When are informal assessments useful (versus formal assessments?) How valuable are informal assessments? Can informal assessments be good replacements for formal assessments?
Informal assessments can be very useful in order to adjust on the needs of the learners since informal assessment are based on daily instructions. It is the way teachers can collect information on how students learn inside the classroom. “Informal” is used here to indicate techniques that can easily be incorporated into classroom routines and learning activities. Informal assessment techniques can be used at anytime without interfering with instructional time. Their results are indicative of the student’s performance on the skill or subject of interest.
The results or the information that we can gather in informal assessment can be use as bases for developing or adjusting our daily instructions based on the learning and teaching needs of both students and teachers. Though informal assessment is useful, it can only be used as supplement to fill in the gaps of formal assessments since formal assessments have different areas to assess, it aims to measure over all achievement and compared it with the rest of the groups to test if the design of instructions is suitable to the target group while informal assessment is learner centered, the teacher should focused on the strength and weaknesses of a learner as a learner. Informal assessments can be closely related to student’s goals and needs.
Is reflective teaching a necessary skill for informal assessment to effectively facilitate teaching- learning? (what does it mean to reflect about teaching?)
“Refelctive teaching means looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it and thinking about if it works- it is a process of self observation and self-evaluation. By collecting information about what goes in our classroom and by analyzing and evaluating this information, we identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs. This may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching. (http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/reflective-teaching-exploring-our-own-classroom-practice)
‘Reflective teaching conceptualises teaching as a complex and highly skilled activity, which, above all, requires classroom teachers to exercise judgement in deciding how to act. High-quality teaching, and thus pupil learning, is dependent on the existence of such professional expertise. (http://reflectiveteaching.co.uk/what-is-reflective-teaching)
In any areas of work, it is necessary to reflect in order to think if all the details are completed and if these details will fulfill necessary requirements to achieve the goal of teaching and learning. Reflecting on how we teach means assessing ourselves if the goals we set are met. It is also a way which we can assess our knowledge, skills and attitude though as a teacher we must exercise constructive reflection. Constructive reflection in teaching can help teachers to practice constructive approaches including significant changes and development in classroom teaching practice.
Also, through reflective teaching we can answer questions how are we doing and what do we work on now? It is very necessary for teachers as facilitator to be aware not only on the development of their students but also on themselves as well because as guidance we must ensure that learning and development will not only happen to our students but to us as teachers in order for us to achieve mastery and professional development.