Final Entry

22 Dec

And.. finally, this is my final entry for my ejournal…..

I would like to start off by saying Thank you to Teacher Malou for her patience and her reminders of the tasks submitted for this course.

As what we have learned, assessment is a central element in the overall quality of teaching and learning. Well-designed assessment sets clear expectations, establishes a reasonable workload (one that does not push students into rote reproductive approaches to study), and provides opportunities for students to self-monitor, rehearse, practise and receive feedback.

The relationship between assessment practices and the overall quality of teaching and learning is often underestimated, yet assessment requirements and the clarity of assessment criteria and standards significantly influence the effectiveness of student learning. Carefully designed assessment contributes directly to the way students approach their study and therefore contributes indirectly, but powerfully, to the quality of their learning.

We know that the typical multiple-choice and short-answer tests aren’t the only way, or necessarily the best way, to gauge a student’s knowledge and abilities. Other institutions are incorporating performance-based assessments into their standardized tests or adding assessment vehicles such as student portfolios and presentations as additional measures of student understanding. These rigorous, multiple forms of assessment require students to apply what they’re learning to real world tasks. These include standards-based projects and assignments that require students to apply their knowledge and skills, such as designing a building or investigating the water quality of a nearby pond; clearly defined rubrics (or criteria) to facilitate a fair and consistent evaluation of student work; and opportunities for students to benefit from the feedback of teachers, peers, and outside experts.

One of the important realizations I have in learning this course is that assessment should be tailored to a specific purpose and should be reliable, valid, and fair for that purpose. Assessments designed for one purpose are not necessarily valid if used for other purposes. Assessment is therefore a potent strategic tool for educators with which to spell out the learning that will be rewarded and to guide students into effective approaches to study. Equally, however, poorly designed assessment has the potential to hinder learning or stifle curriculum innovation.

Sample Math Rubric

22 Dec

math_rubric

rub1

Characteristics of Rubrics

22 Dec

3

 

http://www.teachersfirst.com/lessons/rubrics/characteristics.cfm

 

Why Use Rubrics?

22 Dec

When we consider how well a learner performed a speaking or writing task, we do not think of the performance as being right or wrong. Instead, we place the performance along a continuum from exceptional to not up to expectations. Rubrics help us to set anchor points along a quality continuum so that we can set reasonable and appropriate expectations for learners and consistently judge how well they have met them.

  • Well-designed rubrics increase an assessment’s construct and content validity by aligning evaluation criteria to standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment tasks.
  • Well-designed rubrics increase an assessment’s reliability by setting criteria that raters can apply consistently and objectively.
  • Evaluating student work by established criteria reduces bias.
  • Identifying the most salient criteria for evaluating a performance and writing descriptions of excellent performance can help teachers clarify goals and improve their teaching.
  • Rubrics help learners set goals and assume responsibility for their learning—they know what comprises an optimal performance and can strive to achieve it.
  • Rubrics used for self- and peer-assessment help learners develop their ability to judge quality in their own and others’ work.
  • Rubrics answer the question “Why did I/my child get a B on this project?”
  • Learners receive specific feedback about their areas of strength and weakness and about how to improve their performance.
  • Learners can use rubrics to assess their own effort and performance, and make adjustments to work before submitting it for a grade.
  • Rubrics allow learners, teachers, and other stakeholders to monitor progress over a period of instruction.
  • Time spent evaluating performance and providing feedback can be reduced.
  • When students participate in designing rubrics, they are empowered to become self-directed learners.
  • Rubrics help teachers move away from subjective grading by allowing them and others, including students themselves, to assess work based on consistent, often agreed upon, and objective criteria.

(Fiderer, 1999Goodrich Andrade, 1997SRI International-Center for Technology in Learning, 1997-2002Eighmey’s Think Tank; Kasman Valenza, 2000; TeacherVision.com, 2000-2002; Tedick, 2002)

 

 

Alignment Snips

22 Dec

A1 1

Module 2 Entry

22 Dec

Learning assessment is more than testing students and assigning grades. It is a system and process of collecting evidence about student learning. Assessment is a lot like research because it involves observing, recording, scoring and interpreting the information we collect. A good system of assessment provides feedback to students about their learning, feedback to teachers about their instruction and evidence to support teachers’ judgments about grading.

A system of assessment begins by defining course learning objectives: what students should be able to do at the end of instruction. The learning objectives give you a clear target so you can choose learning activities and assessments that are aimed directly toward those objectives. When activities and assessments are lined up with the ultimate objectives, you have alignment. If assessments are misaligned with learning objectives or instructional strategies, it can undermine both student motivation and learning.

In summary, alignment ensures that the teaching and learning activities are of a sort that will enable students to achieve the intended learning outcomes and that the assessment methods are designed to assess the learning outcomes. In other words, alignment is about consistency.

The steps involved in the alignment of course learning outcomes, methods and assessments can be summarised as follows:

  1. Define the intended learning outcomes;
  2. Choose teaching and learning activities that are likely to lead to the achievement of the intended learning outcomes; and
  3. Develop assessments that require students to demonstrate their achievement to the specified standard of learning expressed in the assessment criteria.

 

References:

Stiggins, R. J. (1997) Student-centered classroom assessment. 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/index.html

Why Is Assessment Important? | Edutopia

22 Dec

Why Is Assessment Important? | Edutopia.

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