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  • 1. A traditional assessment measures one's abilities using common test choices (i.e. multiple choice, true/false, etc). An authentic assessment differs from a traditional in that the test measures one's abilities using real world situations. In order that the assignment will serve its purposes, it must be purposive; it is the paramount duty of the teacher to ensure that all assigned learning tasks are important and meaningful to the learners. There are a number of functions of assignments. These are: To set the goal or direction of the learning task: The learners are supposed to know what the learning activity is all about. The assigned task must be clear, definitive and purposive. To stimulate logical and creative thinking: It is also an opportunity to train and develop good habits. To recall previous lessons in preparation for a long test or it may be recall for organization of ideas and concepts and other relevant information To motivate the learners and prepare them for the learning task to be done: The preparation includes giving the background, the coverage and difficulty of the activity, why they are supposed to do the assignment and the benefit they will experience. To determine and plan out learning activities to be undertaken: Interesting and challenging activities and within the capabilities of the learners that will answer their needs should be chosen by the teacher. These activities may involve practical exercises to reinforce what has been taught; completion of a project or an experiment began in class; collection of specimen for biology class, research work for the solution of a problem, preparation of arguments for a debate forum or research and preparation of materials and literature for a panel discussion. To provide directions and other requirements for the learning activity: for example, clear instructions as to steps and procedures, sources and availability of learning materials, and criteria for evaluation of the finished project. It may be noted that in some cases, many assignments are left unfinished because directions of how the learning exercise should be done are not clear and definite. Besides, some materials necessary for the completion of the project are not available. To develop attitude and establish desirable habits of studying regularly: The stimulation and urge to study once the habit has been formed, become powerful motivation especially when the learner realizes that doing the assignment is a natural growth of past and present lessons. It has been observed that, some pupils/students study only when they have homework or lessons to do. By giving regular assignments, will in effect, help them, realize its value and develop the habit of studying. Assignment notebooks are tools for students of all grade levels. They are used to organize students' work and may help connect parents to their children's school activities. Some schools provide an assignment notebook for each student free of charge, while students at other schools must pay for them. Homework continues to be a controversial topic today. The debate over homework is an old one, with attitudes shifting throughout the debate over the years. Proponents and opponents make cases to support their views on the necessity and importance of homework in the development of the student and theconstruction of knowledge. Good and Brophy (2003) indicate that many view homework as, “An important extension of in-school opportunities to learn” (p. 393). While some proponents of homework believe in its purpose, a question still persists about the role of homework in determining the student’s grade. Should homework be assigned and graded on a regular basis, or should it be viewed as an educational means to an end? As a means to an end, should one centralized school or district policy govern homework, or should some flexibility exist? Education consultant Ken O’Connor (1999) suggests eight guidelines for successful assessment, which includes a directive to not mark every single assignment for grades, but rather take a sampling of
  • 2. student efforts in order to assess how much they have learned. His approach pushes for a more standards based approach in determining grades, combining formative assessment to track students’ grasp of lesson concepts as they learn, enabling adjustment of teaching practice on-the-fly, and summative assessment in the form of a test or quiz, which measures the level of student knowledge and understanding after thelearning process. This is also a valuable tool for the teacher, as they may be better able to gauge the efficacy of their lessons and unit. In a study conducted by Hill, Spencer, Alston and Fitzgerald (1986), homework was positively linked to student achievement. They indicate that homework is an inexpensive method of improving student academic preparation without increasing staff or modifying curriculum. “So, as the pressure to improve testscores continues to increase, so does the emphasis on homework” (p. 58). 142 school systems in North Carolina were contacted. Of the initial 142 schools, 96 responded, and were sent three-part questionnaires seeking information about the existence, scope, development and evaluation of homework policies in their schools. The researchers cite several general conclusions based on their findings, including the importance, and apparent lack, of homework policies in existence. Despite the pervasive nature of homework in every participating school, only 50% of the schools indicated the existence of a written homework policy. Amongst the policies reported by the other half of the participating schools, most of the policies specified the type or quality of homework to be assigned, and allowed some flexibility in the assignment and evaluation of homework. The authors indicated: Particularly encouraging signs were that a variety of types of homework were suggested, and the focus of homework assignment was toward meaningful, creative, and high-level thinking endeavors... and