Classroom Assessment Techniques
What are Classroom Assessment Techniques? The following YouTube video provides a brief introductory discussion of the purpose and use of classroom assessment techniques as well as two specific examples of types of techniques.
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS) are methods of formative evaluation that are designed to improve student learning. Unlike summative assessments that evaluate what the students learned once the lesson is complete, CATS are done frequently and provide the instructor with feedback about student learning and comprehension as the lessons are being taught. These assessments involve students in the educational process and provide more qualitative information about student learning, rather than just looking at the quantitative view provided by test scores. The purpose of using classroom assessment techniques regularly is to assess student understanding of course content, provide feedback regarding the effectiveness of the teaching methods, to improve retention and improve the communication and collaboration between instructors and students.
Advantages for faculty using CATS:
- Provides regular feedback about learning that can be used to modify or adjust teaching methods.
- Can address misconceptions or lack of understanding in a timely fashion before moving on to new material.
- Fosters a good working relationship with students.
- Encourages students to understand the material rather than just memorize for an exam.
- Students are more engaged and more satisfied because they have an opportunity to have a voice in the classroom setting.
Advantages for students in a classroom where CATS are being utilized:
- Fosters an attitude that values comprehension and retention.
- Creates a feeling that the instructor cares about student success and learning.
- Promotes critical thinking.
- Reduces feelings of isolation.
- Students become more involved in their own learning and feel more in control.
Disadvantages of CATS:
- Classroom time is used for CATS.
- Additional classroom time may be needed to review and clarify concepts.
- Requires active participation on the part of students who may prefer to be more passive.
- Teacher may view negative feedback as criticism of their teaching.
Classroom assessment techniques are designed to evaluate three areas. The first of these is course-related knowledge and skill which includes such things as recall, comprehension, critical thinking, synthesis, application, performance and problem-solving. The second area that may be assessed is student attitudes and values and their own self-awareness of these areas. Finally, CATS may be used to evaluate the students' reactions to instructional methods including class activities, assignments, teaching methods and so on. The following chart summarizes some of the most commonly used techniques to assess each of these areas.