Teachers have a tough job, and one of the most challenging aspects is assessing student performance. Making sure students are learning and doing well towards year-end goals can be overwhelming, primarily if you teach multiple subjects or grade levels. That’s where standardised assessments come in. These tests are designed to measure how students are doing against national standards and guide teachers on what areas need more work.
Standardised assessments will make your life easier if you’re struggling to track progress individually and across your class. Here is how standardised assessments are helping teachers:
Assessing Specific Knowledge Base or Skill Set
Standardised tests developed to assess a specific knowledge base or skill set directly are of great use to teachers evaluating student progress. They can benchmark the continuum of learning and compare it with a range of school assessment options across students and levels.
For example, a teacher can benchmark students’ progress for graduation with their peers. This allows teachers to set goals for what each student needs to learn to achieve their graduation.
If a teacher doesn’t know benchmark data at regular intervals throughout the year, then there will be no way for them to know if a student is struggling or failing to benefit from the teaching until it’s too late. Benchmarking helps teachers see where individual students are struggling or excelling so they can adjust accordingly and support their learning needs while maintaining standards across classes.
Comparing the Performance with a Larger Pool of Students
Standardised assessments allow teachers to compare their students’ performance against other students nationally and internationally with assessments such as PISA, not just against the school average.
They can use this information to identify strengths and weaknesses, giving them a clearer picture of which areas need extra attention from both themselves and their guardians.
Tailor the Curriculum to Focus on Improvement
Teachers can tailor their curriculum to focus on areas where students need improvement, with greater confidence in their individual and collective performance analysis. They can then create more targeted lessons for specific needs, ensuring that all children are given equal learning opportunities.
Administered Assessments Allow Time to Teach
Standardised tests allow teachers to spend less time planning, drafting and correcting tests while allowing more time and effort to develop teaching strategies, methods and content. They have the opportunity to focus on these areas because there are no papers to correct or questions to mark, which frees up a significant amount of their time. This allows them to plan their lessons and what they choose to teach in each class.
Standardised Assessments Provide Greater Clarity
Teachers need to ensure that they teach students what they need to learn and that they can grasp it effectively. Standardised assessments give teachers a common language and a consistent means of assessing student progress across the school curriculum. This allows using these assessments as a tool for productive development rather than simply as another way of providing feedback on student learning.
As has been covered so far, the basics of the importance of standardised assessments, one also needs to acknowledge that there are only so many teaching hours in a school year and keeping up with each student’s progress is no easy task. However, by using these standardised tests to help gauge students’ performance, teachers will be better equipped to see what needs work and where your class may need some extra attention. Teachers are one of society’s most undervalued categories of professionals because of a general lack of empowerment historically. But with technological advancement in the education sector, their productivity and overall performance can significantly impact their productivity.