Technology in Classroom Assessment
In classroom learning, the teacher is supposed to be the facilitator. Being the facilitator, the teacher has various duties and one of these is student assessments. To make student assessment better, the integration of technology is needed (Valenti, 2003). Student assessment counts greatly in student learning. Technology is essential in student assessment since it gives the teachers support in making better assessments. Through the use of technology, the teacher is able to get a better understanding of their students information. This is information that regards to their learning and thinking. By getting this understanding, the teacher is able to shape the instructional practice of their students.
By the use of technology, the technologies of the classroom are changed and thus there becomes a correlation between the classroom and other changes in other factors of education. In education, the integration of technology enables making of decisions that are data driven. This means that the systems of reporting that are used are web based and thus data can easily be organized in alignment with the standards set by the state. This gives the teacher a platform with which to enable better administration and analysis of the classroom assessment data. Making of decisions that are web based does not only benefit the teacher.
The students will also benefit from this since by submitting their assignments through the web, they also learn more about technology which is very important in their future life especially at these times when technology is advancing fact in the market. Technology also impacts on the behavior of the teacher in the classroom and changes the approaches which the teacher takes in analyzing and interpreting data. Therefore, other than the students learning, the teacher also gains new knowledge by using technology.
Classroom assessment is done by formative assessments and summative assessments. Classroom assessment takes in various aspects for example daily classroom tests, and benchmark tests. These two types of assessments are both integral parts of gathering information. Assumptive assessments are both standardized tests as well as programs in the classroom. These tests are given after specific periods and are used as a determination of the students understanding at particular points. In most cases, the summative assessments are used for purposes of grading.
Examples of summative assessments include end of term tests, benchmark assignments and chapter end tests. These assessments thus evaluate the programs effectiveness and generally the improvement goals for the school. Formative assessments are part of the continuous process of instructions. The results obtained from formative assessments are thus used to make immediate adjustments on learning and teaching. Therefore, these assessments can be viewed as a means of students practice. These are assessments that are preliminary to the summative assessments (Black, Harrison, Marshall & William, 2003). Therefore, while summative assessments are done on a long term basis, formative assessments are done on a short term basis.
To make these assessments easier and more effective, technology can be integrated. Technology can be used in the administration of diagnostic tests. These enable the administration to be done from a centralized server. Therefore, it enables the students to take the tests many times. Through this diagnostic testing, the grading of the responses from students is done automatically and thus accurate and timely feed backs are given.
Use of technology in student assessments in the classroom is advantageous. For instance, it is a whole process. This means that the teachers are introduced to a process which enables them to set questions, carry out data collection, make conclusions, act and then be bale to continuously monitor the obtained results. Further, the use of technology enables the teacher to think in a more substantive way about the progress of their students (NCREL, 2005). This is because the process is made faster and therefore the teachers have enough time to go through their students assignments. Therefore, technology enables better monitoring of how the students perform.
A school has a complex setting. Therefore, the use of technology enables other essential changes to be made. An example of these changes is the perceptions that teachers have about the capabilities of their students. For example, there are students who are more talented in doing things practically other than theoretically. Therefore, technology will be essential in helping them nurture their talents. The disadvantage of using technology in students assessment is the resources needed. For instance, training is needed for the teachers and other leaders of the school on how data can be used to improve the performance of students and in a continuous way. Such trainings require resources and thus making the whole process expensive.
Student learning which involves assessment should be up to the standards in terms of technology. This is important in meeting the challenges of the 21st century where technology is incorporated in almost all aspects in life. However, technology alone is not completely effective. It can also at times hinder the process of learning. For its effective use, training is needed and if the teacher is not trained well, the technology can become useless especially when there is a crisis. Students also need to learn from each other and this is achieved by fellow student evaluations in the classroom.
Black, P., Harrison, C., Marshall, B., & William, D. (2003). Assessment of learning: putting it into practice. Berkshire, England: Open University press.
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, NCREL. (2005). Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement. Retrieved on February 28, 2011 from: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te800.htm.
Valenti, S. (2003). Information technology for assessing student learning. Journal of information technology education. Retrieved on February 28, 2011 from: http://jite.org/documents/Vol2/v2p181-184-20.pdf.
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