Assessments in Reading
Teaching is quite an important yet challenging task, and which all society must have within their systems. Of more importance is to teach the skills and abilities of reading. Teachers often find it difficult teaching students how to read, and in most cases they cannot determine the abilities of each kid until they monitor those closely using assessments (Taylor, & Pearson, 2002). Assessments are arguably the most important methods of determining the level of understanding in all reading classes. In addition, it is arguable that a single assessment method is not enough for determining the abilities and skills of the students in reading (Lapp, 2004).
The use of multiple assessment methods in testing the reading capability of students in any school setting is actually a concern of the validity of each method to be used (Hunt, 2010). This is mainly due to the fact that there is no one single assessment method that is absolutely free of errors or one that can be used to determine the absolute reality within a class of diverse students (Lapp, 2004).
The teachers in reading classes ought to know if they are assessing what they believe or claim to be on the process of assessing. The traditional assessing practices have come under criticism due to various reasons, among them being their low validity and narrow range of use (Taylor, & Pearson, 2002). In addition, there has been a use of a single assessment test at a time or absolutely sue of one method throughout he period, thus giving biased results (Hunt, 2010). These results may not reflect the reality in a class of more than one student, as each student has individual strengths and weaknesses.
A variety of methods of assessment implies that the teacher has a range of methods to apply, and thus gauge the students from various bases. A wide range of assessment methods further implies that the teacher is at a better position to detect and understand the differences in skills between the students, and to assess a wide range of reading skills that may be different t among the students (Barone, & Taylor, 2007). Moreover, each form of assessment will place some students within the class at a disadvantage to the others to some extent, and others at some advantage. If one such method is used, then it means that students at a disadvantage will always remain biased, while the rest will be at an advantage. This further implies that the use of a single assessment method is quite unfair (Barone, & Taylor, 2007).
The use of multiple method of assessment also provide with a high degree of logical results since the use of exams only in testing the students reading capability in terms of grades is no longer valid. The students are at a better position to develop interest in learning if a variety of assessment methods is applied. There is flexibility of choice if multiple number of methods are available for choosing, and the students will find it effective and interesting in competing in mote than one reading fields as compared to the use of a single method, where some students normally dominate the class (Allington, & McGill-Franzen, 2009).
Multiple Methods of assessment in reading class
Before one decides on the methods of assessment to be applied in testing the reading capability of students in a class, it is important that one first determines the reliability, degree of reproducibility, the validity and the applicability of each method within the class and the situation at hand (Young, 2007). In addition, the purpose of carrying out the intended assessment should be well known before embarking on developing the variety of methods. In a contemporary setting, the purposes of carrying out the assessment in a reading class or in any other skill within the class are basically seven (Hacker, & Graesser, 2009). These include to assist the student, top identify their strengths and weaknesses, to assesses the effectiveness of a given strategy, to assess the curriculum and suggest how it could be improved, to assess the effectiveness of teaching methods and try to improve them, to provide data important in the process of making decisions, and to communicate with an attempt to involve other parties such as the parents and the guardians (Young, 2007).
Hunt, T. (2010). Encyclopedia of educational reform and dissent, Volume 2. New York: SAGE.
Young, S. B. (2007). Digital-age literacy for teachers: applying technology standards to everyday practice. New York: ISTE (Interntl Soc Tech Education.
Barone, M., & Taylor, J. M. (2007). The practical guide to classroom literacy assessment. London: Corwin Press.
Allington, R., & McGill-Franzen, A. (2009). Handbook of Reading Disability Research. London: Taylor & Francis.
Taylor, B. M., & Pearson, D. (2002). Teaching reading: effective schools, accomplished teachers. London: Routledge.
Hacker, D., & Graesser A. C. (2009). Handbook of metacognition in education. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
Lapp, D. (2004). Teaching all the children: strategies for developing literacy in an urban setting. Cambridge, UK: Guilford Press.