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Working with Parents - 0 views

  • Teacher outreach efforts to parents most typically include writing a newsletter or inviting parents into the classroom. Calling parents with good news about a child's progress also strengthens the teacher-parent relationship. Home visits, done either before or after the school years starts, can also be extremely valuable. These visits can improve significantly the relationship between teachers and parents. "From the very beginning, I knew the importance of soliciting help from parents," says Julie Gutierrez (Richardson, Texas). "I sent a weekly newsletter home explaining our week's worth of activities, and in it, I gave ideas for working with the children. Conferences and phone calls also served as wonderful opportunities for me to get parents involved. Periodically, I sent papers explaining developmental stages of reading and writing so that parents might gauge their child's progress and look forward to the next step. It's amazing how quickly a child can achieve mastery when the support of a parent is present."
    • Aryn Kruse
       
      What are your strategies for connecting with parents?
  • earn their trust
    • Aryn Kruse
       
      What strategies do you use to build trusting relationships with families
  • Show support for learning at home Communicate positive feedback about a teacher's influence or performance Welcome new teachers Volunteer to help in the classroom Support fair discipline measures that teachers impose Refrain from assuming the worst about first-year teachers See that children do their homework Offer the workplace for a field trip when appropriate Talk to a teacher directly about a problem; and Become active partners in education
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Contact parents early on and before a problem occurs, particularly when there's good news to report Consider writing a weekly newsletter or report on classroom learning and activities Invite parents to come into the classroom and assign them tasks if they are willing Involve them in reading groups and remedial assistance when possible, being aware that all parents may not read or write English Let parents know how they can reinforce classroom learning at home; consider asking them to sign a contract requiring them to make children complete homework and other home learning activities Visit families in their homes if possible to see firsthand how well learning is supported there Address parents' concerns head on. If you are taking a pedagogical approach that raises questions, work to show parents the benefits of your methods and explain your reasoning to them; and Hold a parent meeting the first month of the school year in which you talk about your expectations for student achievement and behavior, leave time for questions, and if you don't know the answer promise to call soon with one.
  • Look to Parents to...
    • Aryn Kruse
       
      These tips were created from the lens of working with families inside a school building (school-aged populations). What additions or modifications would you apply to early intervention?
127More

PLE Articles - 2 views

  • PLEs place a large amount of responsibility on students and thus requires a high level of self-management and awareness. Not every student is ready for this responsibility, so teachers need to have strategies in place to guide and support these learners.
    • moodyh
       
      This is the part that I get stuck on.  Many students are either not mature enough for this yet or have been so put off by school that they think there is no educational topic that interests them.  In a more one-on-one environment, like my alt school, I can usually find something to interest them and get them going.  However, in a traditional school setting, where I see students only for an hour each day for only 60 days, and so many of them, it's hard to work with each student one-on-one to get them motivated.  I think all the comments that the whole school would have to shift (rather than just one classroom) makes sense because the students would have to learn how to deal with this new level of responsibility.  60 hours with one teacher just won't get that accomplished, no matter how phenomenal the teacher is.
    • alissahansen
       
      I definitely agree with you on this. Since I teach freshmen, I feel like a lot of time is teaching them just how to be good citizens (at school, at home, in the community, and in the world)! I only see them for 45 minutes each day, but I do see them all year. I would really like to implement a more personalized learning environment for them, but I know it's going to be an up-hill climb all of the way!
    • alissahansen
       
      Last comment by Alissa Hansen.
    • edamisch
       
      This would be a challenge for me as well, since I only have my 6th graders for 9 weeks per school year, and my 7th and 8th graders for 7 weeks per school year! 
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Being a teacher in an alternative program, most of my students just want to be done with school as quick as possible. They are so tired of playing the game of school. I must admit, unfortunately, that I may feed that "get-done-with-school-as-soon-as-possible" mentality by pushing students to stay on track or get ahead of the game. However, if the student becomes the driver in their own learning then maybe they will be more motivated. As educators, we need to tap into the "What's in if for me?" mindset that many students have. Find an interest of the students and build their learning environment around that interest. Much easier said than done.
    • dwefel
       
      I agree with this. I also think that parents need to be aware of what teachers are doing as well. A high school teacher at my former school put everything on Twitter and one parent did not want her 15 year old daughter to have a Twitter account. Something to always think about and be ready to have alternative ways to do assignments or simply make it a requirement.
  • professionalism is far more about the effective manipulation– access, evaluation, & applicatio
    • moodyh
       
      This seems to be a recurring theme as well.  Getting students ready for the "real world" isn't so much about making sure they know lots of details about every subject area, but making sure they could find and understand any detail in any subject area that they will need.  The goal of education seems less about passing on information as teaching students how to organize and understand the over-abundance of it.  How then do we balance this with the extreme focus on core-curriculum?  Finding a balance is the challenge.
    • lisalillian311
       
      Yes, it seems there needs to be instruction on how to gather/organize the information and reliable sources, and then instruction on using it.  While the end result is positive, it will take time to jump start students in their own PLE.
  • Symbaloo has created a version of the platform specifically for educators
    • moodyh
       
      We got introduced to Symbaloo at school this year, although I might check into the EDU version.  I got logged in and played for a few minutes, but never had the time to develop something usable because as a district we were on to something different.  I like that our district provides us with many topics and learning opportunities, but I wish that I had more time to focus on one thing.  I think this is probably what it's like for students.  They get exposed to so much, but they need help organizing it and time to explore.  
    • lisalillian311
       
      Yes, Symballoo seems like more than one day of PD.  I haven't started my own yet, but I think it will take time to get a handle on the lingo as well as using the tools within the website.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      I agree as teachers we would need to be taught or have time to explore this site and learn how to exactly model it appropriately to our grade level. I would love to see how other teachers use this and model it in their classrooms too. 
    • edamisch
       
      I can relate to this feeling, whenever I attend a conference, I learn so much that I need a day or two afterwards to just process and create the new games and activities that I've found, but it is always straight back to teaching. 
    • moodyh
       
      Some teacher as my school went to a conference this year and actually talked administration into another professional development day where they could just process all of their information.  It was pretty cool.
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  • Some instructors empower students to use their own mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as a means to create PLEs.
    • lisalillian311
       
      We have 1-on-1 technology in our district, which is ideal for PLEs.  However, when the student forgets the laptop or has no power left in the battery, the smartphone comes in handy.  It is tougher to monitor the smartphone.
    • lisalillian311
       
      Autonomy is a great concern for me.  With collaboration being stressed in CCS, will students be able to conquer this skill without the use of technology?  At some point, some issues have to be discussed face-to-face, and there is a separate skill set for that environment.
    • lisalillian311
       
      I like the idea of Symballoo--kind of like a favorites list and bookmarks in my Google account.  What will take time for me is learning all the lingo attached to Symballoo!
    • lisalillian311
       
      What is aggregator?
    • alissahansen
       
      I have always been a support of helpful tech resources that students are interested in, which is why I am always trying to learn more about different Apps and tools and explore them myself. Once I play around a bit, I usually introduce it to my students. Sometimes the resources are new, sometimes not, but there are so many wonderful tools out there. I visit Richard Byrne's site once a day! Currently, our language arts department has Chromebook carts for each classroom and the district is allocating more and more to different departments. They are wonderful to have, but students will get bored very quickly if they are only being used for tech sake. I LOVE the idea of having students create a Symbaloo. In fact, my plan is to have them begin one at the start of the school year and then they can add to it as we move through different units. This would have been particularly helpful during our research unit.  I also like the idea of "empower"ing students to use their phones and other mobile devices, but we do have a pretty strict policy on phone usage at our school. Sometimes students' phones work much more efficiently than the Chromebooks. (Alissa Hansen)
    • spfantz
       
      I think my students would love deciding which medium to use. I also have a lot of artistic students who would chose to create a paper/pencil project similar in format to a prezi presentation or blog with pictures.
    • edamisch
       
      Choice can be such a motivator for students, we all have our strengths and weaknesses! 
    • emilyzelenovich
       
      This is something I also worry about with the students I teach. While I appreciate their willingness to use technology and the creativity it lends itself to, I worry about their ability to solve problems and communicate effectively face to face. How do you ensure they are learning these essential skills as well when things are so individualized? 
    • Jessica Athen
       
      This made me think about how difficult it is to have a PLE in a traditional classroom setting. We have 1:1 technology in our district, but students are extremely limited in what websites and programs they can use (You Tube, all social media, etc is blocked for students.) We also do not allow students to use tablets or smartphones in the classroom, with some teachers wanting to enact a school wide ban on smart phones and tablets so that they are not allowed in school at all. I am so excited to be learning about all of the opportunities PLEs offer students, but I also think there are many changes that will have to be made before we can start moving in this direction.
  • The vast array of options and sense of autonomy that lies at the very heart of personal learning environments can also be a huge inhibitor.
    • alissahansen
       
      I also worry about autonomy, as I teach freshmen English and 14 and 15 year olds do not have a "high level of self-management and awareness," at least not many. Like any classroom, however, guidelines need to be firmly in place and I think autonomy would need to be frontloaded before jumping into a PLE. I do think students would do very well in this type of environment. In fact, I often have students telling me about different resources they go to on a daily basis...whether it's to get advice, read a review, write a review, or even write a short story! The possibilities are endless, but I do think structure needs to be in place. At least to begin with. I start the year with my freshmen discussing and reading/watching material regarding civility, we made a code of civility in each class, and then we blog about our practicing of it throughout the year. I would like to implement a PLE in much the same manner. (Alissa Hansen)
  • The idea of having one site to log into daily and then a pre-constructed  dashboard of all the learning tools and spaces available to us seemed appealing to the 7th period students
    • alissahansen
       
      I do think that using a Symbaloo is a great idea to manage resources, and it looks like something my students would enjoy working with. However, my school has really moved towards using Google Classroom and teachers having Google sites, which I spend a lot of time and energy on with both. I think too many tech items can be a cognitive overload for students and teachers alike. I think if I am to use something like Symbaloo, I would need to eliminate at least Classroom or Sites and maybe even some of the other many sites that I have students use (Newsela, NoRedInk, Kahoot, etc.). It's just hard for me, especially with the site that I have created because I have spent so much time on it over the past three years. I just don't think students would benefit from having to click around to a lot of different resources, especially if they are teacher-created. (Alissa Hansen)
    • ascallon
       