away from tedious busy work and drill. (Hill, Spencer, et. al, 1986, p. 68) Homework is seen as a valuable resource for teaching, allowing students to practice, and in doing so, learn the unit material. This study documented the importance of flexibility in the assignment and evaluation of quality homework assignments, but also the alarming lack of a written homework policy in 50% of the participating schools. It can be drawn from this study that some type of homework policy is necessary, as is the assignment of higher cognitive types of homework and the flexible assessment and grading of that work in order to foster and track student learning Authentic assessment is the measurement of intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile, significant, and meaningful, as compared to multiple choice standardized tests. Authentic assessment can be devised by the teacher, or in collaboration with the student by engaging student voice. When applying authentic assessment to student learning and achievement, a teacher applies criteria related to “construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry, and the value of achievement beyond the school.” The Assignment method is the most common method of teaching especially in teaching of Science. It is a technique which can be usually used in teaching and learning process. It is an instructional technique comprises the guided information, self learning, writing skills and report preparation among the learners. The Assignment method is an important step in teaching and learning process (Douglas). Objectives Steps in Assignment Method Features of a Good Assignment Types of Assignments - Home assignments - School Assignments Fundamental Elements of Assignments Role of Teacher Advantages
  • 3. Limitations Practice oriented Assignment – An example. Text book based Assignment – An example Progress Sheet. Objectives of this Unit (Assignment Method) By this method a student teacher has to acquire the following objectives: To Know the Aims & Objectives of Assignments To acquire the research attitude To acquire attitude of self learning To retrieve the information from various resources To understand the steps / stages of assignment method To List out the features of Assignment method To explain the types of Assignments To know the role and functions of teacher To list out the merits of assignment method. To list out the limitations of assignment method Traditional assessments are tests given to the students by the teachers to measure how much the students have learned. • Traditional assessment tests contain different types of questions such as: multiple-choice, fillins, matching, essays, and sentence completions, etc. • This type of assessment is not the only way nor the best way to evaluate students, but is the most common way because it provides valuable info. about the students learning. What Material the Test Should Cover? • Things you should consider while writing the test: 1. What are you testing the students on? 2. What did you cover in your instruction? 3. What activities did the students perform, and what homework and seatwork did you assign? 4. What were your goals and objectives of your instruction from the beginning of the year? • Before designing the test consider looking at other teaching materials for ideas. • When a teacher writes their own test questions it should be valid to what the students were taught. • The number of questions of a topic on the test should relate to how much time was spent on the topic, either in or out of class. • Design the test around what your main focus was on rather than something you spent a couple days talking about. When And How Of Testing • Give more frequent and shorter tests. This will overcome the students fear of being given one opportunity of what they know and will also
  • 4. encourage the students to actively process and use the material. • Consider testing conditions. Give the student a comfortable environment to take the test where there are no distractions. Also keep a close watch on the students in case they have any questions. • Ensure clear instructions. Make sure all students understand the test directions. Types of Test Questions • Objective and subjective are two types different types of tests. • Objective tests consist of: – Multiple-choice – Fill-in-the-blank – Short answer – True and false – Matching • Keep a record of how the students did answering the questions. • Subjective tests consist of essay or critical thinking questions. A test in which there is no one correct answer. • It is very important that all the essays are graded fairly.Review • Traditional assessments will provide information about the students learning and the students progress • When planning assessment questions make them on the level and content of what you taught in class and what you assigned out of class. • When assigning assessments use short and frequent ones. • Objective test questions cover a wide range of the students learning in a short period of time. • Grade essay tests fairly. Many educators believe that the best and most effective lesson plans are those which begin with the final assessment in mind. In other words, teachers should know what they want totest before creating their actual lesson content. A very important part of this lesson planning process should be creating pretests. Pretests are given to students before a lesson or unit to assess what they do in fact already know. These tests reveal many gems to the savvy teacher. 1. Pretests allow teachers to see if what is being covered in the lesson or unit is already mastered. For example, if you are teaching 9th grade geography, you might give a pretest to see how well students understand latitude and longitude. If they all know how to use these then the teacher can skip that lesson. If only a couple of students have a problem, then they can individualize their instruction to bring them up to speed. If the majority of students are struggling with the information then they can continue with the lesson.
