Assessing Learning addresses measuring student learning using technology, using both formative and summative approaches.
How technology helps measure student learning
Technology is a powerful ally for teachers, especially in measuring student learning. With the use of digital formative assessments, teachers can expedite their ability to provide student feedback in real-time. Also, students are interacting with their assignments, receiving teacher input, and invested and motivated in their learning (Timmis et al., 2016).
Timmis, Broadfoot, Sutherland, and Oldfield (2016) encourage teachers to reflect on the “four C’s” when using technology to enhance a lesson. Ask yourself, does the use of technology allow for increased collaboration or critical thinking opportunities? Are students able to communicate their ideas uniquely and are students able to demonstrate creative thinking? Following this format provides for lessons that foster student engagement, with technology as an enhancement tool. Digital formative assessments provide teachers the opportunity to give individual feedback quicker and in real-time than traditional non-digital paper and pen formative assessments. Thus, when students are engaging, receiving timely feedback from their teachers, and intrinsically motivated by the feedback they are receiving from their teacher, learning is taking place (Timmis et al., 2016).
Types of assessment and tools
There are a plethora of ways in which assessment can occur. Assessment is a broad term that encompasses all actions that teachers and students engage in to retrieve information that can be used to evaluate and change teaching and learning at the end of a given time period (Timmis et al., 2016). Teachers are able to experience drastic improvements in their skills when making regular use of assessment methods.
As previously mentioned, assessment falls into two broad categories: formative and summative approaches. Formative assessment is a means for determining how the learning is taking place, on the way toward meeting some end goal. Alternatively, the final outcome of a learning intervention is measured through summative assessment. Both of these types of assessment are crucial in supporting current and future students in their learning.