      I like the idea of a daily log in for updates.  I think this would work in the Green Belt classroom for relaying information as students don't attend the same schedule each day.
  • Teachers are challenged to provide the appropriate balance between structured lessons and learner autonomy in order to facilitate self-directed learning.
    • alissahansen
       
      Great quote on the benefits of PLE, but getting students who are not "ready" or mature enough to handle this type of self-direction will struggle. A challenge for teachers indeed! I think the classroom (physical environment) setup is the first thing that needs to be changed in order to prepare students for this type of autonomy. What do the rest of you think? (Alissa Hansen)
    • alissahansen
       
      I guess I should also state that I do not think students are getting enough opportunities to be autonomous, which is why they struggle and fear it when they are given the opportunity. (Alissa Hansen)
  • A personal learning environment (PLE) with personal knowledge management (PKM) tools An eportfolio A collection of resources related to a problem-based learning challenge Study group resources
    • alissahansen
       
      I am really looking forward to starting this with students. It's like a one-stop shop for their individual needs. One of the biggest setbacks I have faced in recent years was trying out a multitude of tech resources and although some were helpful, clicking around all over the place was overwhelming! (Alissa Hansen)
    • spfantz
       
      I was devistated when google removed igoogle, and I think this could definitely take its place. I agree that students will appreciate the convenience of this site.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Alissa, I get overwhelmed with the amount of resources and tools available. I often don't know where to start, so I opt not to. Thankfully, I'm taking this class and I have the opportunity to investigate and use some PLE tools like Diigo and Symbaloo, things I've never heard of until now!
  • method students use to organize their self-directed online learning
    • spfantz
       
      I think this would be very powerful and I would love to create something like this, personally. I think my accellerated students would thrive, but worry that my lower level students would struggle due to a lack of confidence in themselves and lack of self-awareness. I wonder if there are certain organizational PLE templates that would work better for certain learning styles? Or perhaps a template would defeat the pourpose.....
  • attend to supporting students in developing their skills and motivations for becoming themselves networked and sophisticated online learners
    • spfantz
       
      I love the idea of supporting students individually, I just struggle to envision being able to support all my students adequately within my classroom. I feel like it would be easy to digress with a student over their PLE, but feel it could be difficult to find the time.
    • jroffman
       
      I sooo agree!!!! I would love to watch how an expert teacher teaches in a PLE classroom! I love the concept and the idea I am just struggling to make it work in the classroom.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      I like this concept, I think it is easier to do in a classroom that is content specific.  I can see where it would be more difficult if a teacher was responsible for teaching multiple content areas.  At the same time, that teacher doesn't have to be the the information source for all the students, time is just the factor.  
    • moodyh
       
      That's interesting.  I think PLEs would be easier to manage in multiple content areas because they would have to be working on their own thing.  The environment is really suited for it.
  • subscribe to news feeds and blogs, discern the value of social bookmarks, and set up the aggregator to manage all the Internet resources.
    • spfantz
       
      Subscribing to news feeds and blogs would be a great technique to compare and contrast views related to the students' topics of interest. This could be difficult for the teacher to monitor, digo might be a great way to track this!
    • jroffman
       
      This is what I am trying to develop in my preschool class room where the students are in charge of their own learning, and I am more of a resource. What I struggle with is classroom management, I feel like all of the students are demanding my attention and I can't help everyone. 
    • edamisch
       
      Sometimes it is hard to fathom the classroom management of a PLE of 12-22 students, which is what I currently have, let alone 30+ like many districts have.  
    • nwhipple
       
      Having your students be more independent is wonderful.  This past year I did less large group instruction and more small groups.  I taught my kindergarten students "Ask 3 before me".  They had to ask 3 people for help or what we were doing before coming to me.  When they came to me, especially when i was working with my small group, I asked them "did you ask 3 before me?".  If they didn't, they would just turn around and go find something.  This is a start for having your students become more independent.  BY creating a PLE for young students, they feel more in control of their learning too.  If you, the teacher, set it up and give them access to a variety of things to do, they will enjoy what they are doing and feel they are making "their own choices".  
  • Personal learning environments are beneficial because they support learning anywhere and allow learners to connect the diverse environments of school, home and play. Students can extend their learning into questions to parents, email conversations, Facebook posts or even twitter hashtags.
    • jroffman
       
      I don't want to sound negative in my post here because I really am all for personalized learning. I wonder how we can get administration on board with us. I struggle with old school administration who tell me as a teacher that I can not use my phone during the day, that I can not use facebook, and about passed out when they realized that parents text me, questions and changes in their child's schedule. I did have a secret facebook page and it was wonderful I would use it to include parents with our studies. 
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Good point. I agree with your post. It is hard to get some administrators going along with this new idea of personalized learning. Even at my other school I taught at Facebook and some other social networking sites were blocked. I like the idea of having a Facebook page with parents and students to keep parents informed with stuff going on at school, and also a way for students to post and communicate with parents and classmates. I think these social websites are necessary in schools, but the big question is how do we get teachers and administration to go for it? 
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      Our District has blocked a lot of the social sites as well, it comes from the upper levels of administration and not our building admin.  I think they tend to be out of touch with the possibilities and fear the unknown.   It would be great to use Facebook for connecting with parents and students.  The alternative given to us is Canvas in which parents have access to teachers.  But it isn't as easy or convenient as Facebook.  That is certainly one site I wish we could use at work.   I do like the idea of personalized learning environments, especially the concept of students seeking knowledge that is useful for them!  This appears to be the best way to create life-long learners!
    • edamisch
       
      Facebook is blocked at my school as well, which is a shame since it'd be a way to create an immersion like setting in my Spanish classroom.  If I see something cool on the site that related to class, such as photos from a friend's time in Panama with the Peace Corps, I turn the wifi off on my phone so that Facebook will work, and just walk around the class showing kids, which is risky, I know.  I'm sure there is a cord that I could connect from my phone to SmartBoard to make this more feasible.  I should probably get a separate teacher facebook page for things like this.  Some of the articles that pop up in my feed from magazines like Women's Health are not school appropriate!  
  • Students engaging in networked learning have to learn to be more self-directed than in the typical classroom… they are required to take a more active role in the learning process
    • jroffman
       
      by teaching students how to be self learners and how to be active in the learning process I think that as kids and adults these students will want to be life long learners and not someone who only does it because they have to. Or worse yet lets everyone else do it for them. I love the independence PLE classrooms create
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I see so many students who do not understand how to play an active role in their learning because they have been conditioned to rely on the teacher. Many students get very anxious and really don't know what to do when they are asked to complete self-directed activities. I think PLE will provide students with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning, which will help them throughout their lives.
  • Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are not to be confused with Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are implemented and maintained by institutions.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      This is very important! I see the (LMS) approach in our school and in many other schools. I feel like it wouldn't be hard to confuse (LMS and PLE) these different approaches, because they seem so different. The chart gave a good outline of how different they are compared to each other. 
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      The chart is helpful in understanding the differences.  The LMS could also be a tool in a student's PLE.  
    • edamisch
       
      Agreed, charts and lists make learning so much easier than paragraphs, at least for me. 
  • continue to collect feedback from students on how this learning tool is working for them and how they are using it for themselves as well as within their groups–I’m excited to see what will happen.  I may also informally introduce Symbaloo to some of last year’s Media 21 students and get their feedback on how they think Symbaloo compares to Netvibes and what their preferences are as students.   In the meantime, I’ve created
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      I like the idea of getting student feedback on technology and the use of different resources. You can really learn student interest and their honest opinions through surveys or different forms of feedback. 
  • It’s easy to use A learner can pull information that’s personally useful to him/her Learners can personalize tiles to make them easy to spot Learners can add to, and draw from, a community of webmixes Interactivity + personalization = fun
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      These look like awesome reasons why Symbaloo is a great learning tool for students. I can definitely see this resource being used in grades k-12. Although, for example, I teach 1st grade and I can see my students loving this, but they will need lots of guidance and modeling of how to set it up and use it to help them become independent with it. I can see once it's set up it would be awesome for students to have all of their favorite resources and sites all in one place! 
    • ascallon
       
      I like the idea of having research available at one spot.  So many times when I ask a student where he/she found the information, it cannot be located.  I want to see projects with more detail.  
    • ascallon
       
      I have a concern about distractions.  Students tend to use their phones and computers more for entertainment and chatting with friends over research and presentation.  
    • edamisch
       
      Agreed, a high school I taught at did not have locks on lockers, meaning kids brought their phones to class so that they wouldn't be stolen. Preventing snapchatting was difficult for me!  
    • marydermit
       
      I have experienced the same issues with my high schools students.  I may take a different approach based on one of the side articles that stated, "students are still learning while they are wasting time because they will see consequences are for late work."
  • “learning by doing” and “student as worker,”
    • ascallon
       
      I would like to have some strategies to help students having an understanding of the shift in learning for them to become more involved in their learning.  How do I motivate them to go beyond bookwork to exploring topics?
    • moodyh
       
      When you find the answer, please fill me in too!
    • nwhipple
       
      I feel this is a big struggle right now in our district.  Teachers are wanting their students to dig deep into a topic or their work.  Students are given choices but still only surface the top of the water, doing the bare minimum, when we want them to dive in and go to the bottom.  In my classroom, my students have a writing journal.  We write in this "special" journal once a week.  At the beginning of the year, I give them ideas to write about.  Some write while others will simply draw a picture because they don't know how to write.  By the middle of the year, every is writing something, whether it is a complete sentences or a few words.  I will give them a few choices to choose from or they can write about something they want to.  BY the end of the year, they know to take out their journals and write about anything they want.  I want my students to take control of their own learning and reflect back on their work over the year so by having this year long journal, they can see their progression and how they took control over their writing.  
  • Many students in the first class that tried Symbaloo today commented that they liked the clean, visual interface of Symbaloo and the ease of adding content; they also liked that they could customize the “tiles” they were adding and that their webmixes loaded quickly.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      With my limited experience with Symbaloo, I agree with the fact that it does seem easy add and customize content.  I think my students would find this to be a helpful tool.  I also like the idea of encouraging students to use it for tracking both personal and school related information.  
  • learning toward facilitation of students’ “active role in the learning process” and teachers’ provision of the right balance between structured lessons and autonomy; let’s never forget it is an ongoing balancing act.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      This is a good reminder.  Students need to take on a more active role, but there is always a good balance.  It probably shouldn't be all one way or all another way.  
    • principalchris
       
