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Bo Adams

How Teachers Are Changing Grading Practices With an Eye on Equity | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • experiences students have in each teacher’s class can be vastly different
    • Bo Adams
       
      I am so curious how the US faculty discussion of this article will go. This paragraph made me pause because I wonder if teachers actually care that much that their grading policies are different than another teacher's policies. Do they look at it from a student's perspective? Or from a learning coherence perspective?
  • Grades, then, become a behavior management tool, a motivational tool, and sometimes an indication of mastery too.
  • common practice of averaging grades
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  • retakes
  • extra credit
  • enter the best score
  • behavioral things
  • group work
  • 0-100 scale
  • “zero”
  • 0-4 scale,
Meghan Cureton

3 Principles to Follow for Competency-Based Education | GOA - 0 views

  • When it comes to competency-based learning (CBL), we must tend to our school cultures as deeply and thoughtfully as we tend to our classrooms.
  • Adopting CBL means more than a shift in pedagogy; it means committing to a mindset and system that prioritize learning over time, skills over content, and relevant, holistic assessment over high-stakes testing.
  • To build this culture, they focus on three essential elements.
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  • 1. Learning is a Positive, Inclusive Experience
  • Students set and pursue individualized learning goals and have in-person and online academic support options.
  • Reassessment is an academic norm.
  • Students pursue their passions.
  • Conflict resolution is built on restorative justice, not traditional disciplinary techniques.
  • 2. Students Lead Learning
  • A common thread: Culture and program should be deeply connected, specifically in how communities support student agency.
  • Every student and adult in the community creates, pursues, and updates a Learning Plan; every student has an advisor; and public exhibitions of learning that involve school and community members are the standard summative assessments.
  • 3. Professional Culture is the Foundation of School Culture
Meghan Cureton

NAIS - One School's Approach to Equitable Grading - 1 views

  • a student’s grade could be more reflective of the teacher’s approach to grading than the student’s academic performance.
  • because many of the teachers’ grading practices rewarded or punished students for every assignment, activity, and behavior in the classroom, students often were less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and cared less about learning
  • But Previna didn’t blame the teachers. After all, none of them—herself included—had ever received any training or support with how to grade
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  • She started by sharing a few articles about the weaknesses of common grading practices with the entire middle school faculty
  • Then she invited all faculty to research, examine, and imagine ways to align grading to their vision for progressive and equitable education
  • first learned how many common grading practices were created during the Industrial Revolution and are based on century-old beliefs about teaching, learning, and human potential that have long since been debunked. By continuing to use these practices, we contradict our current understanding about effective teaching and learning
  • After studying the research about grading and learning about research-supported grading practices that are more accurate, more bias-resistant, and develop intrinsic motivation in students, the pilot group of middle school faculty members was excited to start using them. These more equitable practices included using alternatives to the 0–100 scale, not including behavior in the grade, ending extra credit, using rubrics, and developing a culture of retakes and redos
  • Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
  • Grade inflation decreased
  • Grades are more accurate and less biased
  • Students’ motivation increased
  • Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining
Meghan Cureton

NAIS - A Standards-Based Assessment Model Can Help Build More Diverse and Equitable Com... - 0 views

  • For students to take critical feedback constructively, they have to believe that it is possible for them to improve.
  • school’s assessment and feedback philosophy can encourage a sense of belonging as well as promote a culture that embraces all students as capable of growing and improving as thinkers, learners, and doers. To build on the authentic social justice work being done in our schools and to make real progress in our efforts to create inclusive and equitable communities, we must adopt and employ assessment practices that support this work.
  • The Intersection of SBA and Cultural Responsiveness
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  • Hammond argues that teachers are culturally responsive when we help students to be “active participants in tracking their own growth.”
  • Provide actionable feedback
  • Hope is a critical ingredient for positive relationships needed for culturally responsive teaching. SBA, with clearly communicated goals, actionable feedback, and opportunities for reassessment, helps teachers to be “merchants of hope in their role as allies in the learning partnership.”
  • We have chosen efficiency over efficacy; the education system decided to assess what is easy, not what matters. If we want our learners to have the intra- and interpersonal skills to navigate, negotiate, and solve relevant and pressing problems, we must teach, assess, and report on these skills.
  • Educators have the power to immediately change the way they assess to support a culturally responsive model.
Meghan Cureton

