Using Multiple Data Sources for Assessments

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  • 1:00 Using Multiple Data Sources
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

What is the best way for teachers to assess their students' knowledge and skills? In this lesson, we'll discuss different types of assessments and why using multiple data sources to assess learning is best for students and teachers alike.


Teaching isn't easy! Helping students absorb a large quantity of information is a challenge even for the most skilled educators. It's very important that teachers are able to measure students' skills and knowledge to gauge the effectiveness of certain classroom practices.

An assessment is a way of measuring student achievement, either in the form of knowledge or skills. There are many types of assessments, including tests, essays, exit tickets, warm-ups, short quizzes, reflections, class discussions, one-on-one interviews, portfolios, demonstrations, presentations, success in games or activities, and peer reviews.

Assessment results can be used to identify issues in student learning, both classwide and individual, to improve teaching quality, and to experiment by trying new teaching methods. It can also be a way of determining if a student needs some form of intervention.

Using Multiple Data Sources

To really understand how much students have learned, teachers must have a large quantity of quality data. To that end, it's important to use many different methods to assess students.

There are several reasons for this. First, not every student best expresses their knowledge in the same way. One student might have severe test anxiety and performs poorly on tests in contrast to their actual knowledge levels. Another student may have particularly poor writing skills, so they struggle with essays. In subjects where writing skills themselves are not being assessed, this is a barrier to assessing student progress.

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