Types of Classroom Assessment (Formal and Informal)

It was a good thing that Module 3 was revisiting the concept of Assessment. In this way, we are able to delve into the real uses of different types of classroom assessment and as a tutor and hopefully a teacher in the future I can figure what will work for me and my students.

It can be mind-racking at first but reading and re-reading different information enables me to differentiate:

  • formal and informal assessment
  • summative and formative assessment
  • traditional and alternative.

I followed the format written in the module so that it’s concise and easily read.

Formal Assessment uses standardized tests to determine students’ learning and progress throughout the whole program. Main advantage of using formal assessment in teaching is that it provides feedback to the students enabling them to improve their understanding and skills on the particular subject. With students taking formal assessment tools like diagnostic test, achievement exams, entrance exams thus providing teachers a clue of student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Informal Assessment on the other hand though is much more relaxed in assessing the students. There is more interaction between teacher and the student. It doesn’t rely on test to gauge the student’s understanding. Examples of informal assessment may be oral presentation, demonstrations, projects, even conversation can be considered as an informal assessment because you tend to observe.

  • How do you decide when to use formal or informal assessment? How is assessment done in informal ways?

Teachers make use of formal assessment when it is aligned with goals and objectives that is introduced on the onset of classes. There is a system/specific measures that teacher/educator uses to facilitate learning. Like what is mentioned here, teachers will use test to reveal if the students have learned the whole semester. With that in mind,scores will benefit greatly to the student because it gives him a proof whether to study hard or harder. Informal assessment, it is more spontaneous. A simple recitation can be use to check if the student have grasped the lesson. Though, not systematic, teacher can use a checklist as a means to determine a grade to the student when informal assessment is used.

  • What are the characteristics of formal and informal assessments? 

According to http://www.slideshare.net/MSiiM/lang-ass-formal-informal:

Informal assessments are administered in classroom. These are spontaneous interaction between the student and teacher related to the topic being discussed or it is the question and answer type. Performance based. Formal Assessment are systematic,they is a grading system that needs to be met.

  • Can informal assessments be a good replacement for formal assessment?

In my opinion, informal assessment is not a good replacement for formal assessment. We have to consider the the reasons why we will be using these two in the classroom. We have to take into consideration that in a classroom, we are still data driven and our aim at the end of the program is to achieve the student’s full awareness and comprehension of the subject. Informal assessment can be useful in such a way that since we immediately see the performance of the student in the subject, we can readily change our instruction and cater according to the student’s needs. while this may be less structured, students still excel in informal assessments because they can think of creative ways in expressing their ideas about the topic while in formal assessment it’s more focused on collecting data from the students.

  • How would reflective teaching skills enhance the effectiveness of informal teaching in facilitating teaching-learning?

Reflective teaching will enhance the effectiveness of informal teaching because there will be a reflection and close monitoring of your actions as a teacher towards your students. 

http://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335222407.pdf made a chart on how to be a reflective teacher. In this way, since informal teaching draws feedback both from teacher and student, you can easily assess yourself on how to make things challenging and easy for students. since there is no accurate data to measures student’s competencies in the subject, a teacher can make use of journal and checklist to ponder on student’s performances.

Sources:

http://education.seattlepi.com/advantages-formal-assessments-students-1610.html

http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-formal-and-vs-informal-assessment/

http://assessment.uconn.edu/docs/resources/Eric_Soulsby_Assessment_Notes.pdf

https://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/TYC_V3N4_Reflectiveteacherexpanded.pdf

http://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335222407.pdf

http://reflectiveteaching.co.uk/what-is-reflective-teaching

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