Notes from 21st Century Assessment

Notes from 21st Century Assessment Session

Konrad Glogowski

  • What we know about assessment
    • Assessment is the tail that wags the curriculum dog
    • Grades with substantive comments have the most impact on
  • What impact does a blogging community have on the role of the teacher?
    • Reflecting on what happens in the classroom, both online and off — show how much you have learned
    • Noticed that the students were engaged in talking with the community, but not by communicating with the teacher
      • Students saved docs, printed them and gave them to the teacher offline
      • But, they were interested in conversations with one another
    • Is this evidence of learning?
      • Not in the sense of “data” that is measured on a test
      • Rubrics, too, only focus on what they can not do and not on what they can do.
  • Current Models
    • Metaphor of acquisition moving to a metaphor of participation to metaphor of knowledge creation
    • Assessing learning of what is taught in test conditions (behaviorist) to assessing learning as individual sense-making through problem solving and demonstration through projects and writing (cognitive constructivist) to assessing learning as building knowledge with others in a situated context of a community and with real-life problems using resources and represented in a variety of forms(sociocultural)
    • Most of us would want to be in the socio-cultural paradigm
    • Suggestion One: Sociocultural Assessment Practices
  • Models for the Future
    • All of this is woven together, like a mat
    • There are no specific goals, and what they use to
      assess student progress is a narrative, learning and assessment are dynamic and continuous
    • If there is no score, what are they working towards?
      • Rubric combined with narrative response
    • Focus on what students can do, not just the deficits
      • Individuality, learning as holistic, inquiry-based,
        draws from family and home
      • When children see that teachers, families, peers, and others see value in their work and that what they do have meaning, then wonderful things will happen
    • Children who are valued with do valuable learning
    • The government of New Zeeland is looking for learning
      dispositions that invite students to investigate and collaborate
  • Two common dispositions
    • Resourcefulness and agency
  • What we need to do with assessment:
    • Feedback — timely and substantive
      • “Needs to provide information related to the task or process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and needs to be understood” — missed citation
      • Where am I going, how am I going, and where to next?
      • These three questions can work at different levels: task, process, self-regulation, and self level
    • Self-assessment — and peer assessment, to some degree
    • Revisiting episodes of competence — need to do this more intentionally
    • This creates spaces for conversation about learning
  • Example: how to grow a blog — flower metaphor
    • What do I want to accomplish?
    • How will I nourish it and help it grow?
    • Questions
      • What makes me unique?
      • As a blogger and writer, what will I do?
      • How will I support my peers?
  • Frequency of blog posts as compared to quality of writing and impact on the blogging community
  • Discuss how their own blog post has impacted their own learning and the community by using a “ripple effect” diagram
  • Questions
    • What is the role of the teacher in the 21st century classroom?
    • What are your experiences with assessment as a student?
    • What are the benefits of a learning story approach? What are the drawbacks?
    • To what extent do your current assessment practices promote resourcefulness and agency?
    • Detailed and timely feedback can be time consuming — how do we do it?

Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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