An integral part of teaching is knowledge evaluation. Every educator knows it. And this process doesn’t only include final test assessment. Before finals, you need to periodically evaluate your students and ensure that they have a clear understanding of what they’re currently learning.
Evaluations of this sort can be made after each class. For this, lots of options have been developed. We’d like to offer you some of the most effective and easy-to-use assessment strategies so that your students can be better-encouraged to show high performance throughout the class.
1. A few minutes’ quiz
Quizzes as class activities are nothing new, though they have been proven to be effective when you need to check students’ understanding of a subject. Select one key question that references what you’ve just taught. Give this one-question quiz at the end of each class to see how well students remembered the material.
Also, you can make use of these two questions to be answered: “What is the most important thing you’ve learned during today’s class?” and “What didn’t you understand during the class?” This way, you can see what aspect requires immediate attention and intensive work.
2. Ask the right questions
The type of question you ask influences the type of answer you receive. Try to ask your students open-ended questions: They should be encouraged to speak their minds and share their ideas. Non-open-ended questions make students answer only ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and go back to being silent. Of course, introverted students aren’t prone to talking a lot, and they will just be happy to give you a short answer.
Nevertheless, yes/no questions don’t help you understand how well your students learned the information. Ask them open-ended questions and encourage them to talk. You can use leading questions for this, since they help to direct students’ thoughts.
3. Students make notes in their journals
Give your students journals and suggest that they write in them regularly. They need to make notes during each class, writing down the main points. Tell students what the aim of this task is and review their notes later, so that your students will take this activity more seriously.
4. Say it in your own words
You’ve covered an important issue, right? Give one of your students a task to retell this material in his own words to other students in a group. All the rest have to listen attentively and then add any points the speaker may have left out.
5. Ask for examples
After you’ve covered some theoretical points, don’t provide your students with examples. Let them do it instead. Give them a few minutes to think of some suitable illustrations from everyday life and their own experience. You know that examples are the best way for students to get a deeper understanding of even the most complicated things, and when students try to find the way out on their own, it makes them memorize complex issues easier.
6. Have students write test questions
Suggest that your students do the following activity: Let them imagine they are teachers who need to draw up a list of test questions. Thanks to this role change, students will try to define the most important aspects of the lesson and mention them in test questions.
Just a small tip: Don’t forget to warn your students that composing test questions is just a class activity, and their questions won’t be included in the final test to prevent cheating.
7. Ask students to summarize
One more effective technique is to ask students to summarize information learned during the class. One student can make a brief overview of what was learned. Encourage other students to add any key ideas that were missed by the first student. Together, you can recollect the most important points.
It’s a good idea to combine or mix these techniques. Learning assessment won’t be boring anymore, and everybody, from you, the educator, to your students, will enjoy the learning and teaching processes.
If you teach writing into your classroom, check out these 10 online cources for teachers to help you improve your writing skills.