Learning is a complex cognitive process that depends on several aspects. For students, social parameters such as geographic location and family conditions can impact their development and their ability to learn and retain knowledge. At the same time, educators must employ several strategies that will enhance the student's ability and balance the equation for everyone regardless of their origin and social status. Gladly, educators can use various assessment and instruction strategies for the learner's benefit. One of the education assessments they use is the norm-referenced assessment. Read on to learn all the information you need about this educational assessment:
Defining Norm-Referenced Assessments
Norm-referenced educational assessments are a popular type of educational assessment that enables the educator to compare an individual to a larger group of peers. The objective is to assess a learner's aptitude compared to that of their peers and gauge their ability to retain knowledge. Such tests often cover large geographical areas, and an excellent example would the national or regional examinations carried out by educational institutions.
Norm-referenced assessments differ from other educational assessments because they draw from lots of data points to reach conclusions about the student's achievements. Pass marks must consider the social, mental and physical challenges faced by the learners given the significant variations in the characteristics of the places they live.
Popular Norm-Referenced Assessment
Some of the most popular norm-referenced educational assessments include:
- Intelligent quotient (IQ) tests – these assessments aim at measuring the learner's reasoning ability. Learners take on a series of questions and scenario analyses that can showcase their ability to use logic and information to solve problems. IQ tests measure both long-term and short-term memory developed through the learner's course content.
- Standardised tests – all the learners in a given geographical location take on a standardised test to assess their abilities. Standardization means that the assessment content is fair for all those taking part in it, with respect to the challenges faced by the learners in that area.
The Effectiveness of Norm-Referenced Educational Assessments
How effective are norm-referenced assessments at gauging learners? These tests clearly bring out the differences among the learners and make it easy for educators to keep track of large-scale trends or tendencies. If students from a particular region always perform poorly in certain course units, educators can implement the appropriate corrective measures to address the shortcoming. On the downside, standardising the assessments to accommodate a large region can be detrimental to the students. It may discourage complex thinking.