  • 5. 2. Pretests help measure true learning. By comparing pre- and post-tests, teachers can see what students actually learned from the lessons that were developed. 3. Pretests can give students a preview of what will be expected of them. This helps students begin to focus on the key topics that will be covered. 4. Pretests can help generate ideas for future lesson. Depending on the way the pretests are created, teachers might find knowledge gaps that they did not expect. Armed with this knowledge they can make changes to lessons to include further instruction and review. Creating Pretest As you write pretests remember their purpose. If you are going to allow students to skip lessons, you will want to create very thorough pretests. If you are using your pretest for comparison to post-tests, then you will want very similar (not the same) questions on both. If you are trying to find gaps in student knowledge, you will want to cover a broad range of topics. In other words, decide on your focus and how you will use the pretests before beginning their construction. Pretests can be extremely effective tools and are an excellent way for teachers to grow in their field. By providing kids with pretests and using that information wisely, you can give students better and more individualized instruction. A unit test is a test that a developer creates to ensure that his or her "unit", usually a single program, works properly. A unit test is very different from a system orfunctional test; these latter types of test are oriented to application features or overall testing of the system. You cannot properly or effectively perform a system test until you know that the individual programs behave as expected. So of course you would therefore expect that programmers do lots of unit testingand have a correspondingly high level of confidence in their programs. Ah, if only that were the case! The reality is that developers generally perform an inadequate number of inadequate tests and figure that if the users don't find a bug, there is no bug. Why does this happen? Let me count the ways... 1. The psychology of success and failure. We are so focused on getting our code to work correctly, that we generally shy away from bad news, from even wanting to take the chance of getting bad news. Better to do some cursory testing, confirm that it seems to be working OK, and then wait for others to find bugs, if there are any (as if there were any doubt). 2. Deadline pressures. Hey, it's Internet time! Time to market determines all. We need everything yesterday, so let's be just like Microsoft and Netscape: release pre-beta software as production and let our users test/suffer through our applications. 3. Management's lack of understanding. IT management is notorious for not really understanding the software development process. If we are not
  • 6. given the time and authority to write (in the broadest sense, including testing, documentation, refinement, etc.) our own code properly, we will always end up with buggy junk that no one wants to admit ownership of. 4. Overhead of setting up and running tests. If it's a big deal to write and run tests, they won't get done. I don't have time, there is always something else to work on. One consequence of this point is that more and more of the testing is handed over to the QA department, if there is one. That transfer of responsibility is, on the one hand, positive. Professional quality assurance professionals can have a tremendous impact on application quality. Yet developers must take and exercise responsibility for unit testing of their own code, otherwise the testing/QA process is much more frustrating and extended. The bottom line is that our code almost universally needs more testing. I can't help with deadline pressures, and my ability to improve your manager's understanding of the need to take more time to test is limited. So how about if I instead offer you a "framework" -- a set of processes and code elements -- that will allow you to test your code more easily? Which of the assessment methods are categorized as traditional assessment? The types of assessment methods that are categorized as traditional assessments are multiple choice exams, filling in of blank spaces and placement test among other methods. Most of them always involve teacher made quizzes, homework and class projects. What are the Different Types of Authentic Assessment Teachers use assessment techniques to learn about effectiveness of their teaching and performance of the students. Various types of authentic assessment are discussed in this write-up which can be used by teachers in the classroom for student evaluation. Regular methods of assessment used in educational institutions include tests, quizzes, multiple-choice questions, short answers, etc. These methods are being used since a very long time, and aim at understanding a student's ability to grasp knowledge and skills as per the set curriculum. Students are assessed to check whether they have mastered a particular topic or not. Practical application of the acquired knowledge and skill is ignored. This approach of learning fails to support the student in the long run. Authentic assessment is a technique that can be used by teachers to assess the overall growth of a student. It evaluates the learning of a student throughout the year, and requires the student to use his knowledge and skill to generate meaningful content. This method helps in inculcating various skills in a student by the use of projects, presentations, journals, etc. Authentic assessment prepares a student for upcoming professional life by inculcating several aspects like deep
  • 7. understanding of knowledge, social skills, problem-solving skills, time management, team work, etc. Authentic assessment can be broadly classified as Formal and Informal. Formal assessment is a systematic approach that teachers use to evaluate the students after a structured instructional program. This test helps the teachers to understand whether the students have actually acquired the skills and concepts of the program or not. Informal assessment has an informal approach through group projects, oral presentations, performances, etc. Teachers need to record their observations about a particular student during informal assessment because it can be done at anytime in the classroom. Types of Authentic Assessment • Performance Assessment: This technique is not new. It has always been a part of the education system to directly evaluate the acquired skill by a student. Be it dancing, woodworking, typing etc., it validates the acquired mastery by direct observation. Real-world scenarios are given to students to evaluate their performance in problem-solving tasks. • Portfolio Assessment: Portfolios are maintained by students to keep a check on their overall progress, be it in any field. It gives a clear picture about the various accomplishments of a student over a particular period of time and helps the student in self assessment. This method involves the student as well in the assessment process. • Self Assessment: This method should be included so that students are aware of their own accomplishments, behavior, and where they actually stand in a group. This will help them in identifying the areas they need to work on and their areas of excellence. • Face-to-face Interviews: This method assesses the student's interest areas, activities, and background in an informal conversation. The interview helps the student to open up with the teacher and discuss his areas of interest and problematic areas so as to find a solution to them. • Writing Articles: Students are asked to write narrative, persuasive, or expository articles to evaluate their ability to write and generate relevant content. • Story Retelling: This method aims at evaluating the reading and listening skills of a student, and how well he/she can reproduce the main ideas of a text. Scoring can be done using rating scale and can be marked on language content.
