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Running head: IMPORTANCE OF INFORMAL ASSESSMENTS 1

Importance of Informal Assessments

Claudia Alvarez

May 1, 2019

National University

Professor Hart
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Abstract

Informal assessments are an important part of a students learning. These assessments allow

teachers to identify specific needs of students on a daily basis, allowing teachers to create

instruction that best supports the needs of the students. C.P. Brown wrote an article regarding the

importance of informal assessments for students and teachers. This literature review will discuss

some of Brown’s reasoning for the importance of informal assessments.


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Assessments are an important part of education. The education system has gone through

many different forms of formal assessment programs. What many people don’t understand is that

a grade in a paper does not define the students. Students learning can be molded to best fit each

of their needs if there are proper informal assessments being done. Informal assessments can also

be called formative assessments and checking for understanding. These specific assessments are

done by the teacher in a way that the students don’t even realize they are being assessed. The

assessments are done on a daily basis through informal observations, informal questioning,

review of daily work and/or homework.

Opportunity to Give Feedback

One of the most important reasons for informal assessments is the ability to give students

feedback on their daily work. The feedback is given on an individual based in order to allow

students the best one-on-one support possible. According to Brown, “Although most lessons are

taught in a group setting, informal assessments such as classwork, wrap-up exercises or

homework assignments create a safe, non-threatening space for students to get individualized

suggestions and written guidance from the instructor.” Students need informal assessments in

order for them to receive the needed individual feedback that is needed for them to identify

specific learning needs, strengths, learning styles and other academic information.

Concrete Daily Information

Sometimes educators get caught up with testing students in order to receive the fastest

information possible. It is important to realize that formative assessments should not be rushed

but rather be taken slowly on a day to day basis. Brown mentions, “The low-pressure nature of

these assessments presents a more accurate account of what the students actually know versus

the scores they may achieve when faced with the possible effect of the anxiety often associated
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with more high-stakes testing.” Everyday students will demonstrate their capabilities and it is up

to the teacher to make the proper assessments to best aid the students. Informal assessments

allow teachers to receive the needed information about the students learning needs allowing the

teachers to make tangible changes to their daily instruction.

Drives Instruction

Educators are constantly trying to find new and innovating ways to teach their students.

Teaching instruction is so important, but it is also important that the teachers are aware of the

comprehension of the students during instruction. “Informal assessments take the guess work out

of instruction and allow the teacher to target exact deficiencies that exist rather than reteaching

an entire lesson or unit” (Brown). Since student needs are all different, formative assessments

gives teachers the opportunity to learn about their students allowing them to create teaching

instruction that benefit all of the students learning needs. Once the students learning needs are

being met, students academic gap will decrease allowing for the students academic learning to

increase.

Finding Everyday Meaning

As many teachers know, everyday is different inside the classroom. Everyday the

students will learn something new and demonstrate their abilities in a new way. Using the

student’s abilities in an everyday basis allows for educators to effectively use what the students

are capable of in order to create effective lesson plans, learning activities and formal

assessments. Brown states “Instead of simply creating assignments strictly for the purpose of

placing a grade in the grade book, crafting well thought out informal assessments can polish the

instructional skill of all teachers from the novice to veteran educator as they adapt their

instruction to the needs of their specific students.” Informal assessments can help mold the
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classroom routine, lessons, activities, student’s participation, and many other areas of academics

that are required for student’s success inside the classroom.


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References

Brown, C. P. (n.d). Importance of Informal Assessments for Teachers. Retrieved from

https://www.theclassroom.com/importance-informal-assessments-teachers-34478.html