You are here

Assessment

Assessment at all levels is an ongoing challenge faced by maths teachers and teacher educators. It is necessary to integrate teaching and assessment so that assessment is able to contribute to a teaching programme. Teachers struggle to use assessment effectively and to understand how it can inform their teaching. This focus in the Mathematics theme will provide resources that can be used to support teachers to assess learner performance in a meaningful way, develop diagnostic judgement and use the results of assessment to inform their teaching practice.

Assessment articles and resources

Articles on the use of assessment to inform teaching and learning in mathematics education

  • Using Diagnostic Classroom Assessment: One Question at a Time by Joseph F. Ciofalo & E. Caroline Wylie — January 10, 2006. This article is an analytic essay that focuses on the conceptual work of formative assessment that is the basis of a project in which 4th and 8th grade mathematics and science teachers are incorporating diagnostic items into their everyday classroom practice. The article concludes with a suggestion that diagnostic items are not only a teaching resource that can be used to have immediate impact on classroom practice, but could also be used for professional development purposes.
  • Supporting Teachers’ Use of Individual Diagnostic Items by E. Caroline Wylie & Joseph F. Ciofalo — September 05, 2008. This article addresses the concept of using single diagnostic items formatively during the course of instruction, which is the basis of a project in which 4th and 8th grade mathematics and science teachers are incorporating diagnostic items into their every day classroom practice.

Materials on the use of assessment to inform teaching and learning in mathematics education

  • A booklet entitled Assessing Algebra in the Senior Phase. This practical guide was developed by Saide to support teachers’ understanding of how to assess learners using continuous assessment. The mathematical content in the booklet is focused on algebra at a Senior Phase level but general ideas relating to assessment can be drawn from the text.
  • Newsletters produced for the Gauteng Department of Education by the Data Informed Practice Improvement Project (DIPIP), currently the featured research project on the Maths Teacher Education Space. This set of newsletters contains teacher support material on a range of topics written in response to learner achievement on a multiple choice systemic test administered in schools in 2006.

The topics were selected based on general learner needs (poor performance on the related test items) and their connection to broader mathematical misconceptions identified in the literature of mathematics education. There were six newsletters produced over a period of two years (2008-2009). The mathematical content focus of each newsletter is given below: