Types of Assessments
What types of assessments can be aligned with proficiency-based approaches?
There are a variety of different types of assessment that can be aligned with proficiency-based approaches to language teaching and learning. Click on each box to learn more.
Placement tests typically provide information on general language abilities and overall language proficiency to ensure students are appropriately placed into courses or classes. You could use this type of assessment to gather information about language proficiency for the purpose of placing incoming students in courses. There is limited information available on best practices for placement testing at the post-secondary level, and this type of assessment can be particularly challenging to develop, select, and/or administer in world language courses and programs. More information on placement tests can be found in the next section of this module.
Formative assessments provide information on students’ progress that can be used for planning subsequent instruction. This type of assessment provides feedback to the teacher and learner about the learner’s progress toward desired educational outcomes. In proficiency-based courses and programs, performance assessment tasks are often used to check for learning, and more information about these tasks can be found in the fourth section of this module.
Summative assessments provide information on mastery of a specific body of information (e.g., a single unit or course) or level of attainment (e.g., proficiency gains after a period of instruction). In proficiency-based courses and programs, Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) are often used to determine if students have met unit/course goals or objectives, and more information about these assessments can be found in the fourth section of this module.
Self-assessments allow students to reflect on what is going well, what they would like to improve on, and what they need to do to meet their language learning goals and objectives. More information on this type of assessment can be found in the fourth section of the module.
Peer assessments allow students to gain a deeper understanding of their own work by evaluating their peer’s performance on an assessment and then reflecting on how this compares to their own performance. More information on this type of assessment can be found in the fourth section of the module.