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Tracy Tuten

How Can We Make Assessments Meaningful? | Edutopia - 170 views

  • Criteria for a Meaningful Classroom Assessment To address these requirements, I ask myself the following guided questions: Does the Assessment involve project-based learning? Does it allow for student choice of topics? Is it inquiry based? Does it ask that students use some level of internet literacy to find their answers? Does it involve independent problem solving? Does it incorporate the 4Cs? Do the students need to communicate their knowledge via writing in some way? Does the final draft or project require other modalities in its presentation? (visual, oral, data, etc...)
  • So how can high-stakes assessments be meaningful to students? For one thing, high-stakes tests shouldn't be so high-stakes. It's inauthentic. They should and still can be a mere snapshot of ability. Additionally, those occasional assessments need to take a back seat to the real learning and achievement going on in every day assessments observed by the teacher. The key here, however, is to assess everyday. Not in boring, multiple-choice daily quizzes, but in informal, engaging assessments that take more than just a snapshot of a student's knowledge at one moment in time. But frankly, any assessment that sounds cool can still be made meaningless. It's how the students interact with the test that makes it meaningful. Remember the 4 Cs and ask this: does the assessment allow for: Creativity Are they students creating or just regurgitating? Are they being given credit for presenting something other than what was described? Collaboration Have they spent some time working with others to formulate their thoughts, brainstorm, or seek feedback from peers? Critical Thinking Are the students doing more work than the teacher in seeking out information and problem solving? Communication Does the assessment emphasize the need to communicate the content well? Is there writing involved as well as other modalities? If asked to teach the content to other students, what methods will the student use to communicate the information and help embed it more deeply?
  • Another way to ensure that an assessment is meaningful, of course, is to simply ask the students what they thought. Design a survey after each major unit or assessment. Or, better yet, if you want to encourage students to really focus on the requirements on a rubric, add a row that's only for them to fill out for you. That way, the rubric's feedback is more of a give-and-take, and you get feedback on the assessment's level of meaningfulness as soon as possible.
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  • Download the example (left) of a quick rubric I designed for a general writing assessment. I included a row that the participants could fill out that actually gave me quick feedback on how meaningful or helpful they believed the assessment was towards their own learning.
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    Worthwhile article on designing meaningful assessments
Martin Burrett

@NFERClassroom launches free 'Assessment Hub' resource for teachers - 10 views

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    "The NFER Assessment Hub, which has been designed to help school practitioners build their confidence with classroom Assessment, offers a host of free support written by NFER's team of Assessment researchers with teaching backgrounds. This support includes a collection of short-read articles which introduce various aspects of classroom Assessment, as well as an exclusive new practitioner guide series titled 'Brushing up on Assessment', due to be released weekly throughout October and November. From guidance on understanding Assessment policies to tips on making the most of Assessment data, the guides will offer valuable insight and advice to support practitioners in delivering an Assessment approach that is right for their pupils and their school."
Matt Renwick

It's Not the Assessment - It's How You Use It | Assessment in Perspective - 78 views

  • We acknowledge that there is so much that is out of our control right now when it comes to assessment, but we believe we need to also remember what we can control.
  • These assessments can help a teacher determine the type of small group and whole class instruction that needs to be done to support her readers in using strategies effectively and flexibly. This type of analysis is typically not required — only the list of levels needs to be turned in.
  • When we simply look at these students based on the numerical score they achieve on these assessments, we lose so much data. Knowing a student or group of students did not reach a benchmark helps us determine that these kids need support, but it does not tell us the type of support they need.
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  • Assessing students counts as a conference!
  • Another way to translate assessments into day-to-day teaching is to use your conferring notebook while you are doing your required assessments.
  • It is so helpful to take a little the extra time after each assessment to think about what you learned, and how you can use that data tomorrow to lift the quality of your instruction.
  • we believe that what is most important is that you can assess the full profile of a reader and you use the assessment data to inform your teaching
  • Sometimes it is better to stay the course with the tools we have and understand it is the best decision for our district at this point in time.
    • Matt Renwick
       
