Tons has been written on the subject. Here I am, to sum it up for myself again:
Assessment is meant to measure our progress towards a goal. In order to determine which assessment to use we must think backwards and start with our goals.
The Ohio Department of Education has many great resources for planning and assessment, start with Backwards Design!
As such, one must ask: what do our pupils need to know?
In planning, first, think about the big picture, then determine your tools for assessment that go along with those big-picture goals. Break overarching goals into objectives later to help build your activities.
When developing assessments, keep the following in mind (according to Baldwin, Keating, and Bachman, Teaching In Secondary Schools, Pearson 2006):
- The interest of the student is paramount (do they understand why they are being assessed, are they reflecting on learning
- Assessment is meant to improve teaching and learning
- Assessment must allow for critical inquiry through writing, debate, and discussion
- Assessment must be fair
- The consequences of assessment determine validity – any assessment procedure which does not contribute to teaching and learning and does not promote inquiry or critical thinking should not be used.
- The teacher is the most important agent of assessment and should be transparent in its process and product, constantly enhancing measures of understanding for students.
- Formative assessments to assess factual info, concepts, discrete skills necessary to build understanding
- Summative assessment involves analysis, synthesis, or evaluation of info in order to make judgments, form opinions, explain concepts
Once the assessments have been selected, one can move onto planning daily activities and exercises that will be measured by your tests, quizzes, etc.