observer become a part of the group under observation and share a same situation.

  Non- Participative Observation- Observer take a position at a place where his / her presence is least disturbing to the group but from from where he / she can observe detail behavior of  an individual under the observation.

  Natural Observation- When observer wants to observe an individual or group of individuals behavior in natural situation then that is naturalistic observation.

  Structured Observation- When observer want to observe an individual or group of individuals particular behavior, observer create that particular situation and then observe it, that is  structured observation.  

Advantages of Observation

  It is reliable   and valid technique of collecting data and information.

  We get first hand data through this method.

  Record of observation is also available immediately.

  It is simple, broad and comprehensive method.

  It is an oldest technique of data collection and getting direct information

Disadvantages of Observation

  It has a limited scope for its use because all the events cannot be observed directly.

  It is subjective method.

  It is very time consuming process.

  Costly so energy consuming also.

  Presence of observer influences the behavior of the person i.e. subject becomes conscious.

  In case covert behavior, which can’t be observed, it is not useful.

  Observer should be trained and experienced.  

Information about many of the adaptive behaviours, which are neither tested nor observed are often collected by interviewing parents and family members. Collection of birth history, interaction with family members, relatives, friends, neighbourhood and community, are some of the examples.

Types of Interview

1.     Based on function




2.     Based on format



3.     Based on No. of participant





Characteristics of an Interview

  The interviewer can probe into casual factors, determine attitudes, and discover the origin of problem.

  It’s appropriate to deal with young children and illiterates person.

  It can make cross questioning possible.

  It helps the investigator to gain an impression of the person concerned.

  It can deal with delicate, confidential and even intimate topics.

  It has flexibility.

  Sincerity, frankness, truthfulness and insight of the interviewee can be better judged through cross questioning.

  It gives no chance for respondent to modify his earlier answer.

  It is applicable in survey method, but it is also applicable in historical, experimental, case studies and clinical studies.

Advantages of Interview

  Direct research.

  Deep research

  Knowledge of past and future.

  Knowledge of special features.

  Mutual encouragement is possible.

  Supra-observation is possible.

  Knowledge of historical and emotional causes.

  Examination of known data.

Disadvantages of Interview

  May provides misleading information.

  Defects due to interviewee(low level of intelligence or may be emotionally unbalanced)

  Result may be affected due to prejudices of interviewer.

  Result may be affected due to the difference in the mental outlook of interviewee and interviewer.

  One sided and incomplete research.

  Art rather than science.


Questionnaires are one of the most common and popular tools to gather data from a large number of people. A good questionnaire can be a powerful tool to inform your evaluation, and a poorly designed questionnaire can make life difficult for both those that have to complete it, and those that have to analyse the data.

Types of questions in a questionnaire

You can use multiple question types in a questionnaire. Using various question types can help increase responses to your research questionnaire as they tend to keep participants more engaged. The best customer satisfaction survey templates are the most commonly used for better insights and decision-making.

Some of the widely used types of questions are:

·      Open-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions help collect qualitative data in a questionnaire where the respondent can answer in a free form with little to no restrictions.

·      Dichotomous Questions: The dichotomous question is generally a “yes/no” close-ended question. This question is usually used in case of the need for necessary validation. It is the most natural form of a questionnaire.

·      Multiple-Choice Questions: Multiple-choice questions are a close-ended question type in which a respondent has to select one (single-select multiple-choice question) or many (multi-select multiple choice question) responses from a given list of options. The multiple-choice question consists of an incomplete stem (question), right answer or answers, incorrect answers, close alternatives, and distractors. Of course, not all multiple-choice questions have all of the answer types. For example, you probably won’t have the wrong or right answers if you’re looking for customer opinion.

·      Scaling Questions: These questions are based on the principles of the four measurement scales – nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. A few of the question types that utilize these scales’ fundamental properties are rank order questions, Likert scale questions, semantic differential scale questions, and Stapel scale questions.

·      Pictorial Questions: This question type is easy to use and encourages respondents to answer. It works similarly to a multiple-choice question. Respondents are asked a question, and the answer choices are images. This helps respondents choose an answer quickly without over-thinking their answers, giving you more accurate data.

Types of Questionnaires

Questionnaires can be administered or distributed in the following forms:

·      Online Questionnaire: In this type, respondents are sent the questionnaire via email or other online mediums. This method is generally cost-effective and time-efficient. Respondents can also answer at leisure. Without the pressure to respond immediately, responses may be more accurate. The disadvantage, however, is that respondents can easily ignore these questionnaires. Read more about online surveys.

