Assessing Learning

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 6.59.10 PMAfter co-generating rubrics and making them available to students, learners were able to get quick access to their workspaces, and finally receive fast and thorough feedback on their learning by way of Goobric and Doctopus. As teachers, this created the benefit of understanding where the class needed to go for in the following days – but more importantly, learners received the pedagogical benefit of a detailed (and understandable – as it was theirs) review of their work, with specific suggestions for improvement to be meeting expectations (which many followed up with) – so that they could each experience success.

In Practicum I, I identified assessment goals that I feel I’ve made significant progress towards in this final practicum:

Goal 1: Building capacity in acting on assessment data for student success: using data to inform practice, create opportunities for differentiation, and set individual learning goals for students and myself:

  • Planned loosely for the long term, but often adapted based on assessment data
  • Used statistical as well as observational analysis of data to check for student understanding
  • Created interview and check-in opportunities for specific students to achieve success
  • The continuing goal will be to capture more of this data on an ongoing basis

Goal 2: Developing abilities for sharing assessment data for student success: be it with parents, with students, and colleagues in the educational environment – so that each can play a role in supporting learners to be successful:

  • Parents are a part of the FreshGrade platform, and have access to (and can participate in) a dialogue around a child’s assessment
  • Celebrated children’s successes academically and otherwise by way of emailing parents
  • Experienced learning conferences, where the focus was celebrating student success and highlight areas for support and growth (specifically also developing students own ability to ask their parents for specific areas of support)
  • Experienced SLC’s and planning collaboratively with school-based experts to support children’s success

Students designed the criteria in real-time with the teacher – a negotiation with joint ownership and understood accountability.

Artifact Slides

We know that learning assessment criteria need to be understood by students, but that they’re also more likely to buy into it if they feel they have some sense of ownership (See: Davies, 2000; Friesen, 2009). This way, students know the expectations of their learning, and are actively thinking about them before they engage in the learning tasks.

This rubric was created jointly using a single-point rubric and the Rocky View Schools assessment criteria terms to demonstrate places of meeting or exceeding the standard, or requiring growth towards the standard.

The most exciting part of this learning was seeing students take meaningful roles in their learning, and be reflective according to the criteria that they had earlier created democratically with myself as the lead learner. During the learning activities, we were able to fairly refer back to it and discuss expectations, and when completing the self-assessment, students were able to reflect on their learning in a common, accessible language with clear targets.

Professionally, this andecdotal case helped me understand the literature in practice:

  • Learning targets need to be clear and accessible to students
  • When learning expectations are developed with students, those students can understand them
  • Students have a strong understanding of good work, and their expectations of excellence

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Designing lessons to be strongly connected and informed by student experiences and understandings, means that teachers need assessment data to drive their work.

This tool was created for a Grade 3 class building “Learning Metaphors”. It was designed to be accessible through a “target” – but allow more meaningful reflection through a single-point rubric. It also includes several iterations in order for both the teacher, and the student, to be a part of the feedback loop.

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Growth Mindset Inforgraphic

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This infographic is an application of the growth mindset by Carol Dweck as part of the assessment process – it is representative of my learning about how we can use Growth Mindset to support learning – including (for growth mindedness):

• Feedback
• Observation strategies
• Tools that support

The Growth Mindset enables assessment for both teachers and for students to reinforce lifelong habits of mind for success – specifically, allowing us to see learning not as a limit but as a possibility.

My Future In Assessing Learning

Summary of areas I hope to explore in my learning, and some initial strategies and checkpoints:

  • Developing more strategies for assessment triangulation and holistic data capture:
    • Develop a protocol for tracking outcomes-based assessment in lieu of individual learning tasks
    • Committing to use more frequent, less complex, rapid capture tools, like exit slips and check-ins
    • Expand literature review to target and make note of strategies in these areas