      student portfolios
  • This work is messy and rarely precise.
Lauren Ktytor

balanced-assessment - home - 75 views

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    Increase knowledge of types of assessment, Make connections between 21st-century learning and assessment, Explore research to support balanced assessment and technology integration in assessment, Recognize the impact of Higher Order Thinking Skills in effective integration of technology into assessment, Demonstrate activities that integrate technology tools, Discuss questions related to the implementation of assessment supported by technology tools
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    balanced assessment wiki
Judy Robison

Free Practice Tests - Varsity Tutors - 44 views

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    Assessment | News Varsity Tutors Debuts Free Test Question Site By Dian Schaffhauser 11/07/13 Varsity Tutors, a providor of private tutoring to students online, has launched a new, free service with the intention of becoming the "Khan Academy" of practice tests. The company has introduced a Web-based Assessment system intended to replace other forms of educational content such as SAT or ACT preparation books or online subscriptions to Assessment materials. Varsity Learning Tools, as it's called, makes hundreds of free practice tests available in 95 subjects. Currently in open beta testing, the site lists Assessment tests by subject and allows the user to choose to answer a single test, flashcards, or a question of the day. Each question can be shared through social network services. When the student answers it, a second page displays with an Assessment and explanation and data on how much time was spent on the question, and how many others answered it correctly." (Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2013/11/07/varsity-tutors-launches-free-test-question-site.aspx?=THEEL#8hQzr0oig6X2IZmS.99)
Don Robinson

Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom - 5 views

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    When a comprehensive assessment program at the classroom level balances student achievement information derived from both summative and formative assessment sources, a fuller picture of where a student is relative to established learning targets and standards emerges."> This is a cached version of http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspx. Diigo.com has no relation to the site.position:absolute;right:20px;top:5px;color
Sigrid Murphy

Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland's schools improve but that American reformers now ignore - 64 views

    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Interesting Top Five
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Answer explanation is almost as important as mathematic problem solving.  If we really want to know if a student understands ANY concept, we need to ask him/her to write their explanation.  Sometimes the understanding comes from the thinking required to do the writing - writing to make it make sense!
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Why don't we consider relating almost every lesson to everyday life?  Seems like an obvious thing to do to me!
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    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Wow!  I think the concept of doing less of something in order to make time for experimentation is a fabulous idea!  Do you mean there are different aspects of student assessment and testing beyond a bubble sheet?  :)
  • Most of them have studied psychology, teaching methods, curriculum theories, assessment models, and classroom management researched and designed in the United States
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Finland's successful practices are something they learned here in the U.S.  So, why aren't our teachers here in the U.S. employing those same practices successfully?
  • Professional development and school improvement courses and programs often include visitors from the U.S. universities to teach and work with Finnish teachers and leaders.
  • in an ideal classroom, pupils speak more than the teacher
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Hooray!
  • the entire Finnish school system looks like John Dewey’s laboratory school in the U.S.
  • cooperative learning has become a pedagogical approach that is widely practiced throughout Finnish education system
  • Finnish teachers believe that over 90 percent of students can learn successfully in their own classrooms if given the opportunity to evolve in a holistic manner.
  • After abolishing all streaming and tracking of students in the mid-1980s, both education policies and school practices adopted the principle that all children have different kinds of intelligences and that schools must find ways how to cultivate these different individual aspects in balanced ways.
  • it is ironic that many of these methods were developed at U.S. universities and are yet far more popular in Finland than in the United States. These include portfolio assessment, performance assessment, self-assessment and self-reflection, and assessment for learning methods.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Alternative assessments!  Performance, portfolio, self-assessment, self-reflection, and assessment of learning methods...
  • Peer coaching—that is, a confidential process through which teachers work together to reflect on current practices, expand, improve, and learn new skills, exchange ideas, conduct classroom research and solve problems together in school
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Working together and reflecting on current practices - Reflection helps to expand, improve, and provides an opportunity to learn and exchange ideas to solve problems
  • the work of the school in the United States is so much steered by bureaucracies, test-based accountability and competition that schools are simply doing what they must do
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Sadness Abounds!  We are teaching folks what works best.  Then, they enter the classroom and get wrapped up in bureaucracies and test-based accountability to the point that teachers are just going through the motions instead of facilitating quality learning
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    Pasi Sahlberg Blog Finnish education reform Originally published in Washington Post, 24 July 2014 An intriguing question whether innovation in education can be measured has an answer now. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in its recent report "Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation" measures Innovation in Education in 22 countries and 6 jurisdictions, among them the U.S.
Nigel Coutts