      How true!  It will be difficult for some students to lead their own learning.  They have been passive for so long it will be a shock to their systems.
  • a number of tiles to get you started,
    • edamisch
       
      So like the apps that come with an iphone. 
    • principalchris
       
      Just set up my account and can't wait to see what else I can add.  This is a great time saver.
  • teachers must pursue training and be knowledgeable of how to utilize PLEs to enhance learning and ensure that students are using this e-learning tool in a meaningful way.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I believe this is where the transformation must start, with good, consistent professional development. The key here is ensuring students are using the technology, whether that be a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, appropriately for learning.
    • marydermit
       
      I very much agree the process must start with PD.  PD needs to be personalized. From a baby boomer perspective we need mini PD sessions for technology applications.  Otherwise I think there will be resistance from this age group because of limited tech skills. 
  • I could stand to be more savvy in my own organizing of online learning and networking: I’ve been slow to use tools and develop skills for managing online resource
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I can so relate to this comment. Finding time to explore and become comfortable with the vast array of tools avaiable is my biggest challenge. I get so caught up in the day-to-day management of 10+ students attending the alternative program (I am the only adult in the room with the students), I don't often have time to explore what's out there. Even when my admin and tech people pass along a list of resources, it is overwhelming to me. Much of my time is spent tracking down students, following up with parents, and documenting the events of the day.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I also feel overwhelmed by all of the technology that I "should" be learning about and using with my students. We spend a lot of PD time on technology and incorporating it into our classrooms, but I feel like we just get a quick overview of whatever program they want us to use at that time, and then we never really get time to explore it and develop ways to incorporate it into our teaching.
    • jenniferlb
       
      I'm with you! There are so many cool resources and tech tools I want to learn and use...but actually finding the time to explore and implement is another story!
  • Teachers, she explains, are no longer the primary or even the best source of information available to students
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      As a teacher in a one-room alternative program, I KNOW this to be true. I feel like the jack-of-all trades, master of none on many days. I see myself more as a manager and facilitator of their learning than the direct source.
    • dwefel
       
      I always think this after I watch the history channel. I learn so much from the history channel and it is so much more interesting than listening to a lecture.
    • moodyh
       
      I am in a one-teacher room as well, and while I try to keep up, there is now way to know it all.  Even in the traditional classroom where I teach personal finance, I feel unable to keep up with it all.  But it is hard to let go of the reigns when you have taught that way and everyone else around you teaches that way.
  • I encouraged students to use their accounts as an information dashboard for “professional” or school interests as well as personal passions.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I really like the idea of showing students how to use this technology and their learning for both "professional and personal use." I think when you tell students that it is "ok" for them to use technology this way, they learn more because they aren't compartmentalizing their usage of this technology as only for school, which means that they are more likely to use the program and play around with it, which will increase their learning opportunities.
  • This encourages students to apply their learning in different venues which creates a culture of lifelong learning.
    • dwefel
       
      This is exactly what educators are going for, to create life long learners. Using PLEs will create that. I am so excited to incorporate this in my classroom and help others do the same.
    • jillnovotny
       
      I completely agree with you that we want students to become life-long learners! When students leave school, we want students to be able to do seek out their own research, contacts, and resources to solve everyday problems. If students are never presented with opportunities to direct and manage their own learning, they will not be as successful. Giving students permission to learn about and engage with things they are passionate about can only lead to positive educational outcomes (with appropriate supports of course)!
  • For example, you can create tiles that link to challenges, quiz questions, polls, discussion forums, chat pages, and other types of content and media that will facilitate more student involvement and creativity.
    • dwefel
       
      This sounds fun. I am looking forward to set up an account. I think kids would really like this. It is nice to have one place for everything.
  • students still needed some kind of information dashboard to manage all of their information streams for the upcoming project.
    • jillnovotny
       
      I think it is a great idea to have a place for students to "store" the information they need to research and interact with their content. My students have used symbaloo in computer class and it has taken away a lot of the management concerns. Students know where to go to find the tools they need to keep progressing with their learning!
    • principalchris
       
      What a great idea!  When that notebook with all the notes is missing, it could be stored and used during class instead of searching or pretending to search.  Maybe we could teach them responsibility again!
  • PLEs give learners a high degree of control over their work by allowing them to customize the learning experience and connect to others, including experts in the field
    • jillnovotny
       
      This is exactly what we want - students to have a high degree of control over their work! By allowing them to customize the learning experience and connect with others, including experts, students are getting real-life experience that will help them solve the problems they face in their everyday lives. A PLE can help students organize this self-directed learning. Students will likely know what they want to learn but organizing that learning is often what students need support in. PLEs are helpful in providing students with tools they need to gather information, conduct research, and present their findings!
  • personalized learning that allows students to direct and manage their own learning experience while pursuing educational goals
    • jillnovotny
       
      In my opinion, this is exactly what we want students to be able to do! By supporting students in their academic endeavors, students learn to view teachers as guides or facilitators rather than "the one who knows all." In thinking about what we want students to be able to do when they leave school, we want students to be able to do seek out their own research, contacts, and resources to solve everyday problems. If students are never presented with opportunities to direct and manage their own learning, they will not be as successful!
    • marydermit
       
      You are right!  If students do not get to practice this skills by doing then they will struggle when they enter the workforce. 
  • The development of PLEs represents a shift in focus from teacher centered classrooms to more learner centered classrooms. As such, teachers must learn to effectively incorporate these social media based initiatives into their lessons.
    • jenniferlb
       
      This sounds absolutely ideal. The challenge we as educators face with students using their own technology during instruction and competing for their attention has steadily increased over recent years. How cool would it be if it were used to enhance their learning rather than get in the way of it!
    • katie50009
       
      I do have some concerns that a lot of the PLE is based on on-line learning. Students use technology constantly, but I have also seen them get frustrated with technology and on-line learning when it seems hard to navigate or they are not receiving adequate feedback.
  • The Symbaloo interface looks a bit like a high-tech Scrabble board with movable “tiles” on it. These tiles give you access to Web pages or other webmixes.
    • jenniferlb
       
      As someone completely new to this type of program, I really like the looks of it.  It appears friendly and seems to lend itself to some really great things.
  • What I do like about Symbaloo is that if I make any updates to this webmix, students receive the updates as well!
    • nwhipple
       
      This is really handy for parents as well.  I send them the link and they can access my web mix at home.  When I make an update, I alert parents via my shutterfly site.  Parents can go to my web mix and have their child show them games we are playing that reinforces our learning goals.  It is also nice because parents don't have to download anything or search for hours on something educational for their child to do because it is already done for them.
  • Because Symbaloo is web-based, you can access your favorite webmixes from different computers.
    • nwhipple
       
      This is so great because I can share this with parents and their child can access my game page at home.  If parents allow screen time at home, I feel that by providing this web mix to them to access will only benefit their child and help them learn and reinforce our learning in the classroom.  
  • The concept of PLE is not a way to replace classroom learning, but to enhance it.
    • principalchris
       
      This is the comment many teachers were hoping to read.  I understand the hesitation to give students control of the learning environment, but is it working by controlling them?
    • marydermit
       
      PLE research shows there are less behavior issues because kids get to learn based on their interests promoting intrinsic motivation to learn.  I think it would be great to teach in a PLE.  
  • Personal learning environments (PLE) are a new approach to personalized learning that allows students to direct and manage their own learning experience while pursuing educational goals. The idea for PLEs was born from the emergence of Web 2.0 tools and the ubiquity of technology in today’s society. Students now have access to desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and game systems that connect them to free online tools that are always available. These tools provide a medium for students to create their own learning space that is more natural and unique to their interests and learning styles.
    • katie50009
       
      One of the key phrases here is "learning goals." I think we have to also explore how to help students define and establish learning goals for themselves. I am not sure they are always able to do this--at least in a way that is pushing and challenging what they already know or are able to do.
  • The social media platform that supports PLEs creates a perfect space for peer collaboration and sharing information.
    • katie50009
       
      I must remember that baby steps can get use to PLE for more students. It is overwhelming to think about changing the traditional model of education so many are used to until I read this line and take a deep breath. The sharing and conducting of "research" students are doing in individual leassons or units is a stgep in the right direction.
  • o horribly wrong if teachers fail to prepare students and set usage parameters.
    • katie50009
       
      I feel so much better reading this. I experienced this first hand. I thought my students were ready for the responsibility I was handing over; I thought I had set the "right" parameters, but, alas, the learning was not as rich as it could have been. In many cases, it turned out to be a huge waste of time. I still feel guilty about it. I guess the positive is that I am still trying to learn more about implementing PLE's effectively.
    • marydermit
       
      Yes, it is a positive because you learned from the experience.  Now you know what worked and what needs to be revised.  
233More

Article(s): Self- and Peer-Assessment Online - 1 views

  • Encourages student involvement and responsibility.
    • hansenn
       
      I think students value learning more if they take part in assessing their own learning. Instead of just thinking they were given a grade, they know what they earned and if they reached the learning goal.
    • krcouch
       
      Agreed. Students learn more and care more when they are in charge of your learning.
  • Can help reduce the ‘free rider’ problem as students are aware that their contribution will be graded by their peers.
    • hansenn
       
      Students also get to see examples of what to do and what not to do by looking at their peer's work. I agree students will often try harder if they know their peers will see their work.
    • carlarwall
       
      Sometimes peer motivation is more powerful than any motivation that teachers or other adults can/will provide.
    • jwalt15
       
      Peer motivation is a very powerful tool. Students can sometimes be harder on each other than an adult so that is why it is important to stick to agreed marking criteria so that they stay focused.
  • Students feel ill equipped to undertake the assessment.
    • hansenn
       
      You would have to teach students how to assess the work. I would work through an example with the class before having students grade others.
    • dassom
       
      I agree teaching the students wil help, also providing them with a checklist or specific things to look for would help with this.
  • ...90 more annotations...
  • shirking’ their responsibilities by having students undertaking peer assessments.
    • hansenn
       
      The teacher would explain they are still going to grade the project, but the students are working together to improve the project before it is turned in for a grade.
  • It is considered fair by some students, because each student is judged on their own contribution.
    • hansenn
       
      This is the only way to assess group work, or you will have some students in the group not doing work. Sometimes you have where students do not let others participate.
  • When learners are mature, self-directed and motivated.
    • hansenn
       
      This is the greatest challenge for me teaching Middle School and having them evaluate each others work with maturity and staying focused on student's writing not their personal opinions.
    • jhazelton11
       
