When reviewing your child’s academic progress at any time of the year, you may find yourself asking wondering about the importance of student assessments.
To answer this, we must first answer the question, ‘What is an assessment?’ As a short answer, an assessment is a process of observing and documenting the work children can do and understanding how they do it. Assessments provide information about your child’s skills, knowledge, understanding, interests, and abilities. Student outcomes from these assessments, then provide the basis for many educational decisions. Our teachers use assessment information to plan the curriculum and activities for an individual child or groups of children. This is why the importance of student assessments should not be neglected.
Assessment types differ depending on age. The rigor, however, increases at a consistent pace. At Nibras International School when our teachers design assessments they do so based on the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) framework. This framework is deeply embedded into the AERO curriculum.
Essentially, DOK aims to identify how deeply children must know, understand, and be self-aware of what they are learning, to explain answers, outcomes, results, and solutions. Through the successful application, students can transfer their learning and use what they have learned in different situations and real-world contexts.
There are 4 levels to DOK:
DOK-1: What is knowledge?
DOK-2: How can knowledge be used?
DOK-3: Why can knowledge be used?
DOK-4: How else can the knowledge be used?
The framework is designed to be a common language system to help administrators, teachers, and parents understand what children are expected to know and do at the different levels. Some tasks expect children to recall a fact or complete a sequence of steps, other tasks expect students to reason, extend their thinking, synthesize information from multiple sources, and produce authentic work from the information they have processed by learning over time. For example, a question like ‘what are the four seasons?’ requires recall, whereas answering a question like ‘how does the change in seasons affect my life and my surroundings?’ requires reasoning.
At Nibras International School we value how powerful a parent’s involvement in a child’s education is. Knowing some of the educational terminologies that teachers apply may help you understand why we promote the need to assess at different levels.
Head of Data and Assessment,
Nibras International School