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Meghan Cureton

Six Fixes for Proficiency-Based Learning « Competency Works - 0 views

  • Proficiency-based learning, at its core, is about redesigning the learning and teaching system of America. Instead of basing learning on how much time a student spends, it bases learning on what students can demonstrate—exactly the same as every other system students will encounter in the world outside of school.
  • In addition, schools should continue to share information pertaining to course grades and start to share information regarding student attainment of specific standards, including course-crossing skills such as problem solving, creativity, and analysis. While we would recommend that the course grades continue to use A-F or 0-100 scales, shifting to a 1-4 scale on the standards probably provides better insight for everyone involved. In this way, parents, students, and educators will know how students are doing within the structures of a class and how students are doing in regard to specific standards. This both/and approach will provide more information that can then be used to promote better learning.
  • Keep cohorts of kids together as they progress through their learning. Teachers can vary the learning strategies for various cohorts of students, supporting some students to dig deeper into various standards while others realize initial achievement—and then bringing everyone back together again to start the next unit of learning. Further, as research on learning has demonstrated, learning is a social endeavor, not meant to be undertaken alone. A cohort model supports this research.
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  • Hold students accountable to key and important standards, designating a small handful of “graduation standards” while using the other standards in the Common Core or various state standards to develop curriculum, guide instruction, and build classroom assessments. This strategy focuses learning on key and endurable concepts, skills, and themes; ensures that instructional support is targeted at the most important learning; and pushes students to think about and analyze ideas deeply rather than memorize an unwieldly number of discrete facts.
  • Educators need to clearly define top levels of performance and provide explicit expectations and opportunities for students to achieve these levels of learning. While we should not expect students to “exceed” standards in all cases, educators should require students to do so in areas of particular interest and aptitude for students.
  • Schools must establish both incentives and consequences for critical work habits such as time management and meeting deadlines. Rather than ignore these, they must teach, model, assess, and report them separately and eliminate the practice of controlling behavior by reducing grades. We have seen numerous effective strategies where late work requires coming in after school, not attending co-curricular activities, or mandatory guided study halls, to name a few examples.
Nicole Martin

Position and Power of Students in a Mastery-based System - Springpoint - 0 views

  • mastery-based system helps students know where they are on their journey toward graduation
  • formative approach
  • students are true partners in their own education, empowered to engage their learning facilitators in conversations about their learning targets and individual goals
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  • assessment practices that emphasize continual growth and development of skills
  • opportunities for student voice
  • I knew I was succeeding as an educator when students were assessing their own mastery of competencies and providing insightful evidence from their own work to guide our discussion
Meghan Cureton

The Art of Reflection | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Portfolios allow students to regularly reflect on their learning process—deepening their connection to content.
  • For portfolios to be truly valuable to both students and teachers, they need to provide insight into not only what students created as a representation of their learning, but also how and why they created it. If the ultimate goal is to develop students as learners,  they need an opportunity to make connections to the content as well as the overarching learning objectives.
  • “By capturing student learning progress and performance in the moment… we can bring learning to life.”
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  • Progress and Performance Portfolios
  • students can curate a body of work that represents their progress as well as their performance to show their thinking throughout their learning experiences.
  • when we encourage students to capture their thinking on a daily basis, reflection is no longer merely a task at the end of a project.
  • Teachers can also leverage visible thinking routines to scaffold student reflection.
  • As educators, our challenge is ensuring that students have an opportunity to engage in reflection such that they create a meaningful product to actually visit (and learn from) again and again.
T.J. Edwards

