Testing vs. Assessing


“Testing vs. Assessing? Wait a minute! Is there a difference?”

If you have ever asked this question, then I am glad. I am glad because I was not the only one.

Before college and taking the course module Assessment at Casa Thomas Jefferson, I would have never imagined that there was a distinction between these two ways of checking on our students’ learning.

The fascinating thing about testing and assessing is that once you learn their differences, your teaching as well as your students’ learning turns out to have a big improvement.

What do you think you are doing with your students? Are you testing or assessing them?

If you said both, you are on the right track!

Sometimes what happens is that teachers constantly do the two things. I mean, they test and assess their students at the same time. However, because of whatever reasons, they do not know what kind of process they are doing. They do not have the theoretical background that would help them recognize one from the other.

My aim today is to show you that the difference between these two words is not something out of this world.

Are you ready? Let’s do it! Let’s start with testing. Take a look at the picture below:


As you can see in the picture, testing is connected to assessment. Therefore, testing is a kind of assessment. We usually use tests at the end of courses, units and so on to measure how much students have learned the subject. The result will be a final grade.

On the other hand, assessment is considered as an ongoing process which occurs all the time in the classroom. For example:

Teacher with children in classroom, boys and girls in school

Pay attention to what the teacher is asking! What he is doing is called assessment. He is trying to check if students were able to do the exercise. Also notice that even though he is assessing his students, there is no final grade at the end. It’s just an ongoing process to check how well he is teaching and how well his students are acquiring knowledge.

Did you get it? I told you it was not something out of this world! Remember that the example given for assessment is just one of the possibilities of doing it. There is a variety of ways in which you can assess your students without grading them.

What about now? Are you testing and assessing your students? Or are you just testing them?

I hope you have enjoyed the reading. See you soon!



Assessment Literacy: A new concept


Pupils In Class Using Digital Tablet With Teacher

Pupils In Class Using Digital Tablet With Teacher

Hey, everybody!

Welcome to my very first post!

Today I want to talk about an interesting topic, which is faced by teachers every single day – assessment.

“Are you assessment literate?” That was the first question my teacher, Evânia, asked my colleagues and I in our first day of class. What do you think? Are you?

If you are not sure about what an assessment literate teacher is, do not worry! Just keep on reading my post. You will find out that its concept is simpler than you thought.

Assessment Literacy

Do you know what is funny about assessment literacy?

The funny thing about it is that this is another important concept for you to remember. Another one? Yes, you’re right! I know the feeling.

When we start taking teacher development courses and when we are in an education program at a university, it is so scaring how new words, terms, concepts, theories and so many others just start being part of our lives without our notice. When we realize them, they are all there. Sometimes we think it’s impossible. But you know what? WE GET USED TO IT.

Now talking about the main topic, you may already know that assessment takes an important role in our teaching world. It not only affects our teaching, but also our students’ learning. The thing is: how do you feel when you have to talk about assessment? For some teachers, the assessment topic is a kind of nightmare.

The good news is that I am here to share with you that it does not have to be a nightmare. It can also be the best of your dreams.

According to Dawn Rogier (2014) in order for you to be considered an assessment literate teacher, the first step you will have to take is: know more about its key concepts. Then, you will start to understand how they change the way we teach and the way our students learn. In addition to that, you will also be able to undersntand the decisions we make because of its usage and so on.

You see? It is not that difficult. So, to sum it up, I would say that for you to be an assessment literate teacher, you need to know the key concepts and theories regarding assessment.

Now, what do you think? Are you an assessment literate teacher? If you are not, that is ok. I was not either. However, we can always improve the way we teach so that our students can learn better. Being knowledgable about assessment will help you in a number of different ways in the classroom and in other different settings too.

I will be writing more about assessment in this blog, so if you liked my first post, stay tuned! There is a lot to come. 🙂