Written by Victoria (Teach Starter)
Posted Monday September 19, 2016
There are many benefits of monitoring student progress on an ongoing basis in the classroom. Regular formal and informal assessments provide teachers with valuable information on the progress and achievements of their students. They also give teachers the opportunity to reflect on their own teaching and assess the impact of the instructional strategies they use.
This blog outlines four benefits of monitoring student progress, with links to helpful resources that will assist you in your own classroom.
Collecting Useful Data
Carrying out regular assessments and collecting student samples of work is a useful way of gathering informative student performance data. This data is helpful when monitoring the progress of individual students across a range of learning areas, as well as tracking their achievement throughout the year. The data can be used to identify where a student is placed in relation to their personal learning goals, the other students in the class or other targeted benchmarks.
Whole school data walls are now commonly being used to inform teachers of the academic progress of each student in the school. Information collected from classroom assessments and work samples is displayed on these data walls, creating a whole school approach for the responsibility of monitoring student progress.
Improving Teacher Instruction
One great benefit of monitoring student progress is that it allows the teacher to evaluate the effectiveness of their own teaching. If the majority of the class is finding it difficult to understand or demonstrate a specific objective, it may not be the ability of the students that is the issue, but the delivery method through which the concept is being taught. It is important for teachers to assess their own instructional strategies to see if they are working. A collection of work samples and pre and post tests may indicate that there is a need for the teacher to adjust their instructional strategies to better meet the needs of the students. At times, the need to reteach a specific lesson may be required.
Monitoring student progress can help teachers to make more informed instructional decisions and change their teaching style to improve the quality of their teaching.
Ensuring Achievement for Every Student
Monitoring student progress on a regular basis enables the teacher to analyse a student’s current performance level for a specific skill. As a result, teachers can provide students with assistance in achieving their personal academic goals. With information from assessments and samples of work, the teacher can work with the student to establish achievable learning goals and help each student to stay on track. With ongoing monitoring of the students, teachers can establish an achievable and individual rate of progress for each student, or intervene when required.
Teachers can also use the information collected to provide students with valuable feedback. With this feedback, students gain greater personal responsibility for their own learning and become more aware of their own academic performance.
Identifying Students At Risk
With ongoing monitoring of student progress in the classroom, the teacher is able to identify students at risk and provide intervention when required. Additional support and instruction can be given to at-risk students and areas that need to be retaught or taught differently can be identified. Monitoring all students on a regular basis ensures that no student ‘slips through the gap’. It also highlights those students that require extension and more challenging tasks.
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