3 Tips for Using a Writing Assessment for Testing Your Students

Nearly all American high schools have begun utilizing classroom writing assessments to measure their students’ writing abilities. Rarely before have teachers seen the results of such programs, so the question arises: what can a classroom writing assessment tell teachers?

Before we get into that, it’s important to understand how classroom assessments work. They are often designed to give students a prompt and then allow them to produce writing that demonstrates their understanding of a certain element of writing.

To understand more about classroom writing assessments, plus how you can use them to maximize your classroom, keep reading.

1. Set Clear Goals for Your Students

When using writing assessments for testing your students, it is important to set clear goals for them to achieve. Knowing what outcome you would like the students to reach can help keep them focused on reaching it. It is also important to ensure that the assessment is valid and reliable.

You can do that by having a pre-test and post-test assessment to compare the results. Make sure that the purpose of the assessment and the topics that are going to be covered are clear. Have a plan for how you and the students will go about the assessment, and make sure to provide feedback.

Finally, be sure to give the students enough time to complete the assessment and to ask any questions they have.

2. Identify Appropriate Writing Assessment Strategies

The first thing you need to do to test your students on their writing skills is to make a plan. Think about what type you want to use, what the goals will be, and how you will score the tests.

At the same time, decide which skills will be the focus of the test and come up with a plan for reviewing and grading the test. When developing the plan further, don’t forget to make sure that students understand what is expected of them on the writing assessment.

Providing students with a rubric can also be helpful for students to gauge and prepare for the assessment. Allow students to have sufficient time to write, edit, and revise. Use race strategy when necessary.

Lastly, provide feedback when marking, including identifying elements of the assessment that were completed well and areas that need improvement.

3. Establish Criteria for Assessing Student Writing

By setting criteria, each student will be held to the same standard, and their performance will be judged in a fair and unbiased way. When making criteria, you should think about how well the student writes and how well they can follow directions.

Criteria should be able to be measured, results should be attainable, and expectations and goals should be made clear. You should give students feedback on their work as soon as possible so they know what they need to do to get better and are encouraged to keep writing.

Lastly, make sure to let students know about any changes to the criteria before assessing them so that everyone has the same starting point.

Writing Assessment Tips

Assessment writing should be included in a teacher’s repertoire and can improve student writing. Educators should plan ahead and focus on the outcomes they wish to achieve when using a writing assessment with their students.

Assessing students’ writing can be incredibly helpful in measuring their progress, and with these tips, teachers will be well-prepared to use them effectively. Try some of these tips and watch your students blossom as writers!

For more insight on educational concerns, check the rest of our blog.