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What is Ongoing Assessment? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 What Are Ongoing Assessments?
  • 0:32 Why Use Ongoing Assessments?
  • 1:51 Examples of Ongoing…
  • 3:32 Designing Ongoing Assessments
  • 4:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Assessment is an essential component to any instructional practice. Teachers need to use ongoing assessment to check learner progress. How does this work, and how do teachers design ongoing assessments? Read on for details.

What Are Ongoing Assessments?

Ms. Brown is a first-year teacher at a school with outdated curricula. The social studies resources are great for helping her pace instruction and test students at the end of the unit but provide little help with checking in throughout learning, otherwise known as ongoing assessments. Ms. Brown learned last year in college that ongoing assessments are quizzes, observations, or quick-checks and that she needs to be using them often, but isn't quite sure why or how to design them on her own. She decides to go back to her box of papers from college and check it out.

Why Use Ongoing Assessments?

Ms. Brown understands testing students at the end of instruction is used to determine whether or not they comprehend material. These summative assessments are the bulk of grading. But then why should teachers also use ongoing assessments?

One reason is to check in with student learning and see how students are doing as the work progresses. By using ongoing assessments, also referred to as formative assessments, Ms. Brown can identify students who are struggling before they get too far behind. She can also use ongoing assessments to see if the method of instruction is effective. She may find students understand less when she lectures but more when she does activities. This will inform her on the best way to teach her students.

Teachers use ongoing assessments to keep students on task with learning. For example, in classes with confusing vocabulary or many dates and events to remember, teachers may give assessments to break learning into reasonably sized chunks. This way students don't have to learn and memorize a lot of concepts at one time. Finally, ongoing assessments highlight student growth over time. Some students, especially special needs and English language learners, may not fully understand what she's teaching. Ongoing assessments help her to see where these students are when they enter her classroom and what progress they make as the unit or year progresses.

Examples of Ongoing Assessments

Now that Ms. Brown understands why she needs to give frequent assessments throughout units of instruction, she wants to figure out exactly what they are. She pulls out some samples she saved from her student teaching days.

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