      Yes- I worry about this as well in special education. The skill deficits are large, and I worry about how to do this effectively so it's meaningful to both student evaluating and the student's work.
    • dykstras
       
      Amen Noel! I mentioned in a previous post that this is difficult amongst adult learners. Adolescents take this concept to a whole new level .... 180 degrees in the other direction!
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      I think that this can sometime be a challenge with adults as well!
    • carlarwall
       
      I also think this can be a challenge for adults. I know for myself personally, my mindset plays a huge role in my motivation and effectiveness when peer grading.
  • When they self-assessed, these students reported that they checked their work, revised it, and reflected on it more generally.
    • hansenn
       
      The student's final project should be improved if they self evaluate. Students must be motivated to reflect and revise their own work. It is difficult sometimes to even get students to reread their work.
    • dykstras
       
      I also wanted to highlight this sentence. I employ this process in my class, but too many of my students take advantage of it by simply stating 'they understood the material by redoing their incorrect work." I think I need to require the last part ... a general reflection. Tell me what you got wrong, why you got it wrong, and what you did to fix it. Food for thought..
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      What I really like to see is the student who can self evaluate throughout the process. This not only helps them to learn the process, but it helps them to produce a better final product.
    • blockerl
       
      Dykstra, I agree with you. It seems to me that the reflective part is the most effective. I have students do a self reflection edit sheet, but I think if I had them really write a reflection instead, students would take the time to really think about their work.
  • determined that students involved in peer review perform better academically than peers graded only by their instructors
    • lisamsuya
       
      And, isn't that the purpose and job of the instructor to support the academic performance of ALL students.
    • blockerl
       
      I like that it says only by instructors. It is great to have peer review, but it should not always take the place of instructor feedback.
    • stephlindmark
       
      I like that research indicates that peer reviews teach students to perform better academically than graded only by instructors. It supports the peer review and self reflections topics.
  • feedback from an instructor, or mentor that is qualified
    • lisamsuya
       
      This makes sense to me. It is sort of like a coach of a basketball team (especially beginning basketball.) The reason there is a coach is because they have knowledge beyond what the player does and is necessary for the player to grow. I do know that players can learn from each other, but there are situations when the coach or instructor is the expert and students will learn best when evaluated by the instructor.
    • blockerl
       
      Yes! At least in high school, many students need the teacher to provide them with additional feedback.
  • review their own work with an eye for improvement
    • lisamsuya
       
      How do we as instructors help students to understand that revising or self-assessment is just a means towards improvement and not a step to be skipped or resisted?
  • I do not recommend including an option on the peer evaluation for team members to make comments about their peers.
    • lisamsuya
       
      Good to keep in mind.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      Very true. As part of the modeling of peer review is to learn how to give constructive feedback that is not personal. Sometimes easier said than done!
  • Potentially increases lecturer workload by needing to brief students on the process as well as on-going guidance on performing self evaluation.
    • lisamsuya
       
      It seems that in some situations it would be beneficial to take the time to teach students how to self-assess and peer-assess because it would save time in the future so that students ha more than one resource to help them improve.
    • jwalt15
       
      I agree that sometimes the extra time taken to teach self-assess and peer-assess skills can be a life-long benefit because they will be required to do this as an adult. Real world jobs require people to assess their performance and their co-workers performance daily. It is part of being a responsible and respectful citizen.
  • The process has a degree of risk with respect to reliability of grades as peer pressure to apply elevated grades or friendships may influence the assessment, though this can be reduced if students can submit their assessments independent of the group.
    • jhazelton11
       
      I have some students on the autism spectrum who really struggle with this- that people don't like them or are mean or are "stuck up" if they give constructive feedback... accepting criticism is a difficult skill for them.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      Agreed. This even applies to the students that are just awkward and have a hard time interacting with their peers. I think this has to be groups that the teacher initially chooses until the students are comfortable with the process.
  • I believe the learner will benefit far more by completing a self evaluation (that is well crafted to include focused self reflection questions) that forces him or her, to examine how he or she contributed [or did not] to the group process.
    • jhazelton11
       
      Is there a difference between "high achievers" and "not high achievers" here? My experience is often that the high achievers score themselves worse, although they worry about how that will affect their grade. The not high achievers sometimes inflate their score- I'm not sure if they do it on purpose or struggle to self-evaluate. These might just be my own biases, however, and not actually scientific :) I like self-reflection- I think there is meaning, especially if it opens up conversation.
  • There are ways of framing and then using self-assessment that can help students develop that all-important ability of looking objectively at their work and then making changes that improve its quality.
    • jhazelton11
       
      How many times did I read a paper that I turned in from college that had so many proofreading errors? It was obvious I needed to proofread, but often I just wanted to get it done and turned in. Had I been "forced" to self- asses and go back through, I'm guessing my product would have improved. Sometimes forcing the process helps...
  • Encourages student involvement and responsibility.
    • jhazelton11
       
      This seems obvious-- but there's no simple way to do this. Students who take some ownership of their work begin to demonstrate more responsibility in their product, but not everyone will develop this...
  • Focuses on the development of student’s judgment skills.
    • leighbellville
       
      I have included self-assessment in the past, and find it interesting that many students score themselves lower than I would have done; they can be hard on themselves. I have also observed that they do reflect more on their own individual contribution to the overall group product.
  • Furthermore, there are many students that need remedial support in writing and communications skills, some require support in how to learn online, and how to be responsible for their own learning.
    • leighbellville
       
      I think that the Netiquette that we cover during our online classes assists with this piece as well, and this is valuable for any age of learner. Examples can be provided as models for students which will assist them in understanding the expectations.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think this is the key point - clear expectations and consistency.
  • They were required to submit their self-assessments with the completed work, but their assessments were not graded.
    • leighbellville
       
      I have completed self-assessments in past courses in a similar manner. It can be valuable to reflect on one's work and continual improvement. As educators, reflection is a part of our practice every day. I think it is important to provide opportunities for students to see the benefits of self-assessment for the purpose of reflection.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      I think that self assessment is a valuable tool. As an instructor I have looked at self assessments done by students as I grade their work. It is interesting that at times the students are harder on themselves than I would have been when I graded their work.
  • Showing students examples of effective and ineffective pieces of work can help to make those definitions real and relevant.
    • leighbellville
       
      Samples are key to assist students in understanding the expectations; I mentioned this previously in a different article. I have noticed students' writing, for example, grow significantly as a result of frequent exposure to mentor texts and both peer- and self- reflection that was formative in nature. It relieves the pressure, and students begin to see the benefits.
    • carlarwall
       
      Sometimes as teachers we feel that if we give too many examples we are just showing students how to do things and not allowing them to think for themselves. It is all about using the examples for relevance and not images to just copy.
  • estimate what percentage of the work he or she contributed to the project
    • leighbellville
       
      I think having individual students estimate what percentage of the work he or she contributed to the project would be beneficial. It could help with future projects as well, in that the students who do not contribute as much or in a timely manner will be more cognizant of that in the future.
    • Mike Radue
       
      I had not considered this technique previously, that is, having students estimate contribution in terms of percentage. I think that would be an excellent strategy for individuals and team's to understand fact versus perception. I also think that designing group activities effectively helps balance workload evenly amongst participants. The instructional designer has a role in this too. If done properly, the group can still move on with the project should someone not be carrying their load, it becomes blatantly obvious however if a certain portion is not complete or is of lower quality.
  • Portfolios
    • dykstras
       
      This section really got me thinking! My first year teaching I kept every students' assessments in a folder in a file cabinet, thinking their parents would like to see it at conferences, and the kids would like to see it at the end of the year. Little did I know parents didn't care and the kids just threw them away. But now ... with standards based grading, I might bring portfolios back. I have kids go through several 'tiers' of instructions to meet expectations ... but I keep giving them their work back. SBAR is all about evidence ... but i have none. They do it, I modify their grade in the grade book, and give back the evidence. Maybe, just maybe, I should keep it in a portfolio????
    • Mike Radue
       
      I have just begun scratching the surface of portfolios again with my students. For me, the portfolio is about empowered learners and showing evidence of progress. Having students post the drafts of a creative work is a very powerful tool for them and others to see growth. to me, the growth is more important than the finished product. Regarding empowerment, I am finding that the conversations in my classroom are changing. We are migrating away from student submit to classroom to teacher goes to student portfolio website to access work. It's a major shift in thinking and helps the student take more responsibility and ownership for their work and the display of what they've learned.
  • Encourages students to reflect on their role and contribution to the process of the group work.
    • dykstras
       
      Very few jobs require an individual to work alone these days. The ability to work in a group collaboratively is key! Teaching kids how to develop these skills early is essential. Evaluating group work FOR THE GOOD OF THE GROUP is such an important life skill I think!
  • Encourages students to reflect on their role and contribution to the process of the group work.
    • dykstras
       
      Otherwise known as positive peer pressure, which I don't necessarily consider bad. One role as a facilitator in group projects is not not micromanage and assign tasks, but rather let the group dynamics control the situation. Doing a self assessment on ones own contributions as compared to the rest of the group might inspire one to 'step it up.'
  • the quality of comments that he felt was lacking
    • dykstras
       
      It's hard to evaluate or even comment on a peer's work, don't you all agree? At least for me, unless the work is in a field I am comfortable with, Mathematics (or sports), I feel awkward making even required suggestions for improvement.
    • Mike Radue
       
      It is a difficult task. When I'm presented with feedback from a peer, I find myself thinking...well, this is how they would do it...I"m not them. However, if the rubric serves as the official guide, I am more apt to make the changes rightfully so.
    • jwalt15
       
      Comments and suggestions can be difficult to make especially if it is in a content area outside of one's comfort zone. However, I think it is important to read or hear comments from others because it provides a different point of view on a subject. Sometimes people are so familiar with a topic that they assume everyone else has the same knowledge. Peer feedback can help bring reality back to a person's mindset.
    • stephlindmark
       
      I agree with these comments about ones comfort zone. That is realistic I think for most people. But also agree with Mike about if there is a rubric to follow if might make for comments to be a bit easier to make.
  • For peer evaluation to work effectively, the learning environment in the classroom must be supportive.
    • bbraack
       
      Without a learning environment that is supportive, students might not want to say anything that would upset the student being evaluated. Also, when students feel comfortable in the classroom, then they know that comments are constructive and not degrading.
    • srankin11
       
