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This review of literature is an analysis of completed research on the nature and effect of classroom assessment practices and grading. In recent years the assessment of student performance has become a central focus of efforts to reform education (Cizek, 1997). Policy-makers have increasingly seen assessment as a measure of student and school accountability, influencing curriculum and teaching. At the center of this movement is the classroom teacher. It is the teacher who communicates standards and expectations through the assessments students experience, and it is the teacher who makes decisions daily about what students learn. Classroom assessments, because students experience them continuously, are what have meaning to students concerning their abilities and achievement. Competent teachers use assessment to inform their instruction and determine student strengths and weaknesses.
The revived interest in assessment has resulted in part by advances in cognitive learning theory, motivation, and constructivist learning. These fields have shown that effective instruction does much more than simply present information to students. Rather, good instruction provides an environment that engages students in active learning that connects new information with existing information. Learning is an ongoing. self-regulated process in which students actively receive, interpret, and relate information in a meaningful way to what they already know and understand. Recent motivational research as suggested that specific and meaningful feedback to students help determine student self-efficacy and self-confidence (Brookhart, 1997).
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VCU MERC Publications