What Is the Purpose of Classroom Assessments?

Woman in black framed eyeglasses.jpg

Classroom assessment is a one of the most important tools teachers can use to understand the needs of their students. When executed properly and on an ongoing basis, classroom assessment should shape student learning and give teachers valuable insights.

1 Identify Student Strengths and Weaknesses

Assessments help teachers identify student strengths as well as areas where students may be struggling. This is extremely important during the beginning of the year when students are entering new grades. Classroom assessments, such as diagnostic tests, help teachers gauge the students' level of mastery of concepts from the prior grade.

2 Monitor Student Progress

Throughout the course of a lesson or unit, teachers use classroom assessment to monitor students' understanding of the concepts being taught. This informs teachers in their lesson planning, helping them pinpoint areas that need further review. Assessment can be done in the form of weekly tests, daily homework assignments and special projects.

3 Assess Student Prior Knowledge

Before beginning a new unit, assessment can inform teachers of their students' prior experience and understanding of a particular concept or subject matter. These types of assessments can be done orally through classroom discussion or through written assignments such as journals, surveys or graphic organizers.

Based in Los Angeles, Bridgett Michele Lawrence began working as a freelance writer in 2008. She is an accomplished screenwriter, teacher and blogger. Her articles appear on the Sixth Wall and other websites. Lawrence holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in screenwriting from New York University and a Master of Science in childhood education from Brooklyn College.