      I agree! This may take time to develop and specific lessons on the expectations of how to give peer feedback. We can't expect students to just know how to do this if they have never been taught.
  • Such self assessment encourages students to become independent learners and can increase their motivation.
    • bbraack
       
      When students take responsibility for their learning and metacognition, they are more likely to be motivated to learn and do more to understand what the learning is about.
  • To help students develop realistic, short-term, attainable goals, instructors can use a framework like SMART goals
    • bbraack
       
      Teachers in my district have used SMART goals when developing their professional goals. I think this would really help students when they are developing a goal for themselves. Instead of just stating a goal, students can see how to make their goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Students can then lay out a plan to attain all of them.
    • stephlindmark
       
      We use SMART goals with our PLC or CTT's each week with what the teachers want the students to learn. We use SMART goals personally on our PD plans. These SMART goals would be extremely helpful for students to use in their own learning.
  • A product portfolio is more summative in nature. It is intended for a major evaluation of some sort and is often accompanied by an oral presentation of its contents.
    • bbraack
       
      When I taught at the junior high, we used portfolios to show to students parents at conferences. The student would present each item in the portfolio to their parents. I think the students liked showing their parents their work, usually their best work, and the parents enjoyed looking and listening to their child present the contents of the portfolio. I think it made the students feel like they did a good job and proud of themselves for their hard work.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This is a huge component. In this day in age students need to be able to market themselves to standout from the other job applicants. Portfolios done well can help a student to do this.
    • emmeyer
       
      This is something that is more often seen in college or later high school. Though some elementary teachers use the process portfolio like this during conferences to have students run the conference.
  • Emphasize what students can do rather than what they cannot do
    • bbraack
       
      When we used portfolios at conferences, I think it did make the conference run more smoothly because the student was showing their parents what they have done and have learned. Without portfolios, conferences at times could be a little uncomfortable because the student and the parents were upset because of a bad grade, bad behavior, etc. The conference wasn't always showing what the student was doing right or learning. So, I agree that it does emphasize what the student can do rather than what they cannot do. The student is more motivated to try harder and learn more when they are proud of their work and what they have learned and can do.
    • srankin11
       
      I believe this is such an important statement! Yes, we do need to emphasize what students can do! They are all learning. Some may not be progressing as quickly as others but hopefully they are all learning. Giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a portfolio can be motivating, especially when they know that others will see it.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I moved to a portfolio assessment for the semester exam last semester and the stress/anxiety level went down because students felt confident in what they knew instead of being punished for what they don't know.
  • The instructor provides a sample writing or speaking assignment. As a group, students determine what should be assessed and how criteria for successful completion of the communication task should be defined. Then the instructor gives students a sample completed assignment. Students assess this using the criteria they have developed, and determine how to convey feedback clearly to the fictitious student.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This is definitely an example of modeling. The instructor is giving the students and example and then using the criteria that has been developed for the feedback. I think this helps both the student and instructor to catch any issues with the criteria before the assignment is done.
    • krcouch
       
      I love when modeling occurs it really helps with understanding the assignment.
    • carlarwall
       
      I can also see where this could be a good example of scaffolding for students who need extra support with peer evaluation.
  • At first these can be provided by the instructor; once the students have more experience, they can develop them themselves.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This is a definite example of levels of DOK. Once a student is able to create a rubric on their own the student has moved up on the levels of knowledge.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I agree Kim. This is definitely high level and pushes people to the next lesson. I think this would create a lot of modeling/scaffodling together to get a product that you would like to see in the elementary. During rubric training years ago, it was always suggested you start with the kids. It is developed together. This would work the same as checklists. I am starting to use checklists a ton more in my classes. Even with 2nd graders...the trick is to get them to internalize it and really use them. I need to model this more.
  • Self evaluation has a risk of being perceived as a process of presenting inflated grades and being unreliable. • Students feel ill equipped to undertake the assessment.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      Many of these disadvantages happen because modeling how it should be done has not happened or happened well enough that the students understood the process. As with anything we want students to do it must be modeled and repeated with the students until the light bulb goes on!
    • dassom
       
      A problem I have with self assessment is sometimes I don't see the errors in my writing. I may write something and wait a few days before I come back to it. If it is a project they have been spending so much time on, they might over look glaring errors just because they've seen them so many times before assessment time.
    • carlarwall
       
      I completely agree that the modeling of these skills is important. We also cannot assume that students will catch on after only one example, some students will need to see the modeling many times over.
  • One of Rees’ comments within the essay “Professors in the trenches tend to hold their monopoly on evaluating their students’ work dearly, since it helps them control the classroom better by reinforcing their power and expertise,” supports a cognitive and instructor-focused learning orientation. The concept of peer review, which leaves for the most part the instructor out of the equation, aligns with the social constructivist learning orientation. There is strong support in constructivist theories for the peer review which is grounded in student-centered learning where students learn as much from the review process itself as from the final grade on an assignment.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This is the old archaic way of thinking. One of the old sayings that I remember is that "you are no longer the sage on stage, but a guide on the side" as a teacher. The thinking for some giving up that power or control is very difficult, but it should be what's best for students.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      Reaching all learners is always going to be difficult. As Kim pointed out, not being "the sage on the stage" mentality is important. Then there is reality. Not all teachers/students have the growth set mindset and want to learn for learning sake. I can see how Rees side about peer review doesn't always produce high quality. As we discussed in the last module, modeling and scaffolding is the key to make it work well.
  • A process portfolio serves the purpose of classroom-level assessment on the part of both the instructor and the student
    • srankin11
       
      I believe portfolios are a great way to see student work throughout a unit, semester, or year. I've had students create a portfolio using two different methods -- as a review for a final test using a Google site and for a unit using Google slides. Both worked to demonstrate student learning but I believe I need to continue working on more ideas in this area.
  • Students can become better language learners when they engage in deliberate thought about what they are learning and how they are learning it.
    • srankin11
       
      It seems that we are always in a hurry and need to move on to the next learning target. I do believe it is important to take the time to self-assess and reflect on learning. It's also important for teachers to reflect and self-assess often.
  • The instructor models the technique (use of a checklist or rubric
    • srankin11
       
      For example, as adults we use checklists for this online class to be certain that we complete everything. Our students are busy people learning about several subjects each day. I believe if we can provide students with checklists and rubrics to remind them of where they are at in their learning, it will make the transition better.
  • increase student responsibility and autonomy
    • Mike Radue
       
      I see this as an important issue in the classroom today. Call it what you will...autonomy, initiative, empowered...students taking charge of their own learning is easier said than done. They have to be taught, it cannot be assumed. Unfortunately, learning how to be autonomous is usually accompanied by pain. Pain in the sense that some students won't grasp the concept until they experience failure because no one was there to bail them out in the end. As a teacher, at times, I find myself swooping in to save the day and be the hero...the student's won't learn autonomy until taught how and given the opportunity to be.
    • jwalt15
       
      I agree with you Mike, but I also feel that parents need to be taught to let their student learn autonomy. Failure is not something bad unless it becomes consistent. Learning from one's mistakes is a lifelong skill that everyone needs to learn. Parents need to learn to let students do their own work and learn from their mistakes.
  • students that cannot provide feedback due to the lack of necessary skills, whether it be education background or language.
    • Mike Radue
       
      What I find interesting with this discussion is the amount of time and scaffolding that needs to occur to help students become effective "assessors" both of themselves and of others. Rees points out in his blog how he spends more time teaching skills than he does content. Frankly, to successfully implement peer and self grading you have to commit to it and devote the time necessary to do it right. Teachers that only intermittently and inconsistently use peer/self assessment are often dissatisfied with the results. The problem is they are getting out of it what they put into it.
  • Such self assessment encourages students to become independent learners and can increase their motivation.
    • krcouch
       
      I am a huge fan of self assessment and learning what your students know and may be struggling with.
  • Represent a student's progress over time
  • students are involved in developing the assessment process
  • Students must feel comfortable and trust one another in order to provide honest and constructive feedback.
    • blockerl
       
      Students definitely need to trust each other in order to even begin the process of a peer edit. In my Writer's Studio class, there were a couple students who were writing some very personal memoirs. In order to allow them to do that, I did their first peer edit for them. Students need to feel safe when they are writing. Peer editing for those students came for the next writing.
    • Jen Van Fleet
       
      It's awesome that you build your relationships with students and your classroom environment that they are able to share those memoirs even with you. I like how you scaffold the peer review process.
    • carlarwall
       
      This creation of comfort with and between students supports an optimal learning environment for everyone. It will also help each student in feeling like they belong in the classroom.
    • stephlindmark
       
      A safe environment is crucial for all learners and increases the productivity in the learning curve.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I feel like the environment is something I have in place but I haven't built in the routine.
  • Noteworthy was the fact that none of this sample reported having any previous experiences with academic self-assessment. Not surprisingly, they didn’t value their opinions about their work and saw self-assessment as a vehicle for figuring out the teacher’s expectations.
    • blockerl
       
      We always had to self assess our writing assignments in college, and it was a great time to be reflective of my learning and critical of my work. I need to get better at doing this for my students.
  • Agreed marking criteria
    • dassom
       
      By having an agreed criteria like a "checklist" everyone can be a expert in theory. It gives the student a task to complete in something they might not be familar with. Without set criteria your results may also be all over the board.
  • When operating successfully can reduce a lecturer's marking load.
    • dassom
       
      This seems like the obvious reason to add this step into the writing process. There some elements that students are going to catch but by adding the peer element they should be able to catch the "big mistakes" before it is turned in.
  • introduce students to the concepts and elements of assessment against specified criteria in the first weeks
  • with instructions that they compare their impressions with other criteria such as test scores, teacher evaluations, and peers' opinions
    • brarykat
       
      I think this portion of the statement is crucial in facilitating student success with self or peer evaluation.  Assigning students to a partner or small groups and saying now discuss and evaluate is not productive.  Providing clear directives and expected outcomes creates the foundation.  Students then need to take the responsibility to complete the task in order for this to be successful.
  • Address improvement, effort, and achievement
    • brarykat
       
      Test scores were the only way to gauge success when I was earning my college degree.  Years later I was intrigued to learn (during my master's program) portfolios had become an expected assessment in higher education.  Daily struggles. illness, and/or tragedies can impact results of a test.  I think portfolios are effective because they can show improvement, effort, and achievement over time.  Some school districts have portfolios that span the student's academic life K-12.  I think depending on the intent they represent the student better than a letter grade.  
    • Jen Van Fleet
       
