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Classroom Assessment Techniques: Designing Units of Instruction

As a crucial and an operating factor motivating students to read, understand and perform, a designed unit of instruction not only assists to manage time, but also to achieve the ultimate goals in education. It is appreciable that people like Merrill, Kemp, Gagne, Bloom, and Kirkpatrick among others acknowledge that there exist a strategy that could suit and improve the understanding and achievements educationally (Shambaugh, 2006). Although all make sensible and complete argument, I would like to base my argument on Merrill perspective. I appreciate that each person has his/her way of perceiving things because Merrill pronounced his thinking capacity and ability. In this essence, I would like to provide a multidimensional perspective that will evaluate a developed unit of instruction. Therefore, I will make a quality evaluation regarding the objectives, activities and assessments of a unit of instruction from an ingrained understanding of things referring to the Merrill’s first principles of instruction.

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According to Merrill (2008), enhancement to learn effectively is problem triggered. When a problem arises, the mind is set to finding the solution. For instance, most discoveries made by professors are usually on their lines of study. They push along their study from the most simplistic teaching they did not know, until they advance to more complicated studies. When their minds integrate on an idea, they start to realize that they miss something and research for it. I would also like to evidence this by pointing students trying to divide fractions for the first time. When I raise the question of dividing, it arouses challenges to the student. A student appreciates that there is something that s/he requires to understand. This will make students pay attention, and have a desire to understand. It is different from when a teacher enters to a class and starts to teach into the roots of the problem, without allowing the student to pay their full attention to the problem of the lesson. Therefore, I would write that creating a chronological unit plan to help me provide better results in accordance to California state standards in mathematics is a remarkable idea (Angelo, 1993). It helps students in persevering and making sense when finding solutions as well as improving their reasoning.

The unit plan will coordinate and organize my work to attain high levels of achievement. It will help me in deciding what to be taught, and the way I should do it. I will be aware of the procedures to follow, since I will have definite aims, activities and assessments in place that just await execution. It will provide me with a strategy to attain the goals of the unit and ensure that I use time appropriately. When arranged coherently, it will instruct me to provide the necessary ideas (Brophy, 2001, p. 24).

Let me look at how I could create a unit of instruction. Firstly, there is a need to determine the vision of the unit (Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers 2012). This is usually the ultimate reasons of studying the topic. It incorporates goals for studying subtopics. If I lack a vision, I will not be able to organize instructions in an effective way. Therefore, my work must include the vision. For example, when dealing with grade 6 mathematics on fractions, I can have a vision to explore fractions. An exploration will refer to everything that I will deal with in my objectives. At the end of a topic on fractions, I should be able to have explored the fractions.

Secondly, after setting up the unit vision, I will determine a way to assess the knowledge and skill masterly of the goals (Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers 2012). Students require the knowledge of what they are to do and what masterly requirements they need to have achieved at the end of the topic; therefore, it is necessary to test if students understood the requirements as the topic commences. For instance, a student who is to explore fraction must know that s/he requires understanding the way to deal with ratio and how to use them in solving problems. This will be proving that the students understood the goals of the topic.

At this point, the designing of objectives from the goals made previously occur (Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers 2012). This is a critical part based on achieving. It allows for progress of an evaluation. It is more specific and, therefore, acts as a better guideline for a student every lesson. If I set an objective to divide proper fractions, I would have a concise aim that students would understand easily. These objectives converge to meet a certain goal. This will enable students to understand and follow me in a coherent manner.

The fourth step describes a way to teach the objectives (2012). Therefore, I will determine the demonstrations and activities that could assist to teach the objectives. My objectives will help me attain a goal. The objectives are coherent. For instance, if it is in the topic of fractions I will teach students to estimate products and quotients of fractions before teaching that of mixed numbers. This order will help students understand the basic problems first so that they will perceive ideas easily, when I start teaching about the complex topics.

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The other step is to fit the objectives to the calendar of the school (Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers 2012). I will determine the time required and deadlines to achieve the goals. I will consider holidays, school breaks and any other distraction during the learning period so that I can achieve my vision. It will also prevent dragging the unit due to lack of time. An outstanding example is if I have eight hours to finish the topic on fractions. I have made considerations, and I know how that time can agree with my topic.

Another step is to investigate what the students already know (Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers 2012). This is the main part that paves a way to start the instructions. It will allow me to know my students so that I can measure how well they understand as I teach. It reveals the differences in understanding and the rate of perceiving. The investigation will help me know the type and mode of language that would suits everyone in my class.

Lastly, it is vital to assess how the class is performing. I will use a tracking system that will provide the overall rise or fall of the class. The tracking system will enable me to know which students failed to understand well. It will provide the students who understood certain objectives well than others. It will also enable me to assess the performance of students. Those who perform and acquire a grade of A or A- will be the better performer than those who acquire grade F or D.

Performance is and will remain the fruits of students effort incorporated with the best teaching practices. It requires corporation and desire to solve problems amicably. A problem has to be raised to activate the mind towards finding a solution. A person with prior knowledge demonstrates on finding a solution to the problem. When students understand, they apply the idea to more problems so that they understand thoroughly. At this level, the students can work alone to solve the complicated problem since their minds have integrated (Merrill, 2001). I can, therefore, write broadly to announce confidently that all teachers should ensure that they design a unit of instruction before attending lessons.


Angelo, T. A. & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Brophy, J (2001). Generic Aspect of Effective Teaching (ed). Tomorrow’s Teachers, CA: McCutchen Publishing Corporation.

Exploring distinguishing strategies of highly effective teachers: Instructional planning and delivery (2012). Teaching as leadership. Web.

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Merrill D. (2001). First Principles of Instruction. Educational Technology Research & Development.

Shambaugh, N. & Magliaro, S. (2006). Instructional design: A systematic approach for reflective practice. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Classroom Assessment Techniques: Designing Units of Instruction'. 4 January.

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