Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic Assessment

Something that is very important for teachers to know about their students is their prior knowledge about the topic that they are going to be teaching. There are many different ways to assess this, it can be as simple as asking a question and seeing if they students know anything about it at the beginning of class or more complex like giving students a test to see where they stand.

I think that pre-assessing is an important part of teaching, you are able to see if there is something that everyone struggles with so you spend more time on it or something that everyone gets so you can do a quick review.  When teachers don’t pre-assess you don’t know exactly know where to start.

I think that it is vital for teachers to pre-assess, in class we were told how a teacher gave a test to their students for pre-assessment. They made it very clear to the students that this wasn’t for grades, they wanted to see what they know and that the “final” test was going to be something similar to this but with different numbers. After this test they found that one student got a hundred. If they teacher hadn’t pre-assessed then this students would have been unchallenged, because they choose to pre-assess they were able to modify the work so that it was challenging to the student. I think that is a great example of why diagnostic assessment is beneficial for both the students and the teacher.


4 thoughts on “Diagnostic Assessment

  1. Pre-assessment hmm. You bring up good ideas. But would you test every time to see what they know? It would get a little dull. Plus in the work place and uni we do not really get that chance to be see what we already know before they say do thing and leave us by ourselves. How would you help teach students to learn on the fly? How else would you look for diagnostic assessment?


    1. I would never want to test every time I start a new unit or new topic, because like it you said it would become very dull, very quick. But there are many different ways to look for prior knowledge, it can be a more complicated ones like test or a very simple ones like posing a question to the class and having everyone write a quick answer to. You could even have students write on white boards so you could do a visual scan of what the students know. I think that if we teach students at a young age to realize what they know beforehand and then help them to work through their challenges, then at a university or work level when they are given something that do not know a lot about they know how to work through it. I hope that makes sense to you haha. What do you mean by learning on the fly? I still think that you can look at the students prior knowledge so they can better themselves.


  2. I mean learning information without back ground. Often in math class as a student, my peers would say “I did not learn this last year, or I missed class. So I don’t know what I am doing and do not need to answer this on a test.” Then they would be questioned by the teacher why they left them blank and they said they didn’t learn it. So the teacher would help them. But then the next year in the next class they would try claim all over again since they did not work on it alone. How would you help them in this situation?


  3. In a situation like that I would try to catch them up as quickly as possible (working through lunch hours and/or after school) so that when a students moves onto the next level they have that base knowledge. I think realizing what the students know before the lesson is important in cases like this because then the teacher can see which students might need some extra help. It is so hard to move on when students don’t have the prior knowledge so being able to figure out what they know is important.


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