Assessment in the classroom: how it improves learning

Assessments check whether your goals meet the instructional needs. Assessments in the classroom are something necessary, because a lot of teachers partially develop their own instruction. In this article we'll talk about the importance of assessments in the classroom and how they can improve learning.

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Importance of assessment in the classroom

“Improving” is a key element when talking about assessment in the classroom. Assessment is important for the development of your instruction. However, teachers often use assessments the wrong way. Assessments are about improving and with that said, it’s not the same as an evaluation. An evaluation is about showing the shortfalls and is judgmental while an assessment is about providing feedback and it is positive. Read more about the differences between assessment and evaluation.

You have been studying for a whole week to pass your exam. When you’re taking the exam, it examines something way different than you’ve had been learning. This shows that instruction hasn’t met its goals. When a problem like this occurs after you’ve taken the assessment, it’s time to solve this problem. Assessing is an ongoing process during your instruction.

When a classroom assessment has taken place, students won’t be surprised anymore, because the instruction is meeting their needs. Teaching and learning must be meaningful and meet the needs of the particular communities of students.

Types of assessment tools in the classroom

There are different kinds of assessment. The most popular kinds of assessment are formative and summative assessment.

Formative assessment takes place during the beginning of your instruction. It gives the creator feedback of the strengths and weaknesses of your instruction, so you know where to improve more. Summative assessment takes place when the instruction is implemented. Summative assessment is aimed at assessing the extent to which the most important outcomes at the end of the instruction have been reached.  


Assessment in classroom is really important. With the different kinds of assessment, the teacher is able to evaluate in an ongoing process with the aim to provide feedback for developing better instruction.

Read more about why assessment is important in education.

Useful resources

The National Academies Press

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