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What is the importance of teacher assessments of students? What is the importance of teacher assessments of students?

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Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Assessing students can be crucial in helping to develop effective ways of "reaching" particular students.  I will never forget the first time I taught.  I was the "preceptor" of a discussion section of a large lecture course.  I sat at a table with about twelve students twice a week, and we discussed the work being studied as well as the professor's lectures about that work.  One student sat at the far end of the table from me.  He seemed completely bored, negative, and even hostile.  One day I finally kept him after class to ask why he seemed so negative.  He revealed that he was not bored or hostile but was in fact highly nervous and greatly intimidated by the other students, who seemed to know so much more than he did.  I have never forgotten that discussion, because it taught me not to make assumptions about a student's thinking but rather to try to speak directly with students, when necessary, to find out what is really going on inside their minds when they seem disengaged.

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Assessments are important for another reason. Through assessments, teachers can recognize special intellectual gifts in their students. When this happens, a teacher can challenge a student in different ways. Or a teacher can even talk to the student's parents for additional classes - perhaps even at a local community college. It is a shame when teacher do not challenge and develop the full potential in their students.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I like the idea that assessment should not be the same thing as grading, but I also think that assessment is not necessarily the same thing as testing either.  Assessment is a method of checking whether the goals and objectives of a given lesson have been met.  Effective assessment tests students AND teachers, as well as the lesson itself.  At its simplest, assessment is important because it is a system of quality control that continually checks to make sure our teaching methods and students learning methods are successful.

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Teacher assessments come (hopefully) from a basis of understanding the student as an individual; their learning style, level of commitment, level of support, etc. In this way, teacher assessment can be fairer than externally marked snapshot tests as the assessment can be done holistically with an appreciation of the performance of the student in relation to the course offered. Of course, teacher assessment can also be biased: how much reward is given for effort compared to attainment can be colored by a teacher's view of an individual. That said, teacher assessment assists teachers to review their programmes in terms of student engagement and performance, and can be conducted throughout a course rather in a strained hour at the end of it.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Teacher assessments are very important (sometimes more important than student assessments). When grading a test (formal assessment) or having a discussion (informal assessment), I use student response to insure that they are absorbing the material that I need them to. For example, if all of the students miss the same question ion a test, something is wrong with the question--or I did not go over the material well enough to provide mastery. In those instances, I throw out the question, reteach, and assess...

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