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Emerging Practices in Music Education

Essay/Reflection 2

The following artifact shows my growth as a music educator in terms of my

understanding and knowledge of student assessment methods. My belief that students

should be given a variety of different types of assessments was strengthened as a

result of this course. In order to effectively plan appropriate assessments, it is important

to learn about each students learning styles and interests (De Feltre). Our class

discussions and readings also provided me with ideas for ways to use technology to

creatively assess students, and relate their learning experiences to their lives


As stated in my reading reflection, I understand from Gardners theory of Multiple

Intelligences that students have different learning strengths. I believe that this idea

relates to the ways in which students best represent their learning through different

types of assessment. I know that some of my students do very well with the traditional

written tests, however other students are more successful with performance-based

evaluations such as recording projects and/or playing tests.

Another belief that was reinforced through our class discussions concerning

assessment, is that teachers should assess students frequently throughout the learning

process. I think that it is important to assess students often in order to monitor student

growth and progress (Vygotsky- ZPD), and to gather information about whether a

particular concept needs to be explored in different ways to help students grasp it

better. This is a helpful way for teachers to grow and learn through gathering

information about the benefits and/or drawbacks of certain teaching activities.

Our class discussed several assessment methods including written tests and

quizzes, programmed instruction assessments, and informal assessments. We also

discussed the pros and cons of using checklists, rubrics, electronic portfolios, and

project sharing methods. Before taking this class, I had not considered using electronic

portfolios as an assessment tool. However, electronic portfolios can help demonstrate

growth and progress, which can lead to better self-efficacy (Bandura). I decided to

implement this idea into my teaching in a small way by creating a recording project for

our final exam, and allowing my students to keep their recordings at the end of the

semester to examine their progress. In the future, I would like to record multiple projects

and have them organize them in their own electronic portfolios so that they can truly see

their progress throughout the whole class, and to help them develop a growth mindset


Another assessment idea that we discussed in this class is project sharing. I

realized the social learning value that this type of assessment method offers, so I

decided to implement it into my teaching (Dewey, Vygotsky). I instructed my guitar

students to practice a duet with a partner, and then they performed it for the class.

Another way that I used project sharing is in informal partner evaluations where they

individually performed for each other, and gave each other written and verbal feedback.

These activities allowed for more communication and student involvement, and helped

create a community of learners (Dewey). Overall, this class inspired me to include a

variety of formal and non-formal, written and performance-based, and paper-based and

electronic means of assessment into my own teaching.