  • 8. • Demonstrations: Scoring is done using rating scale on oral presentation of the demonstration, or written report of the experiment or both. This method evaluates how a student utilizes various materials for demonstration purposes. • Projects/ Presentations: Teachers can evaluate written reports, formal presentation, or both. This method helps in identifying writing skills, thinking skills, and presentation skills. It can also be marked using rating scale. • Constructed Response: This method requires the student to generate a written report for open-ended questions. This analyzes the analytical, thinking, and writing skills of the student. • Observations: Teacher observes the students and marks them for class participation, attentiveness, and rapport with classmates. This requires very less time and is possible in a classroom setting. Several teaching methods are adopted in educational institutions to provide the best learning experience to the students. Proper teaching methods are necessary, but it is equally important to have a proper assessment technique to monitor overall development of the students. A positive reinforcement in the classroom will help in building a positive learning environment for the students and help them in becoming great achievers in the future. Is there such thing as best assessment method or an assessment that is appropriate for all types of learning? There is no such a thing as an assessment that is appropriate for all types of learning. This is because a person studies different things or subjects. Therefore, all these subjects must be assessed not with one assessment but depending on the subject that has been studied. None, for our group there is no assessment method that will suite for all kinds of learning because it depends and varies on the different factors such as: needs of the learners, the learning outcomes that should be assessed, individualdifferences and multiple intelligences of the learners, facilities and materialsto be used , the purpose of assessment and others. Learners are the main factorto be considered in choosing the best assessment method to be used. In assessinglearners should be the center of the assessment process because they are theones to be assessed.
  • 9. A lot of the unit testing that gets done doesn't get done right. Now, what I mean by that isn't that devs don't know how to test their own functionality (though that's really the subject of another post), it's that they don't know how to perform the test itself properly. I'm gonna qualify that with a question. What happens to your unit test code once the tests are done? And while we're at it let me as you another question real quick. How many unit tests do you perform on a given scenario? The reason I qualified myself with those 2 questions is because they're really at the crux of how you run your unit tests. How many times do you run a scenario test? The answer is that typically you should run it many times. And of course the reason you should run it many times is to make sure all the kinks are worked out of not only the running of the code itself, but also in the config. When I run my unit tests I always try to run them on several systems just to make sure I know what I'm gonna have to do to make it work. And the way you code a unit test that you're going to run again and again is completely different from the way you'll code it to run only once. I've seen all too many times when devs config a test to run only once. They typically forget something and they have to make a tweak to either the code or to the environment. Then they forget something else and they have to make another change. And they keep going like this until it works. The problem is that just doing the test once doesn't build solid code. If you were going to run it several times you would fix your scripts as you went along and they would be very robust. They would check for environmental changes and other gotchas. You would make the changes to your script, and try again. And this brings up another good point about your scripts. You should always include code to completely reset your environment. That's what allows you to run your scripts again and again because you've got the code that also resets everything. And now we're getting into the crux of the first question I asked above. What happens to the unit test code once the tests are done? Well, if you've coded the test properly by including all the tweaks needed to make it run on all the different servers you tested on, then your unit test code very easily turns into your production deployment code. That's the problem with only running a test a single time because you tend to assume it'll work and when you run the prod deployment things go wrong. But if you've run it several times and tweaked your code each time, you know what to expect in prod and you greatly reduce your chances of having a catastrophic error. So writing solid unit tests and testing them properly actually saves you time because you can typically turn that code directly into deployment code. And the system feeds itself because as you make changes to the same apps during different release cycles, you build these libraries for effective testing, and resetting your environment. So a lot of times you don't have to even have to write that code again, or at least you only have to make very small changes. So take the time to do your unit testing properly and code-in all your tweaks and resets. You'll get so much more done and your deployments will go much smoother. Project-based learning is a teaching approach that engages students in sustained, collaborative real-world investigations. Projects are organized around a driving question, and students participate in a variety of tasks that seek to meaningfully address this question.
