In their first chapter from 500 Tips for Assessment, Brown, Race, and Smith highlight the basics of assessment in an easy to follow style, list style. These fundamental aspects of assessment include best practice in assessment, why we should assess, what we should assess and when we should assess. Within this helpful outline, the authors put assessment into perspective and allow the reader to focus on the underlying reasons for student assessment and how educators can use assessment to their advantage for learning. In a similar list style, Volonte compiles seven principles of assessment in her work Principles for Effective Classroom Assessment. These standards maintain a high level of accountability for students and teachers alike, with clear expectations for purpose and success laid out by the assessor. Volonte also highlights the importance of aligning learning targets based on where students are, to determine where they will go in like with prescribe curriculum saying, “[i]n order to meaningfully guide instruction, classroom assessment must be aligned with clear learning targets” Volonte (2006). Most notably within the article, Volonte speaks to the importance of multiple methods of assessment in order to make assessment student-centered. This design for multiple methods is not only important for diverse students but also sets students up for the unpredictable work they will encounter to be well-rounded employees. To conclude the article, Volonte highlights the importance of reducing teacher bias and planning accordingly for assessment through adequate and realistic planning which I see as the most important aspect of good assessment.
When comparing the articles by Brown et al. and Volonte, the latter is a more in-depth and critical look at assessment. To outline both texts, the authors utilize a list style of writing to engage the reader in well organized and easy to follow fundamentals on the topic at hand. While Volonte highlights 7 principles of assessment, Brown et al. give strong point form tips about assessment in a more practical and reader-friendly realm. Communication between teacher and student is at the heart of both texts, with Brown et al. stating,
Assessment should be in line with the intended learning outcomes as published in student’s handbooks and syllabus documentation, and the links between these outcomes and the assessment criteria we use should be plain to see (not just by external scrutineers such as QAA reviewers, but by students themselves) (Brown et al., 2004).
All authors write for the benefit of new and seasoned teachers alike, and Volonte especially provides a detailed look at the high standards that both pre-service and service teachers should expect from assessment practices. Overall, two helpful texts on the basics of assessment practices in the 21st century.