Avoiding Assessment Mistakes - The Learner's Way - 57 views

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    Assessment is arguably the piece of the learning cycle we get most wrong. Whether looked at from the perspective of the learner, the teacher, the school administrator, the politician or the parent, Assessment is misunderstood and poorly utilised as a tool for learning. The importance of changing this situation is only made more salient in light of the countless research studies from the likes of Jon Hattie & Dylan Wiliam that points to the power of effective Assessment. So, what are the common mistakes and how might we avoid them?
Chris Sloan

Measuring Classroom Progress: 21st Century Assessment Project Wants Your Input » Spotlight - 51 views

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    Guest authors Daniel Hickey and Brian Nelson argue that the opportunity to institute true reform in assessment practices is now, and the Race to the Top assessment Initiative should think more broadly about how we measure progress in the classroom. They welcome comments on findings from the MacArthur 21st Century assessment Project.
Randolph Hollingsworth

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011 - 2 views

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    Asa Spencer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes in the Education Gadfly Weekly: "Traditionalists cringe, tech buffs rejoice: This latest NAEP writing assessment for grades eight and twelve marks the first computer-based appraisal (by the "nation's report card") of student proficiency in this subject. It evaluates students' writing skills (what NAEP calls both academic and workplace writing) based on three criteria: idea development, organization, and language facility and conventions. Results were predictably bad: Just twenty-four percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored proficient or above. Boys performed particularly poorly; half as many eighth-grade males reached proficiency as their female counterparts. The use of computers adds a level of complexity to these analyses: The software allows those being tested to use a thesaurus (which 29 percent of eighth graders exploited), text-to-speech software (71 percent of eighth graders used), spell check (three-quarters of twelfth graders), and kindred functions. It is unclear whether use of these crutches affected a student's "language facility" scores, though it sure seems likely. While this new mechanism for assessing kids' writing prowess makes it impossible to track trend data, one can make (disheartening) comparisons across subjects. About a third of eighth graders hit the NAEP proficiency benchmark in the latest science, math, and reading assessments, compared to a quarter for writing. So where to go from here? The report also notes that twelfth-grade students who write four to five pages a week score ten points higher than those who write just one page a week. Encouraging students to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a start."
Shannon Smith

Need resources to assist in creating a 21st century learner training/ professional deve... - 131 views

Thank you! This is great information! James McKee wrote: > Shannon, > > I was recently referred to this video of Michael Wesch who teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He ...

professional development 21st century learners technology

Benjamin Light

The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement - 83 views

  • First, students tend to lose interest in whatever they’re learning. As motivation to get good grades goes up, motivation to explore ideas tends to go down. Second, students try to avoid challenging tasks whenever possible. More difficult assignments, after all, would be seen as an impediment to getting a top grade. Finally, the quality of students’ thinking is less impressive. One study after another shows that creativity and even long-term recall of facts are adversely affected by the use of traditional grades.
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      SO true!
    • Terie Engelbrecht
       