      Agreed! I even think about the idea of students starting a portfolio in grade school and having it follow them throughout their K-12 education to be given to them as a resume/networking portfolio upon entering the work force or when pursuing programs or further education. I'd rather see someone's portfolio than their score on a test any day.
  • students' progress, processes, and performance over time.
    • nickol11
       
      I feel like this is so important in so many classrooms but especially in a project-based class. I would be curious to see if Moodle and other LMS has a student portfolio section. I know that Schoology does and I am currently getting it ready to use for next year. Students would be able to put projects into a portfolio for a class and/or throughout their four years with myself in art as a final portfolio.
  • involve students in critical reflection
    • nickol11
       
      I feel that this is imperative for us to use to keep students thinking out side of the box and really honing in on other people's opinions or ideas.
  • rame self-assessment as an opportunity for students to reflect on their own work with the goal of learning more, making the work better, and thereby improving the chances for a good grade
    • nickol11
       
      I completely agree with this aspect and really feel like it is a great habit to get into as a teacher as a mid-critique of self or peer evaluated work.This really just gives an opportunity to really push the student learning even further.
  • Over and over again, students rejected their own judgments of their work in favor of guessing how their teacher or professor would grade it.
    • nickol11
       
      I can see this being a larger problem if they are using a rubric and the criteria are not well defined or the students have a poor understanding of what/they are doing what they are doing.
    • staudtt
       
      I can see this. Sometimes students just want to have the teachers tell them specifically what they are supposed to do. Is this a product of being in the system and programmed before they get a chance to self assess?
  • Also, there are other factors that can sabotage its effectiveness, including an assignment that requires a high level of critical thinking skills, or when there are students in the mix that are non-participative, or have intentions that don’t align with the course.
    • brarykat
       
      I applaud Morrison for including this aspect in her article. I think many educators find this to be a challenging issue when implementing peer grading. We can model and facilitate while they are in groups, but disruptive students can unbalance the whole experience.  Willing and productive participants benefit from this form of assessment.  
  • “They cited a lack of motivation and a lack of support for self-assessment among the reasons that ‘we slip.’”
    • brarykat
       
      This makes my educator's heart hurt.  What is happening to our children?  I hear it from my friends with teenagers and "adult-eens", I see it in our students, and weep for parents struggling with younger children… lack of motivation, failure to thrive or even try.  Through discussions with children of all ages I'm disturbed to find many don't want to try because they fear failure.  I'm an intrinsic learner.  My parents had high expectations but also instilled the concept that at the end of the day we are all responsible for our own actions and outcomes.  Slipping is a choice, but I want to continue to be the educator to help students rise above.
  • However this approach runs counter to the principles of individual accountability in group learning….
    • brarykat
       
      I agree. Giving every member in a group the same grade should not be done to make grading easier or take less time for the teacher.  Group work usually produces at least one leader, followers and a few that lag or slack off.  In previous course we discussed ways to help all students be productive, effective members in a group assignment.  I found that information very helpful.  Useful in a classroom setting (face to face or online) as well as with colleagues.
  • this tool is not a constructive venue
    • brarykat
       
      I would hope it is explained to the students if the instructor chooses to use this evaluation.  Emphasze what peers are supposed to be rating group members and themselves can decrease or eliminate negative comments.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I agree with the focus on constructive feedback; however, I have been on a huge project in coursework and had one person do nothing the bulk of the time. It was very stressful, and the girl that didn't do the work was sweet and person I knew somewhat well. I didn't have the chance to rate our group using a sample like above. I did eventually say something to the professor. I don't know what happened after that. Modeling is the key!
  • Goal setting is essential because students can evaluate their progress more clearly when they have targets against which to measure their performance. In addition, students' motivation to learn increases when they have self-defined, and therefore relevant, learning goals.
    • Jen Van Fleet
       
      This is also reflected in Hatti's effect size as it pertains to student goal setting.
    • tifinif
       
      Our school is working on this right now. We have a rubric that we are trying to improve on. The specifics are layed out and we can see where we want to go and we know what we have to do to get there. No guessing.
  • Portfolios are purposeful, organized, systematic collections of student work that tell the story of a student's efforts, progress, and achievement in specific areas.
    • Jen Van Fleet
       
      In the NIET rubric for the Assessment indicator, the language for the "rock star" teacher includes providing support for student portfolios.
    • carlarwall
       
      I can see where the goal setting piece mentioned earlier would work well with students creating and collecting artifacts for their portfolio. The goal they create would support them in determining which items they would put in their portfolio and would help them to see growth in their learning toward their goal over time.
    • tifinif
       
      Love portfolios. With Google a student could save work over their school career and evaluate their writing/art/music...whatever to determine what they have improved on.
  • take part ownership of this process.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      When I taught ELA in middle school, I would spend hours providing feedback. Most would throw it away and not even read it as there wasn't ownership on their end or they just did it for the grade. Google docs has allowed feedback to be more timely and allowed personal ownership as well as feedback from other staff and students. The power is the ownership for the student.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I have had some success having students complete anonymous Google Forms - students felt empowered to be honest and I didn't run into issues with students ganging up on one or being mean.
  • Students will have a tendency to award everyone the same mark.
    • staudtt
       
      This can be a major pitfall, especially if students work or peer assess friends. They don't want to bring down their peer or start and argument with a friend.
  • If assessment criteria for each element are set up and clearly communicated, your role will also change to one of facilitator.
    • staudtt
       
      Becoming a facilitator is really the ultimate goal for student based learning. Students gain more ownership of the learning process and hopefully gain better understanding through their increased role in the process.
  • Before this class their self-assessment efforts were “relatively mindless.”
    • staudtt
       
      What this reads like to me is that students need guidance and practice with self assessment before it can be effective or meaningful to them.
  • supports the aim of developing collaboration skills
  • hopelessly naïve to imagine them being able to look at anything beyond the desired grade
    • Heather Whitman
       
      This bothers me a lot. If we have bare minimum expectations and hopes, then we do we get what we deserve? I understand there are students out there doing just that; however, perhaps those same students need the chance to reflect to see that it is not just about their grade. If students do this more and more often in K-12 world, wouldn't it start to become a part of the college world expectation? Perhaps all education levels need to get together to evaluate how to best attack this systemically!
  • lift the role and status of the student from passive learner to active leaner and assessor (this also encourages a deeper approach to learning)
    • jwalt15
       
      A student who is an active participant in their learning will develop a deeper understanding of the content and take more pride in their work. Self and peer assessments take that understanding to another level because students have to think about how to provide feedback and explain their thinking to others.
  • Learners have a developed set of communication skills.
    • jwalt15
       
      Communications skills are very important in any situation. That is why it is so difficult yet important to start teaching communication skills at an early age. The more self and peer evaluating that students do will only help them develop their communication skills.
  • internalize the characteristics of quality work is by evaluating the work of their peers
    • tifinif
       
      I think this would be a great way for students to reflect on their own work, if comparing the same assignment. It would also spur them to go and edit or re-do some of their work to improve.
  • they need to be taught strategies for self monitoring and self assessment
    • tifinif
       
      I think we all need to learn more of how to be better at monitoring self assessment. What strategies can we give teachers to help them, help students?
  • Engage students in establishing ongoing learning goals and assessing their progress towards those goals
    • tifinif
       
      Using this in data notebooks at our school. kids write the goal and then track thier progress daily/weekly/monthly. It's an easy reminder of what they are working towards.
    • emmeyer
       
      This is an important key in order to allow students to see their growth!
  • students must have a clear understanding of what they are to look for in their peers' work.
    • stephlindmark
       
      I agree that students need that clear understanding and it is necessary for the teachers to be clear with their expectations.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think this is the hard part about peer assessment - I don't think I have ever done a good job of helping them know how to give feedback.
  • rubrics or checklists to guide their assessments
    • stephlindmark
       
      Rubrics and checklists can be beneficial for students. In the next sentence it talks about student making their own rubric. I agree with Kim that that increases the DOK level when students create their own rubric.
  • become more comfortable with each other and leads to better peer feedback.
    • stephlindmark
       
      Teachers need to allow for ample opportunities to provide feedback and teachers need to give feedback to the students' feedback so they know what to improve on. The more they do so the better the peer feedback will be.
  • students step back from the learning process to think about their language learning strategies and their progress as language learners.
    • stephlindmark
       
      This is always a strategy to improve student learning when they are aware of their learning. Metacognition is very important in education.
  • broader self-assessment tools
    • stephlindmark
       
      I am curious and will research what are broader self-assessment tools that can be used for students.
  • Link teaching and assessment to learning
    • stephlindmark
       
      This is important for students to understand there is a connection between the learning and assessment. This makes the learning process more effective for the students.
  • Provides more relevant feedback to students as it is generated by their peers.
    • stephlindmark
       
      Students need relevant feedback to grow in their learning.
  • students assess their own contribution
    • stephlindmark
       
      Self-reflection is beneficial for all learners young and old. It is good for use to do in life.
  • little exposure to different forms of assessment
    • stephlindmark
       
      Teachers need to be aware of this and give the students exposure to different forms of assessment. This also gives more opportunity for self-reflection as was mentioned in the previous article.
  • guidelines were clearly outlined as to how to grade
    • stephlindmark
       
      I would agree that the guidelines need to be clearly outlined on how to grade the essays. This is crucial for the grader and receiver of the grade.
  • Where credit is not granted.
    • stephlindmark
       
      I don't know if I agree with this one. Credit can be given if the teacher is overseeing the grading and reflective on the assignment too.
  • Students in this sample reported that their attitudes toward self-assessment became more positive as their experiences with the process accumulated.
    • stephlindmark
       
      Students need multiple opportunities to grow in this practice to benefit from it.
  • tool I suggest for evaluating the completed team project itself
    • stephlindmark
       
      I am glad to see that the rubric is a tool that is suggested for evaluation of a team project. I would like to see this used and even take it a step further and have the group create the rubric. This would deepen their learning and understanding.
  • student participates
    • emmeyer
       
      Making sure that the student participates in the portfolio is key to having an effective portfolio. They need to take ownership.
  • rubrics
    • emmeyer
       
      Using rubrics to asses performance is a great way for students to see where they fall and where they need to go next.
  • aware of their learning
    • emmeyer
       
