Standards of Writing Assessment
Quality writing assessment is a process of inquiry. It includes gathering info as well as setting conditions so that the classroom, community and school become centers of inquiry where all students, teachers, and other stakeholders examine their learning and find methods to improve their practice.
The Students' Interest in Writing Assessment
Writing assessment is experienced at all levels - formative or summative. Assessment writing may alter educational opportunities, enhance or decrease students' motivation to learn, show positive or negative feelings about school and education in common, as well as influence the understanding of what it means to be educated, literate, or successful. It's not enough for assessment writing to serve the students' well-being “on average”; we should aim for assessment to serve, not to harm students.
The next assessment practices are most likely to serve the interests of students.
- The first assessment should encourage students to be engaged in literacy learning, and also to reflect on their individual reading and writing in productive ways - to set respective literacy aims. In that way, students will want to be involved in, and responsible for their own learning and are able to help the teacher in focusing on instruction.
- Some assessment practices, those that include students' public comparisons, tend to make conditions of threat and defensiveness, limit engagement of students and their ability to reflect productively on performance.
- Learners of the English language face a double hurdle, since test results usually reflect both the knowledge of a subject and the knowledge of the English language. Constructive reflection is rather tough under these conditions.
- Portfolio assessment, if it is managed properly, can be reflective, involving students in learning and helping teachers in refocusing the instruction.
The Teacher As The Agent of Writing Assessment
A lot of educational assessments take place in the classroom, when a teacher and a student interacts with one another. A teacher designs, assigns, observes, collaborates in, and interprets the work of a student in their classroom. A teacher assigns meaning to interactions and evaluates the information that a student receives and creates in such settings. In short, a teacher is the primary agent, not just a passive consumer of assessment info. It's their ongoing, formative assessment which primarily influences the learning of students. This process acknowledges the critical role of teachers as well as the consequences and responsibilities that accompany such role.
Whether teachers use tests, work samples, ongoing observation or discussion, they make sense of writing and reading development of students. They read many various texts, oral and written, which students do to construct a students' understanding as literate individuals. The sense they make of reading or writing of students is communicated to them through spoken or written comments as well as being translated into special instructional decisions in the classroom. Because of these important consequences, teachers should be aware of and deliberate about their roles as assessors. Such responsibility requires considerable expertise.
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