      Very true; especially the "avoiding challenging tasks" part.
  • Unhappily, assessment is sometimes driven by entirely different objectives--for example, to motivate students (with grades used as carrots and sticks to coerce them into working harder) or to sort students (the point being not to help everyone learn but to figure out who is better than whom)
  • Standardized tests often have the additional disadvantages of being (a) produced and scored far away from the classroom, (b) multiple choice in design (so students can’t generate answers or explain their thinking), (c) timed (so speed matters more than thoughtfulness) and (d) administered on a one-shot, high-anxiety basis.
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  • The test designers will probably toss out an item that most students manage to answer correctly.
  • the evidence suggests that five disturbing consequences are likely to accompany an obsession with standards and achievement:
  • 1. Students come to regard learning as a chore.
  • intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation tend to be inversely related: The more people are rewarded for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.
  • 2. Students try to avoid challenging tasks.
  • they’re just being rational. They have adapted to an environment where results, not intellectual exploration, are what count. When school systems use traditional grading systems--or, worse, when they add honor rolls and other incentives to enhance the significance of grades--they are unwittingly discouraging students from stretching themselves to see what they’re capable of doing.
  • 3. Students tend to think less deeply.
  • 4. Students may fall apart when they fail.
  • 5. Students value ability more than effort
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      This is the reinforcement of a "fixed mindset" (vs. (growth mindset) as described by Carol Dweck.
  • They seem to be fine as long as they are succeeding, but as soon as they hit a bump they may regard themselves as failures and act as though they’re helpless to do anything about it.
  • When the point isn’t to figure things out but to prove how good you are, it’s often hard to cope with being less than good.
  • It may be the systemic demand for high achievement that led him to become debilitated when he failed, even if the failure is only relative.
  • But even when better forms of assessment are used, perceptive observers realize that a student’s score is less important than why she thinks she got that score.
  • just smart
  • luck:
  • tried hard
  • task difficulty
  • It bodes well for the future
  • the punch line: When students are led to focus on how well they are performing in school, they tend to explain their performance not by how hard they tried but by how smart they are.
  • In their study of academically advanced students, for example, the more that teachers emphasized getting good grades, avoiding mistakes and keeping up with everyone else, the more the students tended to attribute poor performance to factors they thought were outside their control, such as a lack of ability.
  • When students are made to think constantly about how well they are doing, they are apt to explain the outcome in terms of who they are rather than how hard they tried.
  • And if children are encouraged to think of themselves as "smart" when they succeed, doing poorly on a subsequent task will bring down their achievement even though it doesn’t have that effect on other kids.
  • The upshot of all this is that beliefs about intelligence and about the causes of one’s own success and failure matter a lot. They often make more of a difference than how confident students are or what they’re truly capable of doing or how they did on last week’s exam. If, like the cheerleaders for tougher standards, we look only at the bottom line, only at the test scores and grades, we’ll end up overlooking the ways that students make sense of those results.
  • the problem with tests is not limited to their content.
  • if too big a deal is made about how students did, thus leading them (and their teachers) to think less about learning and more about test outcomes.
  • As Martin Maehr and Carol Midgley at the University of Michigan have concluded, "An overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence."
  • Only now and then does it make sense for the teacher to help them attend to how successful they’ve been and how they can improve. On those occasions, the assessment can and should be done without the use of traditional grades and standardized tests. But most of the time, students should be immersed in learning.
  • the findings of the Colorado experiment make perfect sense: The more teachers are thinking about test results and "raising the bar," the less well the students actually perform--to say nothing of how their enthusiasm for learning is apt to wane.
  • The underlying problem concerns a fundamental distinction that has been at the center of some work in educational psychology for a couple of decades now. It is the difference between focusing on how well you’re doing something and focusing on what you’re doing.
  • The two orientations aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but in practice they feel different and lead to different behaviors.
  • But when we get carried away with results, we wind up, paradoxically, with results that are less than ideal.
  • Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply today because assessment has come to dominate the whole educational process. Worse, the purposes and design of the most common forms of assessment--both within classrooms and across schools--often lead to disastrous consequences.
  • grades, which by their very nature undermine learning. The proper occasion for outrage is not that too many students are getting A’s, but that too many students have been led to believe that getting A’s is the point of going to school.
  • research indicates that the use of traditional letter or number grades is reliably associated with three consequences.
  • Iowa and Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills,
    • Benjamin Light
       