·      Telephone Questionnaire: A researcher makes a phone call to a respondent to collect responses directly. Responses are quick once you have a respondent on the phone. However, a lot of times, the respondents hesitate to give out much information over the phone. It is also an expensive way of conducting research. You’re usually not able to collect as many responses as other types of questionnaires, so your sample may not represent the broader population.

·      In-House Questionnaire: This type is used by a researcher who visits the respondent’s home or workplace. The advantage of this method is that the respondent is in a comfortable and natural environment, and in-depth data can be collected. The disadvantage, though, is that it is expensive and slow to conduct.

·      Mail Questionnaire: These are starting to be obsolete but are still being used in some market research studies. This method involves a researcher sending a physical data collection questionnaire request to a respondent that can be filled in and sent back. The advantage of this method is that respondents can complete this on their own time to answer truthfully and entirely. The disadvantage is that this method is expensive and time-consuming. There is also a high risk of not collecting enough responses to make actionable insights from the data.


Advantages of a good questionnaire design

·      With a survey questionnaire, you can gather a lot of data in less time.

·      There is less chance of any bias creeping if you have a standard set of questions to be used for your target audience. You can apply logic to questions based on the respondents’ answers, but the questionnaire will remain standard for a group of respondents that fall in the same segment.

·      Surveying online survey software is quick and cost-effective. It offers you a rich set of features to design, distribute, and analyze the response data.

·      It can be customized to reflect your brand voice. Thus, it can be used to reinforce your brand image.

·      The responses can be compared with the historical data and understand the shift in respondents’ choices and experiences.

·      Respondents can answer the questionnaire without revealing their identity. Also, many survey software complies with significant data security and privacy regulations.


Rating Scale

Ratting is term applied to express opinion or judgment regarding some situation, object or character. Opinions are usually expressed on a scale of values; rating techniques are devices by which such judgments may be quantified.

Von Dallen- “A rating scale ascertains the degree, intensity and frequency of a variable.” 

Types of rating scale

  3 points

  5  points

  7  points

  9 points

  11  points

Advantages of Rating Scale

  Writing reports to parents.

  Filling out admission blanks for colleges.

  Finding out students’ needs.

  Making recommendations to employers.

  Supplementing other sources of under taking about child.

  Stimulating effect upon the rates.

Limitations of Rating Scale

  Difference in rating abilities.

  Difference in reliability as subjects for rating.

  Agreement among raters of one type of contact only.

  Average superior than single.

  Impact of emotions.

  Limits of self-rating.

  Over rating.

  Limits of rating of specific qualities.

  Limits of justifications.

Teacher Made Test (TMT)

A teacher-made test is an alternative to a standardized test, written by the instructor in order to measure student comprehension. 

Teacher-made tests are considered most effective when they are implemented as part of the education process, rather than after the fact.




Another form of assessment is the checklist. Checklists are designed to record the presence or absence of specific traits or behaviors. They are easy to use and are especially helpful when many different items need to be observed. They often include lists of specific behaviors to look for while observing.

Depending on their function, they can vary in length and complexity. Checklists may be designed for any developmental domain— physical, social, emotional, or cognitive. A checklist that is carefully designed can tell a lot about one child or the entire class.

Checklists may be developed to survey one child or a group of children. The targeted behaviors are listed in logical order with similar items grouped together. Therefore, you can quickly record the presence or absence of a behavior. Typically, a check indicates the presence of a behavior.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Checklists

One of the advantages of a checklist is that there are no time constraints in collecting the data. The information can be quickly recorded anytime during program hours. In addition, checklists are easy to use, efficient, and can be used in many situations. Data from checklists can be easily analyzed.

A disadvantage of using a checklist, however, is the lack of detailed information.

Checklists lack the richness of the more descriptive narrative. Because of the format, only particular behaviors are noted.

Important aspects of behaviors may be missed, such as how a behavior is performed and for how long. Only the presence or absence of a behavior is noted in a checklist.

Assessment is the process of observing, recording, and documenting children’s growth and behavior over time in order to make decisions about their education. Assessment has many purposes, but it is primarily used in planning developmentally appropriate curriculum. An initial assessment is made of all children when they enter a program, but ongoing assessment continues as long as a child remains enrolled in a program.

Most assessment methods involve observing children. Formal observation by researchers has led to the creation of developmental milestones. Early childhood teachers usually use informal observation methods to collect data.