  • 10. STUDENT SELF-EVALUATION: WHAT RESEARCH SAYS AND WHAT PRACTICE SHOWS By Carol Rolheiser and John A. Ross Introduction Teachers today are experimenting with alternatives to traditional tests. Performance assessment, portfolio collections, classroom observation, peer assessment, and self-evaluation are joining the unit test and the final exam in the repertoire of the skillful teacher. Such teachers ensure that an over-reliance on testing does not seriously distort instruction or impede important school improvement efforts. Accordingly, their programs are based on a range of assessment approaches. Teachers who include authentic assessment in their repertoires are driven by a belief that curriculum-assessment experiences should prepare students for life in the real world. While teacher-made tests and standardized tests give us information about student learning, they do not provide all the information. Alternate forms of assessment can generate that other information. For the last seven years we have been working with teachers at all grade levels to develop alternate forms of authentic student assessment strategies. The research evidence accumulating in our studies, and the data produced by other researchers, make us optimistic about the impact of one form of authentic assessment -- self-evaluation -- on the learning of students and their teachers. Self-evaluation is defined as students judging the quality of their work, based on evidence and explicit criteria, for the purpose of doing better work in the future. When we teach students how to assess their own progress, and when they do so against known and challenging quality standards, we find that there is a lot to gain. Self-evaluation is a potentially powerful technique because of its impact on student performance through enhanced self-efficacy and increased intrinsic motivation. Evidence about the positive effect of self-evaluation on student performance is particularly convincing for difficult tasks (Maehr & Stallings, 1972; Arter et al., 1994), especially in academically oriented schools (Hughes et al., 1985) and among high need pupils (Henry, 1994). Perhaps just as important, students like to evaluate their work. In the following five sections we explore the research and practice related to student selfevaluation. The first two sections will be of particular relevance to academics and other educators who are interested in the research and theory background to self-evaluation. The last three sections will be helpful for those readers with a more practical orientation. Together these sections provide a composite picture of what research says and what practice shows. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Shifts in conceptions of assessment The theory/ theoretical model behind student self-evaluation A Four-Stage Model for teaching student self-evaluation A sample of the 4-Stage Model for self-evaluation...how to involve students step-by-step! Debunking myths: Frequently asked questions about self-evaluation 1. Shifts in Conceptions of Assessment It is important to understand the broader context of assessment reform and the experiences of teachers who are experimenting or adopting new assessment practices. Four major shifts in conceptions of assessment influence how we consider supporting teachers who are adopting approaches such as student self-evaluation.
  • 11. First, as part of a broader assessment reform movement, conceptions of good assessment are moving toward direct observation of complex performance rather than brief written tests that correlate with the target aptitudes (Linn et al., 1991). In these performance assessments, students are observed working with complex tasks (for example, Baron, 1990; Shavelson et al., 1992) or dealing with real-life problems (Raizen & Kaser, 1989). These instruments are often administered to groups of students because group work represents out-of-school performance better than individual production (Webb et al., 1995). Such approaches to testing would seem to be ideal for the many classrooms today that focus on collaborative and cooperative approaches to learning. Second, teachers' responses to alternate assessment have been mixed. Mandated alternate assessment programs produce teacher resistance due to schedule disruption, concerns about consistency, and doubts about the usefulness of the data (Wilson, 1992; Howell et al., 1993; Maudaus & Kellaghan, 1993; Worthen 1993). Yet, when teachers have the freedom to choose, there is enthusiasm for alternate assessment (Calfee & Perfumo, 1993; Bateson, 1994). Alternate conceptions of evaluation escalate demands on teachers. Alternate assessment must be transparent (Fredericksen & Collins, 1989), meaning that the criteria for appraisal, the population from which tasks are drawn, the scoring key and interpretive schemes must be visible to students, even when the teachers who devised these procedures have an imperfect grasp of them. Asking teachers to engage students in setting evaluation criteria (Bellanca & Berman, 1994; Garcia & Pearson, 1994) intensifies demands. Authentic assessment standards require precise specification of what will be measured, identification of multiple levels of attainment, and descriptions of opportunities to learn (Linn, 1994). The heightened concern with the moral dimension of evaluation (for example, Wiggins, 1993) requires that teachers support due process and allow students to be assessed at an appropriate level of difficulty, when ready. Third, making such changes is not easy. Briscoe (1994) found that when beliefs about teaching and the constructivist learning theory implicit in alternate assessment conflicted, conventional test practices returned. In Briscoe's study, conflict centered on one teacher's theory of how assessment influenced learning. The teacher believed that regular monitoring based on unambiguous criteria, such as work