What IS the difference between competencies and standards? | reDesign - 2 views

  • Competencies, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the application of skills, knowledge and dispositions rather than content knowledge.
  • Competency-based models approach content as the backdrop, while putting essential skills and dispositions front and center. In this way, content serves as the context for practicing and demonstrating “transferable” competencies that can be applied in different contexts.
  • In competency-based models, the entire system must change. Students advance upon mastery  when they are ready, not when an arbitrary academic calendar suggests that they should be.
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  • Optimally, competencies are broad enough that student pathways and demonstrations of proficiency can be vastly different, organized to encourage and nurture student passions and questions.
  • Competencies sit above standards in terms of grain size.
  • competencies tend to encompass an interrelated set of skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and/or capacities.
  • competencies are often constructed as groupings of related skills or attributes that are purposefully designed to be explicit, measurable, transferable, and empowering to students
  • Competencies define skills that are practiced and developed continuously. They are not “one and done,” like many standards, which are course-based and attached to specific grade levels or bands.
  • in truly competency-based systems, PLDs are not attached to specific grade levels
  • we believe strongly that we must guard against tying PLDs to age-based grades or cohorts.
  • PLDs are guideposts to mastery
  • When learning outcomes are defined in terms of the application of skills or the synthesis and creation of new knowledge, we’re then talking about a much more sophisticated assessment type
  • competence is about successful application of skills and knowledge to achieve a particular purpose, not simply to show basic levels of understanding
  • In a true competency-based system, students can’t fail. Instead, students receive concrete and specific feedback on their work, and are provided with opportunities for additional practice and support in order to develop and demonstrate growth in their competencies.
  • Mastery-based grading and promotion policies are radically different in competency-based systems because promotion is based on mastery of specific skills, not on completion of courses made up of arbitrary and highly varied bundles of content, skills, and concepts.
  • As competency-based education gains ground in formal K-12 schooling, there is a very real chance that the movement could lose the “spirit” of its intent and become yet another, albeit more refined, form of standards-based learning
  • In competency-based models, performance level descriptors (PLDs) clarify the developmental journey from novice-to-expert or to "mastery."
  • Quite differently, competency-based models reach back centuries, with early apprenticeship learning that created pathways for mastery and gainful employment. Think: Medieval craft guilds, masonry, baking, carpentry, shoemaking.
T.J. Edwards

Competency based learning key characteristic: Outcomes-based - Blackboard Blog - 0 views

  • The old concepts of quizzes, mid-term exams and final exams change from methods of judgment to an assessment system designed to help learners construct knowledge through a learn-practice-assess pathway.
  • Achieve short-term and long-term academic performance improvements focused on outcomes rather than inputs
  • Student learning outcomes are generally at the same level of granularity as competencies, and sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. A competency is a specific skill, knowledge, or ability that is both observable and measurable
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  • Institutional outcomes
  • Program outcomes
  • Student learning outcomes
  • For example, a team project that requires analyzing the business impacts of population shifts demonstrates realistic problem solving, and the assessment could even be embedded in a work context. This type of assessment requires more thorough demonstration of competencies than an objective assessment, which is typically delivered as a test with pre-determined right and wrong answers. Authentic assessment also provides learner-centric benefits such as collaboration with peers and genuinely valuable evidence of learning that can be used in a professional profile.
  • For example, an assessment could be aligned to competencies, occupational skills, program outcomes, and accreditation standards. The same assessment can award a badge for mastery achievement, show students the occupational skills they’ve demonstrated, and also roll up into evidence collection for accreditation and program improvement purposes
  • can optionally be shown to students
  • Consistent use of rubrics enables learner choice, since learners could be working on different assessments to master the same competencies
  • And when competency based education programs differentiate instructional roles, such that faculty subject matter experts might not be evaluating assessments, specialized assessors can all apply the same definitions of competencies by using the same rubrics.
Bo Adams

How Good Is Good Enough? - Educational Leadership - 0 views

  • Mastery is effective transfer of learning in authentic and worthy performance. Students have mastered a subject when they are fluent, even creative, in using their knowledge, skills, and understanding in key performance challenges and contexts at the heart of that subject, as measured against valid and high standards
  • Wooden described his overall method like this: "I tried to teach according to the whole–part method. I would show them the whole thing to begin with. Then I'm going to break it down into the parts and work on the individual parts and then eventually bring them together"
  • The constant process of bringing the parts back together in complex performance is what's routinely missing from many so-called mastery learning programs.
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  • Regardless of what particular solution we come up with for linking local grades to wider-world standards, this must be our motto: No surprises; complete transparency as to where the student stands in terms of performance.
  • This is the crux of the matter: how to set school-level standards (and give grades, scores, or judgments in relation to them) in terms of valid external standards. If local tests are less rigorous than state and national tests, and if teachers' scoring and grading of student work reflect only local norms and not wider-world standards, then the school is not standards-based.
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