Barriers to Learning: Assessment
students working in groups, with a teacher and independently
In this section, we will explore how assessments may act as barriers to learning.
It is important to consider assessments as barriers to learning. First, teachers should determine what the assessment is measuring. Be careful not to embed the means of assessment. This could result in measuring the means of assessment rather than what you are trying to measure. For example, if you are trying to measure how much a student knows about gravity and you use a text-based exam, you are likely to be measuring the students' ability to decode and comprehend text along with their knowledge of gravity. For some students, this can be a barrier for them in fully expressing their understanding of gravity.
In order to accurately assess students, educators must first determine the goal of the assessment (the construct being measured). Doing so allows educators to determine which options may be provided in order to accurately measure the student’s ability to demonstrate the construct or goal of the assessment. Keep in mind that a single means of assessment may prevent accurate measurement of all students' understanding. In order to avoid this, multiple options for assessment should be provided.
Select the link to return to Module 2 of the CAST’s UDL Online Modules and complete the section on Identifying Barriers in the Assessments activity.
Now that you know more about barriers in assessments, using the lesson you chose (elementary or secondary), examine the construct being measured (goal) in the assessment/s in the lesson. What would you suggest? What are the barriers? You may take notes on the lesson or using the document below.