Day 49 (of 189] my prethink on guest modding #Atassessment
The assessment of personalized learning journeys has become more and more of a focus as I have used efolios more and more and seen others using them as well. The focus. I longer needs to be the paper task that goes home, but the hinkin…practicing..hands-on times….discussions….etc that take place during the learning journey. Heck after reading Isaacsons DaVinci bio, I am thinking that some of the incomplete works may be worth looking at more so than those finished things…
So in thinking and rethinking and reflecting, I came up with some questions for @katiewhite426 and @mandystalets to preview for a chat where I want to have people thinking about the learning you don’t always see on the tasks that end up going home, but could be seen if/as efolio assessments show more of the personalized learning journey….
Q1: Organization Question: do you organize your grade book & daily plans by task or learning intention or other means? (Learning outcome, Big Question, curricular organizer) Why? I ask this because one of my first shifts in thinking was when I put the learning outcomes at the top of my grade book and adjusted the number (1-4) based on what was going on in the classroom. It pushed me into my first use of descriptive feedback which, despite my humanities background, was on a math assessment…
Q2: Which students do you give extra consideration to when designing lessons? I often say that there are some students who you adapt for at first and then realize you can adapt for all since we are all on personalized learning journeys and all need the right adaptions…and motivations…and one size does not fit all…and rarely even most…
Q3: Is your learning space designed to meet your needs? Students needs? Hybrid? How? Most recently in the classroom I let students self select their seating spaces and locations – I ended up in the middle of the classroom with tables desks (sitting and standing versions of both) around the room – it looked chaotic to outsiders but worked for the learners and our PBL focus. Spaces for silence and noise were also available, and the right music helped one of my students who for much of his career was in his own room become part of the larger classroom more and more….
Q4: Can we compare where students “are” based on “where they came from”? Or does it have to be “by grade 6 all students will…” statements? Again, with a focus on where each student is and where they need to move to next, it becomes less and less to compare common tasks to each other and instead enable each student to compare their own growth to themselves and not to what the others in the class are doing. Not everyone has to show their learning in the same ways.
Q5: Is it just the final project, or can we value and assess the journey students take “instead of” the finished product [eg the “night before projects despite the weeks of time given”] This is the one I am getting most interested in as we look at how we synthesize and prepare for our work. Do students always need to be visibly doing something to show they are making “good use of their time” or can it be done different. I synthesize a lot before I write, but (as my blog will attest to) edit not as much….woe be sent to the editors of my larger writings😇
Cut due to time but worth thinking about still: Q?: I use the descriptor “reporting student achievement” for those who use report cards and “communicating student learning” for those using eportfolios. Are these fair descriptors? For me, this was a significant MindShift (as per my “faster horse blog” https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/sol-9-i-learned-i-dont-want-a-faster-horse/ ) as I was enabled to think of assessment in another way than reporting on achievement of common tasks; and instead share how learning was happening for each individual that happened to be in the same classroom as me (which led to another thought about why we assemble learners based on their year of birth – but that’s another vent). Our provincial government changed the reporting our language to enable teachers to better focus on individual growth rather than comparable lists ranking students based on success on common tasks – the game of school where you’re first or worst. Comparing yourself from where you were to where you are though – with descriptive feedback loops instead of scores…well the coach in me knows they descriptors were always more helpful than “landy that tackle was a 3 out of 10 – do better next time” (how? tbd I guess)
Q6: When do assessments need to be comparisons between the other learners in the room? In edcamp sucks/doesn’t suck events I often shock my peers when a question is asked about standardized tests and I head to the “doesn’t suck” side. Because I like many standardized tests. They help us identify learning disabilities, autism, giftedness, and whether we like it or not, they (even BCs dreaded FSA) have their questions analyzed and justified over and over – the questions and why each potential answer was selected; a lot more thought than I ever gave my chapter/unit tests…. but as a discussion I had today pointed out: even an IQ test just tells you how well someone does on an IQ test…for most people not much more than that. We gotta know why we test who <– and I know they fragment is clunky. It’s meant to be.
Q7: How do you communicate how students are achieving whey they move partway through the year? In my years looking at descriptive feedback and efolios (starting with PowerPoint) the common “sticking point” has been “how to share where a student ‘is’ if they go to a school that does not have a descriptive feedback/efolio mindset. What is a mechanism to communicate summatively when the focus is formative assessment?
One of the tools I am starting to use:
But need more eyes on it – especially “is this enough info to move forward with” if this information came with a student to your school?
Looking forward to seeing the shares at #atassessment ￼