      I wonder how the MAP test is set?
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    The message of Daniel Pinks book "Drive" applies here. Paying someone more, i.e. good grades, does not make them better thinkers, problems solvers, or general more motivated in what they are doing. thanks for sharing.
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    Excellent summary!
Sara Thompson

Testing the Teachers - NYTimes.com - 79 views

    • Sara Thompson
       
      assessment, yes; testing, no. There are plenty of other forms of providing data, such as portfolios. 
  • There has to be a better way to get data so schools themselves can figure out how they’re doing in comparison with their peers.
    • Sara Thompson
       
      Does he actually think No Child Left Behind WORKS???
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  • If you go to the Web page of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and click on “assessment,” you will find a dazzling array of experiments that institutions are running to figure out how to measure learning.
  • Some schools like Bowling Green and Portland State are doing portfolio assessments — which measure the quality of student papers and improvement over time. Some, like Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, use capstone assessment, creating a culminating project in which the students display their skills in a way that can be compared and measured.
  • The challenge is not getting educators to embrace the idea of assessment. It’s mobilizing them to actually enact it in a way that’s real and transparent to outsiders.
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    There's an atmosphere of grand fragility hanging over America's colleges. The grandeur comes from the surging application rates, the international renown, the fancy new dining and athletic facilities. The fragility comes from the fact that colleges are charging more money, but it's not clear how much actual benefit they are providing.
Sharin Tebo

The Importance of Low-Stakes Student Feedback | ASSESSMENT | MindShift | KQED News - 62 views

  • culture of learning” instead of a “culture of earning.”
  • Creating that kind of culture isn’t easy, but Bull continually goes back to formative assessment as the key.
  • “I find that formative assessment tends to be the most important aspect of a learning assessment plan,” he said. “It has the most impact on a student’s learning.”
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  • grade-less report card, where words like “outstanding” or “needs improvement” are used in place of letter or number grades.
  • digital or paper portfolios that display a collection of student work. “It’s a very reflective process,” said Bull. It works best if students analyze their own body of work
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    Low-Stakes Student Feedback & Assessment
A Gardner

Learning, Leading and Reflecting: 10 principles of formative assessment - 103 views

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    Great resource. MT @justintarte: 10 principles of formative #assessment: http://t.co/NUwVlXzRZ7 via @mdmcneff #edchat #ntchat
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    Great resource. MT @justintarte: 10 principles of formative #assessment: http://t.co/NUwVlXzRZ7 via @mdmcneff #edchat #ntchat
H DeWaard

Blended and Online Assessment Taxonomy Infographic - e-Learning Infographicse-Learning Infographics - 45 views

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    The Blended and Online Assessment Taxonomy Infographic presents types of activities and grading and feedback criteria to help you plan better Assessments.
Roland O'Daniel

Assessment Competency: How to obtain the right information to improve data-driven instruction | Whitepapers | Resources | Lexia Learning - 32 views

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    Identifying ways to help teachers think about assessment holistically rather than as a summative piece and create a plan to assess learning through an entire unit. Good quick read.
Martin Burrett

Peer or Self-Assessment? Benefits and Challenges by @RichardJARogers - 17 views

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    "There's no doubt about it - getting students involved in their own assessment and marking has a wide variety of benefits. Take this great summary by Rosario Hernandez at University College Dublin for example, which explains that peer-assessment benefits students in four key ways: Promotes high-quality learning Contributes to skills development Furthers personal development Increases students' confidence, reduces stress and improves student motivation"
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