No matter what subject you are studying or what your discipline is, there is a high possibility that at some point in a career you’ll be in charge of teaching and grading students. No matter whether we are talking about essays, theses, annotated bibliographies or research papers – assessments of the assignment play a crucial role not only for students but for the tutors themselves.
Unfortunately, the majority of graduates don’t get enough training on how to teach or evaluate writing. Moreover, many students have limited experience in writing different sorts of assignments in their own subjects and majors. All of the above can make assessment a rather complicated task.
Understanding the importance of assessments and being able to learn and contribute, makes it much easier to motivate oneself and to improve multiple skills. In addition, the increased demand for skilled writing tutors and instructors in schools and colleges means that mastering this field may help you with finding a better job.
Just imagine every year the US companies spend over $3 billion on hiring writing trainers for their workers. Are you ready to change your life for the better and to become a guru of assessments?
Structure of an assessment
There is no single assessment structure that could be applied to all types of academic works. There are also no specific guidelines on the elements such a report should contain, so basically, every tutor is free to include anything he or she is willing to render. However, we have made a list of the things that a solid assessment should contain:
Content. Here you should indicate whether the content relates to the thesis.
- Evaluate if the points are clear and refer to the topic;
- Organization and coherence. Share your opinion on whether the examples are appropriate and the flow of the text is clear and simple. Evaluate the organization and overall structure of the text;
- Language skills. Tutors should evaluate whether the language is academic, clear, and professional. Make notes if there are misprints, as well as grammar or punctuation mistakes. If you are evaluating a performance, indicate whether the speaker was confident and enthusiastic, whether he had eye contact with the audience and showed good mastership of the material;
- The response of the audience. If the assignment was read by other students you can include observations on whether the audience liked the arguments and presentation.
No matter what sections you decide to include the assessment, make sure that the overall tone is professional and clear. Teachers should always remain objective and stick to the facts.
How to write the best assessment
Not sure whether your assessment is good enough? Want to make it better? Then follow the tips of our experienced writers.
Give clear evaluation criteria
It is not a secret that writing is one of the most difficult tasks any student has to face. It involves a wide range of skills: from remembering huge volumes of information to applying grammar. You can help students to overcome these issues by giving a concrete set of criteria that they should focus on.
Thus, you’ll narrow the assignment and give students a clear list of tasks that they will concentrate on. For example, if punctuation is not important in a particular paper, don’t waste your time and students’ energy on working on every comma. Such focus allows both sides to concentrate on the most important areas, simplify the grading process, and save lots of nerves and time.
Prioritize the assessment
During my first year of teaching, it took me days to evaluate every paper – I was marking all typos and giving notes and comments literally on every part of the assignment. It was exhausting both for me and for the students because they couldn’t focus on the things that truly mattered.
Luckily, a more experienced teacher advised me to focus on three or four important things that could improve student’s writing and knowledge on the topic. Such an approach gave me lots of free time and allowed students to focus on the things that really mattered.
Direct students to resources
Another mistake that I was constantly doing was spending lots of time to explain the grammatical rules of the assignments that I was evaluating. Then I decided to refer scholars to online resources like the Online Writing Lab every time I noticed that they were struggling with the same issues as confusing tenses or articles.
This approach not only saves lots of your time but also allows students to gain additional knowledge and complete exercise to strengthen their language skills. However, you should direct students to online sources only when there are the same mistakes along with the text. No need to lose focus and comment on every typo.
Give writing examples
You probably remember how annoying it was to spend days or even weeks on writing an assignment and then finding out that the tutor was expecting a completely opposite result. Thus, the best way to receive close to perfect papers is to provide examples of the works, which meet the requirements of your assignment.
This will not only help scholars to understand what you want but will also save your time because there will be fewer things to correct in the assessment.
Every semester I am surprised how different the students are. At first, I was preparing for a lesson to discuss a problem that my previous class was struggling with but discovered that the current one didn’t have the issue. Every class and every student are unique and have a completely different set of backgrounds and skills, so there is no common strategy to help them go through the learning process.
The secret here is to use various classroom assessment tools to track progress and comment on the issues at the beginning of the writing progress. You can ask them to start with the most challenging part of the assignment. This will show the weakest points of the students and you’ll be able to prepare for a class to address all the problems.
An alternative to this technique is using different surveys like ClassPulse or PollEverywhere.
Comment on the drafts
Another way to make the assessment process a bit simpler is checking on the progress. It is rather effective to read the draft before the submission date approaches. This means reading not only ready drafts but also addressing certain elements like an introduction, thesis or abstract.
Even though it may seem like a time-consuming stage, commenting on drafts actually saves lots of your time in the future. You can intervene right from the start, correct minor mistakes or even recommend to choose another topic.
Checking and commenting on smaller sections of the assignment may also help to realize that both you and the student are on the same wave. This leads not only to better communication and trust but also to lower levels of stress and worries.
Types of assessment topics
Assessment of written assignments is not only interesting but fun because includes tens of different tasks. Here are only some of them:
- Research papers;
- Laboratory works;
- Annotated bibliographies;
And if you were asked to write a paper on the topic of assessment, here are some of the ideas that may help:
- Academic cheating;
- Grading and grades;
- Assessment portfolio;
- Reading assessment;
- Standardized tests.
Remember, coming up with a topic is already half of success. Thus, you need to think hard before choosing a subject for your assessment. If you are evaluating someone else’s work, first make sure that your style and methodology corresponds with the goals and the tone of the analyzed piece.
Example of an assessment
The goal of this report is to provide readers with a comprehensive study of assessments that are used in Eastern Auckland Secondary classroom and aims to understand the crucial part of evaluating the process of learning and teaching.
We will focus on the strategies and instruments to evaluate both learners and teachings. The chosen school is situated in a low economic social neighborhood with several minority groups. The majority of pupils are from English-speaking families.
The school consists of 15 classes – four at Stage 3, three at Stage 2, two at Year 2 and two at Year 1. There are also three Special Needs classes and one pre-school. Even though it is rather challenging to apply the results of the assessment to all the classes of the Eastern Auckland Secondary school, it gives a detailed insight on the importance of assessment and its role in the educational process.
Assessment of different school and college assignments is a rather challenging task. The biggest problem is that students and future teachers not only have limited experience in writing academic works but are not taught how to evaluate different works.
Luckily, after reading these guidelines you have a clearer picture of how to deal with the task and will be able to assess any academic paper with ease. And if you have problems at any stage of the process, just contact our managers and they will help with creating a detailed, unbiased, and professional assessment.