There are several types of assessment tools that are used in early childhood programs. These include anecdotal records, checklists, participation charts, rating scales, samples of products, photographs, and tape recordings. All of these methods have advantages and disadvantages. Materials that have been collected during the assessment process should be placed in a portfolio for each child. Portfolios document children’s learning and development.



5.5 Current trends and challenges in assessment: Independent, dual purpose and constructivist perspective and adaptations


Throughout the K-12 learning landscape, assessment practices are changing to embrace assessment for learning, not assessment of learning.

Consistent with 21st Century learning and the benefits brought on by better assessment tools, assessment is becoming more student-centric, offering educators the insights that will help them determine the best instructional next steps and how to make learning more personal for the individual student.

Trading the punitive elements of policies like No Child Left Behind for the growth mindset presented in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are now able and incented to take advantage of alternatives to the expensive, high-stakes, end-of-level tests that have persisted for decades despite providing little benefit to the students.

The terms formative evaluation and summative evaluation are being redefined in education circles. Many teachers know formative evaluation as the informal, daily type of assessment they use with students while learning is occurring. Summative evaluation was the term used to “sum it all up,” to indicate a final standing at the end of a unit or a course.
Current trends in assessment focus on judging student progress in three ways: assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning. Each assessment approach serves a different purpose.
Assessment for learning is especially useful for teachers as they develop, modify and differentiate teaching and learning activities. It is continuous and sustained throughout the learning process and indicate to students their progress and growth.
Assessment as learning focuses on fostering and supporting metacognitive development in students as they learn to monitor and reflect upon their own learning and to use the information gathered to support and direct new learning.
Assessment of learning is cumulative in nature. It is used to confirm what students already know and what they can do in relation to the program of studies outcomes.
What is now being divided into two approaches—assessment for and assessment as learning—was until very recently seen and promoted under a single focus formally known as formative evaluation or assessment for learning. Formative assessment (comprised of both assessment for and assessment as learning) can be defined as the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers, to identify where the learners are in the learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.

Independent educational evaluation (IEE)

As a parent or guardian, you always have the right to a private evaluation. Families usually pay for this on their own. But sometimes the school may agree or be forced to pay. When this happens, it’s called an independent educational evaluation at public expense.

An IEE at public expense is different from a typical private evaluation. It’s still a private evaluation performed by a qualified professional. But the school pays for it. And the evaluator is picked from an approved list of professionals who do not work for the district.

An IEE has to meet the same standards that are required of a school evaluation. For instance, the credentials of the evaluator and the location of the evaluation have to be comparable to the school’s. The school has to tell you what those standards are. Other than that, the school can’t put any other conditions or deadlines in place.

Your legal right to request an IEE

IDEA gives you the right to request that the school pay for an IEE if you disagree with the results of the school’s evaluation. Here are some other reasons you might ask for an IEE:

·      The school evaluation didn’t find evidence of a disability, but you think it’s wrong.

·      You don’t think the disability your child has been diagnosed with is correct, or you think the results of the testing aren’t accurate.

·      The school’s evaluation didn’t examine all the issues you think it should have.

It’s important to know that when you disagree with an evaluation, you only have the right to one IEE request for each evaluation the school conducts.

A Constructivist Approach in Assessment


·      To understand the concept of constructivism;

·      To apply constructivist theory on assessment;

·      To find differences between traditional assessment and constructivist approach to assessment;

·      To explain misconcepts in understanding of assessment.

Constructivism and Assessment

Three constructs emerge from the literature regarding constructivism and have implications for the learning environment. They are (1) learning is an active process, (2) the learner has prior knowledge, and (3) the learner takes responsibility for their own learning (Yager, 1991; Cobb et al 1992, Magoon, 1977; Hewson & Hewson, 1988). These three ideas are central to this study. These ideas can be operationalized by the following statements:

·      Assessments are in a meaningful context that is relevant or has emerging relevance to students (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).

·      The process of learning does not shut down during assessment (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).

·      Assessments are tailored to specific modules and teaching situations (Zahorik, 1995).

·      Assessments include higher order thinking skills, i.e., application, evaluation, analysis, synthesis (Burry-Stock, 1995; Yager, 1991).

·      Assessments include application of knowledge and comprehension (Zahorik, 1995).

·      A range of techniques is used in assessments (Burry-Stock, 1995; Zahorik, 1995).

