Determining how much learning experience our student has received during their interaction in our class is an essential part of our teaching practice. We gauge the effectiveness of our teaching strategies based on these evidence we gather from them. Most of this evidence are being used to evaluate our students’ performance, our teaching approaches and the undertakings we made for the program or school. With the aid of this evidence, we know how to identify the problem, modify the approaches in our teaching, improve the system and classify the type of our students who are strong and that needs to be nurtured. With that, the evidence is mainly used to enhance teaching and learning.
Types of Evidence
Mainly, there are two types of Evidence, one is Quantitative and the other is Qualitative. Quantitative evidence is all about students’ achievement. An example of these are, national assessment results, data from learning conversations and student self and peer assessment, standardized assessment results such as SAT, in-school assessments, data from previous schools, student work – work completion rates and patterns, workbooks, notes, drafts of material, and portfolios of work. Other than that, included with this also is the student attendance data, student retention data, and student engagement data.  On the other hand, Qualitative evidence includes data that provides a profile of the school, about what students, staff, parents and the community think about the school. Also, it includes evidence about how the school is organized and operates. It is imperative for us teachers that we need to be aware of this factor that describes students’ wider learning environment. One should consider these factors as we interpret our actions as to how we improve the learning experience of our student.
Considerable factor in assessment
Most teachers judge best the ability of their students on how they learn based on the quantitative evidence gathered. However, we need to point out that effective and good teachers are reflective in their assessment results. We need to emphasize that there are many factors that we need to consider as we interpret our evidence. One thing that we need to consider is the demographic factor of our school and learners. An example of this is what type of students do we have. Knowing our kids is necessary when we undertake our responsibility as teachers. It’s like knowing our customer in the business parlance. There are certain students in our class that timid and less performing due to the fact that the socio-economic factor is challenging them. Some of them don’t eat their breakfast because they don’t have enough money to buy and yet they still come to school. Others need to go to work during the night in order to earn a living to sustain their studies. This and more we need to consider in out teaching. In short, effective teachers are considerate and understanding.
On the administrative side, it’s important to note that the qualification of our staff and personnel is crucial to the learning experience of our students. Staff who are experienced and well-trained are great factors in the growth of our students. Moreover, how the community perceives the program or the school also create a different mindset as to what kind of standard the school is offering for the learning of our students. The resources such as textbook, smartboard, the internet and the classes that are being offered is another considerable factor in the learning outcomes of our students.
We educators should be dynamic enough to know important factors on how our students learn and how to maximize the opportunity for the student to learn.
Bridging the Gap
Margaret Heritage, in her lecture on “Formative Assessment for Middle school: Gathering and Analyzing evidence” mentioned that evidence purpose is to bridge the gap of learning. During the learning process, students have their current learning status. Teachers responsibility is to bring the mindset of our students to the desirable outcome or learning goal of our lesson. Through instruction and feedback, we can close the gap between the students’ current learning status and the desirable learning goals. One should note that in order to undertake this effort, we need to plan how we gather our evidence. It must be that our assessments are aligned with the success criteria we set. Our evidence should provide opportunities for all, and it is not confined to few chosen individuals. Allowing them to know their progress on their efforts as they move forward.
 Types of Evidence. Assessment Online. Ministry of Education of New Zealand. Retrieved at http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Using-evidence-for- learning/Gathering-evidence/Topics/Types-of-evidence