      When Students are aware of their learning, they are more aware of how they need to improve and what they need to do.
  • Preparing students for self or peer assessment
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think this is the most important part of this article - creating a culture and routines where this can happen.
  • The Loafers and Others
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think this goes back to the last article - this is based on a creating the culture and routines. These issues arise if you don't have those things.
  • the ability to self-assess skills and completed work is important
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think this comes from developing a growth mindset and clear expectations and routine.
  • feedback for oneself from oneself
    • trgriffin1
       
      This takes a lot of maturity and practice.
  • self-assessment need not necessarily be about self-grading
    • trgriffin1
       
      The growth that can come from open minded, honest assessment instead of a focus on grades can be huge. This takes a lot of practice for students who are trained on letter grades.
  • what are we evaluating and why?
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think many teachers don't reflect on this question enough. Assessing is a synonym for grading for most people - and you give grades because it is the end of the chapter or unit and not to provide feedback.
  • Effective group collaboration begins with a well defined assignment that has clear goals and expectations.
    • trgriffin1
       
      I think every assessment needs these elements - students need to know what to expect and how they are progressing towards those expectations.
61More

Implementation in Advocacy/Guidanace/Post-Secondary Preparation (Articles) - 1 views

  • Over 60% of students who eventually dropped out of high school failed at least25% of their credits in the ninth grade, while only 8% of their peers who eventually graduated had similar difficulty.”
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I see this all the time with potential alternative school students. They are "on the radar" when they start their 9th grade year, then I can usually tell by the end of their 9th grade year after watching their progress and hearing from their teachers, who needs to be in alternative school. I find that if they fail freshman classes, it tends to snowball from there.
    • ahawthorne
       
      This is very important when identifying students at risk and in need of a different setting to be successful. Focusing on 9th grade and what interventions are being used and what is working with students can be key to students graduating.
    • kburrington
       
      Jessica I agree 9th grade is a very pivotal time to follow and address student issues. I always attend the 9th grade SAT meetings. It gives me look into which students I'll soon be seeing and the interventions they have tried with them. I've noticed many students at this age have already determined they are going to the alternative school. Some will even from this point on work at making it happen.
    • bakersusan
       
      Is there any research for the transition to 10th grade? Research I've seen refers to the transition to 9th grade. In our district, the 8th/9th graders are in the same building and 10-12 in another. For us, the 10th grade year seems to be more of a struggle. I'm wondering if in district's with a similar building break-down like ours if the drop-out rates get shifted to 10th grade class failures and not so much what takes place in 9th grade.
  • the government would reap $45 billion in extra tax revenues and reduced costs in public health, crime, and welfare payments if the number of high school dropouts among 20-year olds in the U.S. today were cut in half.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I wish the government and public would see this information and realize that investing in education really helps everyone. Maybe then, education would not always be the first place that budget cuts take place..
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree, Jessica!  Investing in education is essentially investing in our future!  
    • kburrington
       
      Jessica you are definitely preaching to the choir. It's more important to have a billion dollar surplus.
  • “When students have completed the attendance required in a course, and were unsuccessful, the options for earning credit towards graduation are often limited to using the same book, often with the same teacher, within the same seat time approach. Is this really the best way to invest resources of time and money in helping students succeed?
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I fight a battle about this in my district because many teachers feel that if a student fails a class that they should have to take it over again with the same teacher, same material, etc and that being allowed to take it online is "the easy way out."
  • ...20 more annotations...
  • “When students have completed the attendance required in a course, and were unsuccessful, the options for earning credit towards graduation are often limited to using the same book, often with the same teacher, within the same seat time approach.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I fight a battle about this in my district because many teachers feel that if a student fails a class that they should have to take it over again with the same teacher, same material, etc and that being allowed to take it online is "the easy way out."
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I will more than likely be getting a student (senior) who has failed English 9 three times. Yes, THREE times! However, I know the teacher has modified and individualized opportunities for this particular student. She is GREAT about that. Some teachers do not adjust at all, but I know she does. This student has now put himself in a position where the alternative program is his only option based on the number and types of credits he has remaining. I don't think he necessarily wants to attend the alternative program. Students seem to do better in the program if it is THEIR CHOICE to attend rather than be placed by the administration.
    • ahawthorne
       
      I agree that students definitely do better if they feel it is their choice to attend the alternative program. At times our role as teachers may be to encourage the student to make that decision knowing that it will be best in the long run for the student. New teacher, fresh start, usually smaller environment which will give the student more interaction with teachers. I think we can encourage students towards alternative settings while still making it their chioce.
    • lisa noe
       
      Jessica, I have struggled with the same attitudes toward online credit recovery.  Many times, I see several students, who have had a particular teacher, who are in need of credit recovery.  I sometimes question how much effort the teacher put forth to make a connection with those students.  Some teachers take it personally if a student doesn't "care" about the class.  Perhaps if that teacher focused more on the students' needs they might see that they must care before the student will. 
  • In such moments, teaching becomes a deeply reciprocal process by which we decide to learn not just from but with the students, embracing the risks that accompany students developing as independent thinkers and informed risk takers (K. Schultz, 2003). Moreover, when we offer choice, we model risk taking for them and demonstrate problem-solving skills, such as how to thoughtfully navigate uncertainty and address unforeseen obstacles.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I feel like more teachers would be open to taking the "risk" of learning with their students and allowing students to play more of a role in their own learning, if teachers didn't have so much to "lose" in the process. We are expected to teach specific things, at specific times, and cover so much curriculum in a short time frame, and that keeps many teachers from taking risks because there is so much expected of us.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Until there is a paradigm shift from the top down, I'm afraid we will remain where we are. Fortunately, I believe there is a shift occuring, but it is occuring very slowly.
  • Over 60% of students who eventually dropped out of high school failed at least25% of their credits in the ninth grade,
    • sheilig
       
      This is interesting. We've talked about this in our MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/standards-and-curriculum/iowas-multi-tiered-system-supports meetings. This statistic has prompted my school to really focus on the 9th graders.
  • Nearly one-third of all public high school students—and nearly one half of all African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans—fail to graduate from public high school with their class
    • sheilig
       
      One-third is frightening!
  • Dropouts are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty, on public assistance, or single parents with children who drop out of high school Dropouts are more than twice as likely as high school graduates to slip into poverty in a single year and three times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed Dropouts are more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as high school graduates Dropouts are four times less likely to volunteer than college graduates, twice less likely to vote or participate in community projects, and represent only 3 percent of actively engaged citizens in the U.S. today
    • sheilig
       
      A lot of our students who dropout stay in the area. They face the challenges listed above and aren't able to support the community in ways to improve it. The community suffers from the lack of people paying taxes, starting small businesses, creating jobs, volunteering, participating in community projects, etc. Our rural community needs active members to keep the existing small businesses and the school in the town. So increasing our graduation rate ultimately improves our community. Some move away; however, a lot of our students return after graduating from college. They are active in the community and helping our town.
    • ahawthorne
       
      Breaking this cycle for students in the community is very difficult. They need to understand the risks and difficulties they will face without a high school diploma. 
    • lisa noe
       
      Many of my former students were victims of generational poverty.  As stated above, breaking the cycle is very difficult.  Many students don't have the supports in place to be successful or to break the cycle.  We, as teachers and schools, must reach out to not only the students but their families as well to establish relationships built on trust in order to help students reach their potential.
  • Providing credit for work or community service allows students to be engaged in a valuable activity outside of school and to have this experience count towards graduation. It also motivates students to complete the program.
    • sheilig
       
      I think credit for work or community service is an excellent idea. Why not use it for elective credit? If at risk students knew they had specific core classes they had to take and had more choices for their electives, perhaps graduation would be more attainable to them. 
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree that giving credit for work or community service would be an excellent idea.  It would create a sense of connection and pride in students.  
    • kburrington
       
      We provide elective credit for work. Our students provide a copy of their paycheck to prove they are working. The also write a one page weekly reflection. They usually complain about their job or celebrate accomplishments at work.
  • “I have some things to say. First, all of you talked about Michael through your findings but do you really know my son? D
    • sheilig
       
      Unfortunately, most parents won't have the courage to speak up here. They will leave frustrated and upset with the school. The members of the team need to realize this.
    • ahawthorne
       
      So many parents had negative experiences in school that they are on edge even entering the school building. We as educators need to work with the parent and seek their input when working with their child.
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree that many parents' own negative school experiences create a sense of discomfort for them when working with teachers and administrators.  We must work to break those barriers and create a welcoming, positive, family-friendly environment that shows them we value their role as a parent and advocate for their child.
    • kburrington
       
      I see this kind of stuff on a regular basis. They send me students and are constantly telling me what I should watch for with them. What are their obvious strengths and weaknesses. I find it so often to be very inaccurate. I almost feel bad because I'll run into these same teachers at in-services and they are constantly asking me about these students. I feel almost mean telling them I'm not seeing any of the stuff they describe. I don't want to hurt their feelings but you just want to tell them maybe they should work a little harder to form relationships with these students.
  • There were eight staff members from the school, and myself as a parent. It was quite intimidating.
    • sheilig
       
      I have not experienced this; however, my sister-in-law described the same situation with her son. It was very intimidating. Fortunately, she was a teacher's associate in a different district as her son. She had teachers, counselors, and administrators there that she could use as resources and guidance. She had to be an advocate for her son. She knew how to do this because of the support from her friends in education. Not everyone has this support.
    • ahawthorne
       
      I don't like to have too many teachers and faculty in meetings with parents for this reason. You could have a couple of the teachers write their concerns or ideas for the parent instead of surrounding them. It would make anyone uncomfortable.
    • lisa noe
       
      Although I have considered how a parent might feel outnumbered when attending an IEP meeting, I thought my presence would give them a sense of my support for both the student and their family.  I want them to know I care and want the best for their child.  
    • kburrington
       
      I agree with you. When you have to many people there it almost feels like an ambush to the parent. I believe it's hard for them to voice opinions and concerns, especially dissenting opinions.
  • I discuss my own experience with the difference between the PLPs used at the Met and the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that are commonly used for students with special needs. The importance of creating a supportive link between the student, their family, advisor and mentors in creating a challenging and personalized educational plan for every student is crucial,
    • ahawthorne
       
      IEP's for all students. Every student should have a plan and a "supportive link" regardless if they are special needs, at risk, or doing fine as a traditional student.
  • An environment without risk fails to prepare students for life outside the classroom, a world of risk taking. Allowing students to experience measured risks, in a supportive community, models the real-world paradigm where choices naturally entail risk.
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree.  Many students struggle to make the transition to college or the workforce after high school because they are not prepared.  Taking risks in a supportive environment and learning how to adapt to change will increase a student's potential for success.
  • At the same time, these teachers are often pressured by school administrators, policymakers, and politicians to raise graduation rates. Too often, the pressure to “do something” conflicts with the need to actually arm students with the real skills they need to achieve success in post-secondary education or work. Instead of challenging students to raise their performance to the level they must reach to be successful, too often credit recovery “solutions” have lowered the bar for passing.
    • lisa noe
       
