Assessment & Learning Theories

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Many theories exist about how students learn and how various assessments measure what students have learned. It is important to study the various learning and assessment theories so that you can design assessments to best help your students see what they have learned.

Rote Learning and Assessment

  • Many teachers rely on both rote learning and rote learning assessment to try to get a good idea of what students have learned. Rote learning means simply having students be exposed to information and then repeating it over and over again until they have memorized it. Assessments for rote learning include having students answer worksheets and take tests that require them to regurgitate the knowledge that they have come up with. Although this assessment can gauge what students have learned, it doesn't allow them to show how the learning is important.

Hands-On Learning and Assessment

  • Hands-on learning is also important because it provides students with a chance to learn by doing. With hands-on learning, students are digging up bones and classifying them or are creating a video on the computer to learn how video systems with computers work. Assessments for this type of learning include explaining to a teacher how the learning took place. On a test, you might ask students to outline the steps that they took for each of the things that they did.

Demonstration Learning and Assessment

  • Demonstration is a different type of learning. In this type of learning, students watch a demonstration about something instead of being told about it. They may watch cookies being made or may watch someone doing a procedure. The assessment that goes along with this type of learning style would be that the student is able to describe the learning that they took in by watching the demonstration.

Presentation Learning and Assessment

  • Another way to learn is to watch a presentation to gain knowledge and learning. When students watch a presentation, they might be watching all types of information -- technological presentation, a singing presentation or another way of getting the information. With a presentation learning assessment, students need to give the information that they were presented with. This doesn't usually happen in the same way that the presentation happened in the first place.

Discussion Learning and Assessment

  • Sometimes, learning takes place through discussion. Discussion can be large- or small-group discussion, but it is different from a lecture in that students participate in the discussion and ask questions about the answers. To assess the learning that has taken place, teachers might ask students to repeat the discussion, hitting all of the key points, and monitor them to see if they do.

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