Classroom Strategies | Evaluation Strategies to Assess Learning & Teaching
Joshua walked out of school. It was the end of another long tiring day, and he wasn’t feeling upbeat, which had become a regular feeling, ever since he began teaching Biology to his Class 8C students. He wasn’t sure what was going wrong in class. For some reason, majority of the students were unable to score well in their term test. This meant that they had not understood the concepts taught in that week. The results didn’t reflect well, neither for the students nor for Joshua.
Often times, teachers face problems where a particular group of students or maybe even an entire class doesn’t grasp concepts too well. And most times, these findings are only revealed during tests, when it’s too late to go back and revise a concept and there’s still a large part of the portion that needs to be covered.
In order to overcome such challenges, teachers need to evaluate students and their own teaching on a more frequent and continuous basis. We’ve complied a list of four evaluation strategies that teachers can use in class, to regularly evaluate learning outcomes.
Mind Maps: Each time you begin a new concept, ask students to draw a mind map to articulate their understanding of the concept. Collect the mind maps at the end of the class, and review them later. This will help you determine if students were able to understand the concept correctly. Correct them and return them to students in the next class; they can make a good revision tool for students.
Exit Slips: An exit slip or exit card is a small paper slip or card, typically 3 x 5 in size. At the end of each class, pose a short question and have students write their answers in the card. The question could be specific to the topic, for example, “Write five words to describe molecules.” or it could be a generic question, “Which concept of today’s class did you find most difficult?”. Collect the cards as you exit from the class, and review them later. Theses slips will provide you insight about how your class went and will help you determine if you need to alter your strategy to better meet the needs of all your students.
Anchor Charts: Anchor charts represent information visually and provide guidelines to students. An anchor chart can illustrate a procedure, process or a strategy that students need to use while completing their work. For example, you can have an anchor chart that illustrates the steps to multiply fractions with whole numbers or an anchor chart that explains the rules for reviewing text. The teacher builds the anchor chart with the students; once done it can be pasted on a wall in the classroom so students can refer it when they do independent learning.
Got It/Did not Get It: At the end of the class, call out the names of the concepts that you had covered. As you call out each concept name, ask students to use gestures to indicate if they understood the concept or not. The show of hands will indicate if you need to revise/reteach any concepts before you begin the next concept.
Travelling Charts: This end of class activity needs a substantial amount of time compared to the other activities suggested above. At the end of the class, divide students into groups of four or five. Give each group a chart and a unique color pencil or pen (Group A, red pen, Group B green pen.). Call out a question related to the concept you just taught and ask the groups to discuss and write their answer/thoughts about the question. After 5 mins, ask the groups to pass their chart to the group to their left. Ask the other group to review the chart they have received and add information, if applicable, or add comment about any mistakes the other group did. Repeat the exercise with another question. Students must answer the new question in the chart they have just received. Rotate the charts after 5 minutes and continue. When all groups get back their original charts, ask them to review additions/edits and discuss the same. If time permits compare the charts and summarize the information.
Watch this video to see how a teacher uses a different version of the travelling charts in a geometry class.
Did you find these strategies useful?
What evaluation strategies do you use in class?