Do historians miss the ideals of assessment, as some have suggested? - 0 views

  • Grading Smarter, Not Harder
  • Their recent finding that many students don’t learn critical thinking in undergraduate history courses -- a challenge to history’s sales pitch that its graduates are finely tuned critical thinkers.
  • A panel of professors here urged a sizable crowd of colleagues to embrace not just grades but formative, ongoing assessment to gauge student learning or lack thereof in real(er) time.
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  • LASER, an acronym for Love history, Acquire and analyze information, Solve difficult problems, Envision new explanations, and Reveal what you know. Sourcing work, which Calder called a “threshold concept” in history, means asking students to evaluate the reliability of various historical texts. Who made it? When? Why? What value does it hold for historians, if any?
  • letter grades “do little to differentiate the level of student effort or the quality of student work or student growth over the course of a semester or program,”
  • to the idea of “transparency,” which they all agreed begins with articulating clear student learning goals -- for themselves and their classes.
  • Whatever the activity or assessment, Mintz said it needs to be aligned with a particular learning objective. Research suggests that the most effective activities and assessments when it comes to student learning are considered “authentic,” or those that mirror professional practice and address some meaningful question,
  • Project and performance-based assessments are much more likely to provide a “valid measure of student proficiencies and higher-order thinking skills than are multiple choice or short-answer questions,” Mintz continued. And evaluation needs to be based on a detailed rubric, he said, suggesting that students may help create these rubrics.
  • But “a paradigm shift is occurring in higher education,” Mintz said. “We all know this. We’re sifting from teaching to learning, shifting from a sink-or-swim mentality to a mentality where we have obligation to bring all students to minimum viable level of competency.” That is regardless of institution type, he said.
  • think of themselves as "learning architects" whose meaningful "forward-looking" assessment will be a "true learning opportunity" for students.
  •  
    HT @cmtbasecamp
Meghan Cureton

The Case For Competency-Based Education | Getting Smart - 0 views

  • transformed schools that feature tasks and projects that challenge young people in authentic ways to build design, collaboration, and communication skills that prepare young people for navigating new and complex situations.
  • Quality preparation. Much of the corporate training world has shifted from participation to demonstrated skills in order to improve job readiness.
  • Equity. If gap-closing equity is a stated goal, then structures, schedules, and supports can be aimed at struggling learners that need more time and assistance to accelerate their learning 
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  • Learning science. As Harvard’s Todd Rose notes, there is no average; each of us has a “jagged profile.” He and others argue that we should address the individual needs of learners.
  • Agency
  • The extent to which a student owns their own learning, often called agency, is key
  • innovation is required in five dimensions: More innovative learning models and networks, particularly for high schools (XQ, NewSchools, and NGLC grantees are a good start); Competency-based learning platforms, gradebooks, badge and portfolio systems; Quality guidance systems that ensure equity and access. Mastery-based transcripts that allow students to more fully share their capabilities with postsecondary institutions and employers; State policy that advances a relevant graduate profile, makes room for innovation pilots, and articulates a quality outcome framework (see the CompetencyWorks report Fit for Purpose).
Meghan Cureton

Want to Assess Noncognitive Competencies? Examine Student Work | GOA - 0 views

  • we should deeply examine student work, and this must include robust student self-assessment.
  • Unfortunately, many transcripts or report cards simply give course titles and grades. We should have transcripts and final reporting mechanisms that show the whole child, beyond their grades and their work in typical cognitive domains.
  • Using noncognitive competencies as assessment tools in courses and student projects is often something that teachers don’t have much expertise in. Many teachers have been hired for their content expertise and they are much more invested in, and/or have been trained in, the assessment and reporting of cognitive competencies.
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  • Ensure competencies are written in student-friendly language.Use single point rubrics.Encourage student reflection about their own work.Explore school models which encourage public exhibitions of student work and deep examination of student work, with students heavily involved and perhaps leading the assessment process.
Bo Adams

NAIS - One School's Conversation About Open Gradebook - 1 views

  • The critical difference is that at Harpeth Hall, and most likely any all-girls school, we know a student’s numeric average at any given moment will never provide the whole picture of her educational journey
  • At this time, we can find no research showing that open gradebooks have improved students’ grades or helped teachers know their students better.
  • The current system, while technically old-fashioned, preserves the teacher-student relationship and still allows students to have ownership.
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  • In order to address this confidence gap, we have identified several primary inhibitors we see in our students. Three of these five inhibitors could be exacerbated by an open gradebook.
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.
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