·      Assessments focus on the big pictures on concepts and on issues and their accompanying facts and evidence (Zahorik, 1995).

·      Assessment includes inquiry (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Yager, 1991).

·      Students go beyond initial information levels (knowledge and comprehension) through elaboration doing in-depth analysis of big ideas, issues and concepts (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).

·      Students solve problems in which they extend and re-conceptualize (accommodation) knowledge in new contexts (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Osborne & Wittrock, 1983; Zahorik, 1995).

·      Students generalize (synthesis) experiences from earlier concrete experiences a to understand abstract theories and applications (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Osborne & Wittrock, 1983; Zahorik, 1995).

·      Students exhibit knowledge through application (Yager, 1991).

·      Students interact with each other in all circumstances including during assessments (Zahorik, 1995).

Assessment can be used to build understanding through reflection and iteration. There is great promise for deeper understanding and appreciation of the creative, generative process we call learning when a student is aware of scholastic expectations and understands how to effectively review and critique his or her own work. This process has three steps:

·      The teacher must help students understand from the outset the criteria by which their work will be judged.

·      Students must document their work process for the duration of the project or unit.

·      Through performance and feedback, students come to understand the complex nature of judging and improving upon one´s work.


Assessment and Constructive Classroom

Constructivism is basically a theory - based on observation and scientific study - about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.

In the classroom, the constructivist view of learning can point towards a number of different teaching practices. In the most general sense, it usually means encouraging students to use active techniques (experiments, real-world problem solving) to create more knowledge and then to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. Constructivist teachers encourage students to constantly assess how the activity is helping them gain understanding. By questioning themselves and their strategies, students in the constructivist classroom ideally become "expert learners." This gives them ever-broadening tools to keep learning. With a well-planned classroom environment, the students learn HOW TO LEARN.

Constructivism transforms the student from a passive recipient of information to an active participant in the learning process. Guided by the teacher, students construct their knowledge actively rather than just mechanically ingesting knowledge from the teacher or the textbook.

In the constructivist classroom, the focus tends to shift from the teacher to the students. The classroom is no longer a place where the teacher ("expert") pours knowledge into passive students, who wait like empty vessels to be filled. In the constructivist model, the students are urged to be actively involved in their own process of learning. The teacher functions more as a facilitator who coaches, mediates, prompts, and helps students develop and assess their understanding, and thereby their learning. One of the teacher's biggest jobs becomes ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS.

As is the case with many of the current/popular paradigms, you're probably already using the constructivist approach to some degree. Constructivist teachers pose questions and problems, then guide students to help them find their own answers. They use many techniques in the teaching process. For example, they may:

prompt students to formulate their own questions (inquiry),

allow multiple interpretations and expressions of learning (multiple intelligences),

encourage group work and the use of peers as resources (collaborative learning).

Characteristics of Assessment

In the context of constructivist approach , assessments need to gauge the progress of students in achieving the three major learning outcomes of constructivist approach: conceptual understanding in science, abilities to perform scientific inquiry, and understandings about inquiry.

All learners come to a learning tasks with some relevant knowledge, feelings and skills. Meaningful learning occurs when the learners seeks to relate new concepts and propositions to relevant existing concept and propositions in her/his cognitive structure (Mintzes, Novak, Wandersee, 2000).

Constructivist approach to assessment is a formative rather than a summative. Its purpose is to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students. Assessment have to respond to the particular needs and characteristics of the teachers, students and science content. Assessment is context-specific: what works well in one class will not necessarily work in another.

Assessment is ongoing process. Teachers get feedback from students of their learning. Teachers then complete the loop by providing students with feedback on the results of the assessment and suggestions for improving learning.

Tasks (assignments)

·      Can you find any differences between the assessment in traditional classroom and constructivist classroom?

·      Can you see significant differences in basic assumptions about knowledge, students, and learning in constructivist classroom?

·      Can you explain why many people (teachers, students and parents) still prefer traditional approach to the assessment?

·      Do you think that it is necessary to change traditional approaches to assessment?

·      How are you going to implement new strategies to assessment?

Benefits of Constructivist Classroom:

·      Students learn more, enjoyably and are more likely to retain learning;

·      Students learn how to think and understand;

·      It is a transferable skill to other settings;

·      Students have ownership of their own learning;

·      It applies natural curiosity to real world situations;

·      Promotes social and communication skill within a group setting.