completed, stimulated student productivity. For the teacher, the motivational power of assessment resided in the fairness of objective procedures. When he/she tried to use performance assessment, he/she felt that objectivity was lost. The teacher had little confidence in the rules he/she developed for interpreting students responses, believed that given grades favoured students he/she liked, and felt assigning a single grade to all students in a group was unfair. Although the teacher tried to resolve these conflicts, he/she eventually returned to multiple-choice testing. Lorsbach et al., (1992) observed two teachers for whom the purpose of assessment was control of students; tests emphasized knowledge reproduction, and work completion was a heavily weighted grading criterion. Shifting to assessments based on observations and interviews to accommodate experiments with constructivist teaching created conflicts for both teachers. One teacher resolved the conflict by redefining her metaphor of assessment from that of "fair judgment" to providing a „"window into a student's mind" (p. 309), thereby reconciling assessment with her new conception of teaching. The other teacher did not resolve the conflict. At the end of the study, the tension between his constructivist approach to teaching and objectivist assessment practices continued. Other researchers have reported teacher misconceptions about specific alternate assessment techniques. Ruiz-Primo & Shavelson (1995) found over inclusion: teachers thought performance assessment was anything that involved manipulation of concrete objects. Oosterhof (1995)
  • 12. found under-inclusion: teachers treated only formal tests as valid assessment procedures and included informal methods like observations and oral feedback only after probing. Finally, one of the most challenging shifts in conceptions of assessment is related to the changing role of the teacher and the changing educational environment. The context for educators is changing rapidly and dramatically. It is more complex and volatile. Teachers are in an environment of conflicting and ever-increasing demands where the school is expected to meet all these demands. As Hargreaves & Fullan (1998) state, "In times of turbulent social change, redefining one's relationship to the environment is crucial" (p. 4). One of the redefinitions relates to our current capacity to build democratic communities within and beyond our schools. If we value "participation, equality, inclusiveness and social justice," (Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998, p. 13), then our classrooms and schools need to be places where students share leadership and responsibility for learning. Hargreaves & Fullan further suggest that "Involving students and parents in decision-making, teaching and learning decisions, parent conferences and assessment of achievement, extend these democratic principles further" (p.13). In such a shifting context our outcomes for students have sufficiently changed and traditional assessment practices are no longer adequate. All of these factors place the demand on teachers to develop assessment literacy themselves. We define assessment literacy as the: 1) capacity to examine student data and make sense of it; 2) ability to make changes in teaching and schools derived from those data; and 3) commitment to engaging in external assessment discussions. Developing assessment literacy facilitates teacher confidence about the defensibility of their evaluation practices and reduces feelings of vulnerability. It means that teachers are able to provide the home with clear and detailed assessments, and are able to provide a rationale for the assessment choices they make in their classrooms. Becoming more assessment literate also means teachers becoming critical consumers of externally generated assessment data so that they can engage in the arguments about standards and accountability (Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998). Educators who can clearly and respectfully discuss assessment issues with non-educators and educators alike, will be better able to link student learning and instructional approaches for the purpose of continuous improvement. Four conceptual shifts have just been elaborated: 1) the movement toward direct observation of complex performance rather than brief written tests; 2) the mixed responses by teachers to alternate assessment; 3) the difficulty in making assessment changes; and 4) the changing role of the teacher and the changing educational environment that necessitates the need for teacher assessment literacy. In our quest to more clearly understand self-evaluation, and in working with teachers to help students get better at self-evaluation, it has been important for us to keep these shifts front and center. In the sections that follow we focus on these shifts in numerous ways, from the elaboration of research findings to the practical strategies that have facilitated the assessment change process for teachers and students alike. 2. The Theory/ Theoretical Model Behind Self-evaluation In the model that follows we provide the theoretical model for self-evaluation (Rolheiser, 1996). Research indicates that self-evaluation plays a key role in fostering an upward cycle of learning. When students evaluate their performance positively, self-evaluations encourage students to set higher goals (1) and commit more personal resources or effort (2) to them. The combination of goals (1) and effort (2) equals achievement (3). A student's achievement results in self-judgment (4), such as a student contemplating the question, "Were my goals met?" The result of the self-
