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Do we do informal assessment in Physics Classroom?

  1. Apr 20, 2013 #1
    Right now, I am in student in graduate school MAT program, so I can be come a high school physics teacher. One of the things I am really struggling with is understanding and applying informal assessments.

    1. Beyond simple student feedback, does anyone know of concrete examples of informal assessment in physics education? Is their a specific type of informal assessment you use an educator?
    2. During the informal assessment, do you use a checklist, rating scale, anedotal notes to record observations? Can you give an example or broad template of what a informal assessment checklist/rating scale/outline might look like for a science class or physics class?
    3. What are your thoughts on using informal assessments in the classroom? Do you see specific advantages or limitations?

    I feel like if I had an example of an informal assessment in science or an example of how a science teacher documents their informal student observations, I would not struggle with this topic as much as I have so far this semester.

    I am really interested in informal assessments. Eventually, I would like create an informal assessment to help grow my future students critical thinking skills. Can you guys help me better understand informal assessment in the contexts of physics education?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2013 #2
    umm... did I post this in the wrong thread again?
    I meant the teacher education forums of PF, but its gets confusing sometimes with the differences between Homework, Career Advice, etc.
  4. Apr 22, 2013 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    Education Advisor

    I'm not following you- are you referring to assessing the students or the instructor? Also, what is the difference between a 'formal' and 'informal' assessment?
  5. Jun 21, 2013 #4
    Formal assessment is a test/exam. Informal assessment is asking them a question to see if they know the answer. Without actually answering your question, I'll offer advice.

    Your informal assessment should be the same as your formal assessment. If you ask a question to assess their knowledge/understanding, then ask the same question on the formal assessment. This works vice versa. If you ask a question on the test/exam, you should have asked the same question informally apriori. For students, this will reinforce their knowledge and understanding and make clear that anything you ask them is knowledge they will use in the future (on the exam/test.)

    Now to answer #2...
    You should be reading off the test you will give them.
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