Classroom Accommodations for Children with Hearing Loss

In most cases, children with hearing loss require some accommodations in the classroom to maximize success at school. While there is no "one size fits all" IEP for children with hearing loss and many factors to consider when discussing classroom accommodations, here are nine common accommodations for children who are deaf/hard of hearing.

Reduce background noise: Environmental sounds that students with typical hearing can generally tune out, such as the hum of a furnace or the noise of traffic passing by an open window, can significantly impede the sound of a teacher or fellow student who is speaking. To the extent possible, effort should be made to reduce these background sounds in order to make the signal more audible. Some examples include closing doors and windows and using sound-absorbing materials on floors and walls.

Provide Preferential Seating: Students with hearing loss should be seated in the most ideal location in the classroom for them, in order to improve their ability to hear and/or view an interpreter. Always consider whether or not the student hears better with one ear over the other, and be sure that the better-hearing ear has the best access to the desired signal. Not only does the teacher's position in the classroom need to be considered, but also the location of lesson materials and how other students are situated in the classroom.


Ensure Student Can See Your Face: Many students with hearing loss may use speech reading as well as the teacher's eye gaze, gestures, and facial expressions to increase their understanding of what is being said aloud. Teachers and other professionals should be sure to face the class when speaking in a well-lit room. They should avoid covering their mouth with their hands or standing against a backlight, in order to improve understanding for students with hearing loss.


Pre-Teach New Concepts: Children with hearing loss often require multiple, direct exposures to new vocabulary and concepts in order to retain them. Because they do not often learn incidentally as their peers with typical hearing do, multiple opportunities for explicit instruction are usually needed for them to learn new information. Communicating with a student's speech-language pathologist or itinerant teacher of the deaf about what's being taught in the classroom will allow these professionals to integrate general education coursework into their service time with the child and supplement learning of key concepts.

Get Attention Before Speaking: Because children with hearing loss are much less likely to identify when a person at a distance has started speaking, always be sure that students with hearing loss are aware that you're talking before providing instruction. If addressing an entire class, a teacher may flash the lights a few times or verbally ask for attention and wait to ensure that all students are looking before providing information. When trying to get the attention of just a student with hearing loss, a teacher may lightly tap their shoulder, say their name, or give a small wave.

Supplement with Visuals: Information that is presented auditorily should be supplemented with visuals. Depending on the child, this could include any combination of the following: using gestures, displaying key concepts or word maps on a whiteboard, supplying typed notes or vocabulary lists, allowing another student to share notes, captioning videos, or providing access to sign language.

Repeat/Rephrase Information: In addition to providing supplemental visuals, students with hearing loss may often need multiple opportunities to hear information. By providing repetition, the student gets another opportunity to hear words that may have been missed, as well as hear material explained in another way using different vocabulary and/or grammatical structures which may provide needed clarification.

Check for Understanding: Check-in with a student with hearing loss to ensure understanding. Since students will generally answer "yes" when asked if they understood something, use other methods to assess comprehension, such as:

·       asking the student what they heard

·       drawing an illustration of the information

·       formulating their own comprehension questions or summary

·       utilizing a subtle gesture to signal to their teacher that they did not understand something during a class lecture

Support Hearing Technology: Teachers and other professionals in the school that work with the child should become familiar with the child's hearing aid(s), cochlear implant(s), and/or FM system so that day-to-day troubleshooting is possible. Especially for younger children, school personnel must be knowledgeable in daily assessment of hearing technology, so that there are not long periods of time during the school day when the devices are not providing adequate input. Additionally, school staff should appropriately utilize FM systems and sound field systems in order to maximize their benefit.


Challenges Students with Hearing Impairment Face in the Classroom:

Also, we recommend not placing a deaf or hard-of-hearing student near the A/C unit in a portable building or near a window. Hearing aids can pick up and amplify all outside sounds – making it impossible to understand what is happening inside of the classroom if you place a student by a window. Be mindful that if there is carpet in the room–it helps with the distinction of sounds versus hardwood floors, allowing sounds to bounce around and become overwhelming.

To minimize this educational gap, teachers could present the directions of tasks in an assortment of ways to be positive that the deaf student will comprehend and complete tasks properly. It is important to not assume that because a student can hear sound and voices, that he or she can distinguish speech and process acoustical language.

This lack of engagement and attention often wears on the child, making them tired and can cause headaches. When arranging seating charts, keep in mind that it is best to incorporate deaf students into smaller groups. This will help the child relax and focus on their school work rather than unwanted, distracting social interactions.