  • 13. judgment is self-reaction (5), or a student responding to the judgment with the question, "How do I feel about that?" Goals, effort, achievement, self-judgment, and self-reaction all can combine to impact selfconfidence (6) in a positive way. Self-evaluation is really the combination of the self-judgment and self-reaction components of the model, and if we can teach students to do this better we can contribute to an upward cycle of better learning. The Importance of Self Evaluation By Stanley C Loewen | Self Improvement Motivation | Rating: Self evaluation is important at any stage in your life. In today’s world, most organizations use self evaluation for any project and services they have in place. Furthermore, teachers are now actively encouraging their pupils to self evaluate. Self evaluation is an important part of being committed to lifelong learning – the understanding that you will never complete your learning journey and grab every opportunity to learn new skills. More and more workplaces now encourage their staff to be committed to lifelong learning, offering learning skills through formal and informal pathways. Self evaluation is particularly important when choosing learning through informal pathways, as formal assessments are less likely to take place in such settings.
  • 14. How to Perform Self Evaluation Anything you do, be it in business or work or your personal life, can go through a circular process. The process starts with you developing an idea. Following this, you should consult with those who will be influenced by your idea to think of the best way to implement this. You then implement your idea. You then spend some time monitoring how well it is going and then consult again. Following this consultation, your developed ideas will change and the process starts again with you consulting about proposed changes, implementing the changes, monitoring the changes, consulting again, and so on. A practical example is for example the decision to enroll on a new course. If you are thinking of starting a new course, this means you have an end goal in mind. The end goal could be a degree, for example. Hence, your starting idea is the degree. You should then consult by speaking to friends and families and colleges or universities about what courses are best suited to achieve this degree. Once you have done this, you would enroll on your course. Courses generally offer examinations, which is a great way to self evaluate as well as receive feedback from your tutors on how well you are performing. When you do receive feedback, ensure you read this properly and think of how to implement their suggestions in the rest of your learning career. When you reach the end of your specific course, you re-evaluate whether you are still on track towards achieving your end goal, or whether you need to revise your end goal. From that, you can choose your next course or plan of action, and so on. Some of the questions you could, for example, ask yourself practically are: • How much effort did you put into the assignment and how long did it take you? • Where do you think you did very well and where do you think you could do better? • What could you do to improve? • What are the most important things you have learned from the assignment? Why Self Evaluation Is Important
  • 15. The idea behind self evaluation is that our judgment of what we think we are doing and what we actually are doing is not always the same. This is why it is so important to perform regular self evaluation. Did you know, for example, that fighter pilots, politicians and top athletes perform self evaluation? They do this by reviewing video footage of their performance and identifying where they could have improved. One way of performing self evaluation is by mirroring others. If you are out, for example, you could objectively look around and see if anyone else seems to behave the same way you normally do. Observe what this behavior really is, and how others around that person respond to the behavior. This will then show you how people respond to you and could give you some valuable advice on how to improve your behavior. How Self Evaluation Contributes to the Learning Journey of Pupils of All Ages As a student, regardless of your age, the formula for achievement is the sum of goal and effort. Once you know your achievements, you can self evaluate, leading to self judgment, leading to self reaction. This process and that is the true importance of self evaluation, in turn will lead to self confidence, by demonstrating how well you have done. Self confidence, in turn leads to new goals and more effort, and so the circle is repeated. ORAL recitation is an important part of assessment yet can be an uncomfortable experience for many students. Students who reluctant for any reason seldom participate willingly in class discussions thus assume a more unreceptive role in classroom interactions. This behavior of students should warrant teachers‟ continued attention. Effective teachers encourage their students' participation in classroom discussions, welcome their contributions, and motivate them by such practices. What interferes with students‟ offering opinions and answers during classroom discussions? Students fear of committing mistakes and feeling humiliated restrain them from participating in this kind of activity. Most often than not when students respond incorrectly or insufficiently to teacher questions, the teacher can feel disappointed because the teaching-learning process does not seem to be proceeding smoothly. Teachers tend to show annoyance when students struggle to respond correctly to their prompts and questions. This causes learners to want to withdraw and not try again for fear of being further exposed as inadequate and incapable. Teachers must refrain from censuring the student for not listening or processing the question well. Instead, the teacher should use incorrect responses as a means to gauge and find out students' needs. If a student gives a partially correct response, the teacher can value the contribution, reinforce the correct portion, and then try to refine the response.
