Assessment -- For Parents
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What is meant by assessment?
Assessment is a process of data collection about a student to facilitate learning. A complete assessment consists of several elements. Brian Leung, Ph.D., associate professor at Loyola Marymount University, uses the mnemonic cue of RIOT, to recall the necessary elements of assessment:
In summary, assessment is the evaluation and interpretation of the performance of the student in a variety of settings and under diverse conditions.
What is the purpose of an assessment?
The assessment process attempts to discover why the student is not learning or not producing in the instructional program. An assessment is undertaken to determine levels of functioning in areas that may be impacting student performance negatively, such as the following:
When is assessment appropriate?
Assessment becomes necessary when a student exhibits difficulty learning over an extended period of time. It may be appropriate for the following purposes:
Who is involved in the assessment?
Trained professionals administer a non-biased battery of tests in an attempt to respond to the referral question. Formal testing is only one element of assessment. In their global look at the student, professionals include a variety of procedures to gather information including, but not limited to, the following:
How are the assessment results used to aid in educational planning?
Assessment results provide a profile of individual strengths and needs and are used to design specific, appropriate recommendations to support learning, both at school and at home. Parents and teachers need to base their expectations on an understanding of the student’s abilities, test performance, and problem areas in relationship to developmental age norms. The assessment results should be interpreted by the professional(s) in language that is understandable and useful to the parent, teacher, and student.
For the student, the ultimate goals of assessment are to improve the instructional program and to develop self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-advocacy skills.
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