      If we think we should pat ourselves on the back for "helping" a student graduate, we are seriously mistaken.  We all know that even though they possess a diploma life will still be difficult for them.  Their choices will be limit.  We need to look for ways to create career pathways, such as those we have discussed in this course, to provide students the skills (trade/vocation) they will need to be marketable and employable if they choose to enter the workforce instead of continuing with postsecondary schooling.  
    • bakersusan
       
      I couldn't agree with you more. Several years ago when the graduation rate became an area of focus with NCLB, I saw a shift in the "quality" of credit recovery programs. The goal was to graduate, not necessarily provide the skills needed to be successful. In the end it is not only the community but truly the students who lose.
  • Among the worst offenders in this regard are some products and programs that call themselves “online.” These are often programs that are low-cost, have very low levels of teacher involvement, and require very little of students. They are used primarily because they are inexpensive, and they allow schools to say students have “passed” whether they have learned anything or not.
  • we build opportunities for choice, at age-appropriate increments, scaffolding the skills and habits of mind that are necessary to increase the independence and self-direction that students need as they progress. Our experiential approach is rooted in this concept: As freshman, students learn about and become part of a community; as sophomores, they explore what it means to serve within and through that community; as juniors, they use their service experience to provide leadership to younger students; and as seniors, they risk it all, moving beyond their immediate community to explore new ones.
    • madonna63
       
      I really like how this school organized themes for each high school year thru scaffolded steps culminating in 'Walk-About', where seniors get to explore their career options for an entire semester. Awesome!
  • In recent years, an increasing number of online programs have begun focusing on offering credit recovery and serving at-risk students. In some cases, these programs started with this focus, while in other cases existing online programs expanded their focus beyond high-achieving students. Online learning is proving to be an important—and sometimes transformational—tool in reaching at-risk students. Goals related to credit recovery and at-risk students vary with each online program often they include one or more of the following: Help students make up credits to meet graduation requirements Meet graduation deadlines Prepare students for state exams Get dropout students back in school
    • madonna63
       
      This is a great option for at-risk students. AS it says, it gets dropout student back in school. Without a high school diploma, students futures, on average, look bleak. Having that diploma sets them up for many future possibilties, even college. You can earn college degrees online.
  • Online curriculum must be rigorous to ensure that students are learning the material, and not simply moving through the course. Diagnostic testing that allows students to demonstrate mastery of the elements of a subject that they learned in their previous attempt to pass the course, and to move on to the parts of the course that they need to focus on, keeps students engaged.
    • madonna63
       
      I respect programs that make sure students learn and not just 'get thru' the course. Also, students will need to focus, which at-risk students don't do in the general classroom. As stated, testing lets students demonstrate what they've learned which motivates them to pass. 
  • If a student is struggling with a lesson, the teacher can focus instruction where the student needs the greatest support.
  • This individualization and personalization allows students to feel a one-to-one connection with their teachers and engages them with the material more thoughtfully.
    • madonna63
       
      This is a special part of the program. Teachers can see specific areas where students need help. It might have gone under the radar in a general class. It also points this out to the student. This gets the teacher engaged with the student instructing him/her in that specific area which makes it more personal. Human connections help to keep students feel more welcome, especially if they are more introverted.
  • Our schools need to be places where learning matters,
  • Proactive measures often are met with resistance and criticism.
  • the real message of the Coleman and Jencks studies of equal educational opportunities: not that the school is powerless but that the family is powerful.
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ollie4: Educational Leadership: The Quest for Quality - 5 views

  • Five keys to assessment quality provide the larger picture
    • Maryann Angeroth
       
      The Clear Purpose paragraph resonated with me since I just finished reading an article in Education Leadership called Know Your Target. It is all about knowing the purpose and sharing that with students and how student achievement goes up as a result.
    • Nancy Peterman
       
      I would agree with you that it is important to give the students a clear idea of the purpose of the lesson and how it would impact their life or daily skills.
  • Five keys to assessment quality provide the larger picture into which our multiple measures must fit
  • Are results communicated in time to inform the intended decisions
    • Maryann Angeroth
       
      One of the "What Works in the Classroom" strategies from Marzano is: Setting objectives and providing feedback. Research shows that giving feedback improves student achievement. This statement about results being communicated in time to inform the intended decisions reminds me of the Marzano work.
    • Nancy Peterman
       
      I have seen positive results in my own classroom when I have provided feedback in a timely manner that is directly to the specifics that were taught.
    • Judy Griffin
       
      This is one of the benefits of educational games if they are created well... instant feedback and another level to conquer!
    • Maryann Angeroth
       
      Did you read Evan's blog about gaming? I was interested in his perspective to making it synonomus with using literature to teach content.
    • Kevin McColley
       
      I completely agree! I have around 600 kids and try my best to comment more than just "good job" but with meaty feedback for my older kids in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and I've seen many kids work and rework their challenges out until they get it. It shows the kids they're not just a number. :)
    • Mark McGaffin
       
      Teachers are becoming more data driven than ever before.  Teachers will need to have a condensed curriculum if they want to provide enrichment opportunities in their classroom.  Currently, there is not enough time within the school year for teachers to assess, analyze, and enrich for each and every child unless some of the content they are expected to teach is removed.  This is a situation where it looks great on paper but right now doesn't work in the classroom.  If we really are stressing Quality than quantity needs to be reduced. 
    • Tim Brickley
       
      The time factor and choosing the right assessments is a daily struggle for teaching. I wish that there was more time in the day, week, month to evaluate past assessments and determine the effectiveness of them.
    • Gayle Olson
       
      I agree with all your comments on the value of feedback. That's what I really like about some of the online assessments I've seen - kids get the feedback right away and then are pointed to extra help or a different type of explanation if they need it.
  • ...42 more annotations...
  • Who will use the results to inform what decisions?
    • Barb Shutt
       
      and...is there already and assessment in place that give you this information? Do I need to duplicate? Not only is the why important, but also the what-does it get to what I need to know for future instruction?
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      Your last statement is very importatn, Barb! That question should be asked prior to giving each assessment--how will this help my students and how will this help me to change my instruction to help my students.
  • four categories of learning targets
    • Barb Shutt
       
      I hadn't seen LT' broken down this way before.
    • Judy Griffin
       
      Neither have I seen this breakdown! Worth sharing with teachers.
    • linda vann
       
      I love this! What an easy, direct guide to clarifying learning targets!
    • David Olson
       
      Stiggins actually has 5 targets, which includes dispositional targets
  • which assessment methods are most likely to produce accurate results for different learning targets.
    • Barb Shutt
       
      It's always about working smarter, not harder and this leads us toward that.
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      I agree--and I really like this chart! It really helped to enhance my understanding of this information.
    • Deena Stanley-Dostart
       
      The chart is very helpful. I like how it shows that perfomance assessments aren't always the best, it depends on what you are assessing. I am glad selected response is still acceptable for knowledge mastery.
    • Gary Petersen
       
      I am always looking for "filters" that I can use when developing a course. This is a great filter when reviewing the assessments used in the course.
  • more assessments
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      If the additional assessments were mostly formative, I do believe that we would be more accurately estimating student achievement.
    • Becky Hinze
       
      And...if those formative assessments are linked directly to the learning of the skill, it wouldn't take time away from the learning to assess.
    • Mark McGaffin
       
      Currently I think the students feel like they are being assessed all day long.  Think about how many classes they have in a day.  If those teachers are being asked to provide data showing progress/mastery in each of their subject areas they will be overwhelmed with assessments.  A balance is key but at the same time we need to think about our students and think about what it might be like to be assessed this much.
    • linda vann
       
      Balance being the operative word here...assessment for assessment sake is not time efficient or effective. Assessment for adjusting instruction is highly valuable.
    • Natalie Smithhart
       
      I think more assessments can help teachers estimcate student achievement, but only if it is not taking away teaching time. We need to assess in ways that don't interupt class time. I know there are times that I have had to spend assessing my students when I felt I could of been giving them more by teaching....
  • The assessor needs to have a clear picture of what achievement he or she intends to measure. If we don't begin with clear statements of the intended learning—clear and understandable to everyone, including students—we won't end up with sound assessments.
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      Clear learning targets are so important--and so often not understood by teachers. I still work with so many teachers who don't question learning targets, as they just go from page to page in the textbook and teach what is next regardless if students already know the information or would need background knowledge in order to understand the concepts.
    • Becky Hinze
       
      So often we assess and we truly don't know what our learning targets were. Often our assessment doesn't even match what we thought our learning targets were.
    • Nancy Peterman
       
      I would agree that many of us do not take the time or effort to evaluate if the assessments actually measure what we are teaching in the classroom.
    • linda vann
       
      The alignment between curriculum, instruction, and assessment is critical. If we don't take the time to clarify our intended outcomes, how can we expect students to perform to expectations?
  • Or, you can highlight the phrases on the rubric that describe the hypothesis's strengths and areas for improvement and return the rubric with the work.
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      In the first class I took towards my Master's in Educational Technology, the professor did this--not just for our assignments, but also for our participation in our forums. Since then, I have "borrowed" this strategy for my own students. It definitely encouraged me to work on improving my responses in the weekly forums!
    • Mark McGaffin
       
      Might we be suggesting the end of grades and the beginning of standards based assessment?  How would that affect colleges and universities?  Would they be willing to accept a student who met all the standards at a school over a student who got a 4.0?
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      I think it depends on the discipline. Art and graphic design--and perhaps music--are probably going to be much farther ahead here. Students have to prepare portfolios of their work and that is what is looked at, at least at Morningside College. They also look at GPA, but there is more weight put on the portfolio.
    • Tim Brickley
       
      More and more former students are telling me they needed to submit a portfolio of past work for colleges. Whether it be for scholaraships or acceptance into a certain program.
  • assessment literate
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      I'm finding the sessions I've attended in Des Moines by Margaret Heritage to be very helpful in understanding what "assessment literate" means!
    • Pam Buysman
       
      That is a term I've not heard before. It makes sense, however. Data used inappropriately can have disastrous results.