  • 16. On occasion a student might respond with silence or merely reply with “I don‟t know”. When this happens, teachers can be easily frustrated and tempted to make judgments about a student's ability and motivation to learn. Such a conclusion is definitely not productive. So, instead of moving on to another student or providing the answer himself a teacher needs to communicate belief in the student's ability to contribute more. Teachers may wait long enough for students to consider a question and formulate a response. Smiling and rephrasing the question in a more conversational style may encourage the student to respond. Asking for other contributions and then returning to the student after a few other students have participated communicates a powerful message that values the individual learner. Teachers should be persistent in their efforts to engage students in classroom discussion if we are to help students cope with hesitancy and fear in the face of classroom oral interactions. Helping students manage communication apprehensions will encourage them to be more involved in class oral interactions, thus in other academic and social discussions in the long run. Oral recitation is a practice where a group of people, usually students, take turns reciting stories, definitions and poems. It allows each student to absorb the information being learned, allowing it to easily be recalled later. It also keeps students active in the learning process and allows them to show one another the importance of paying attention and class participation. Benefits Of Performance Assessment A system of developmental checklists, portfolios of children's work, and summary reports, when used together, can help you to: Recognize that children can express what they know and can do in many different ways. Evaluate progress as well as performance. Evaluate the "whole child." Involve children in the process of assessing their own growth. Establish a framework for observing children that is consistent with the principles of child development. Contribute to meaningful curriculum planning and the design of developmentally appropriate educational interventions. Give parents specific, direct, and understandable information about their child. Collaborate with other teachers, thus enhancing your own professional skills. Performance Assessment, Authentic Assessment, Authentic Instruction and Learning Those who propose that we change assessment (and instructional) practices use terms and concepts, which although different, mean much the same. These terms include performance assessment, authentic assessment, and authentic instruction and learning. Performance Assessment In its simplest terms, a performance assessment is one which requires students to demonstrate that they have mastered specific skills and competencies by performing or producing
  • 17. something. 3 Advocates of performance assessment call for assessments of the following kind: designing and carrying out experiments; writing essays which require students to rethink, to integrate, or to apply information; working with other students to accomplish tasks; demonstrating proficiency in using a piece of equipment or a technique; building models; developing, interpreting, and using maps; making collections; writing term papers, critiques, poems, or short stories; giving speeches; playing musical instruments; participating in oral examinations; developing portfolios; developing athletic skills or routines, etc. Authentic Assessment Similar to performance assessment is the concept of authentic assessment. Meyer (1992) notes that performance and authentic assessments are not the same, and that a performance is "authentic" to the extent it is based on challenging and engaging tasks which resemble the context in which adults do their work. In practical terms, this means that an authentic task or assessment is one in which students are allowed adequate time to plan, to complete the work, to self-assess, to revise, and to consult with others. Meyer also contends that authentic assessments must be judged by the same kinds of criteria (standards) which are used to judge adult performance on similar tasks. A more elaborate definition of authenticity is offered by Wiggins (1990, CLASS), who suggests that three factors determine the authenticity of an assessment: the task, the context, and the evaluation criteria. An authentic task is one which requires the student to use knowledge or skills to produce a product or complete a performance. Based on this definition, memorizing a formula would not be an authentic task; however, using the formula to solve a practical problem would be. As for context, Wiggins suggests that there be as much realism as is possible. He maintains that the setting (including the time allowed to complete the task) should mimic or duplicate the context faced by professionals, citizens, and consumers. An examination in which the student has almost no prior knowledge of what will be asked, little time to complete the activity, and no opportunity to reflect or consult appropriate resources would not be authentic. Finally, Wiggins states that an authentic assessment should be judged using criteria which are similar to those used to judge adults who perform or produce. As an example, authentic criteria used to evaluate a written paper would give primary consideration to the paper's organization and ideas; mechanical errors (such as spelling, punctuation, grammar) would not be the primary focus. What is to be made of the distinction between performance and authentic assessments? Fortier (1993) notes that authenticity is always a relative concept and that it is unrealistic to expect that an assessment will be completely authentic. For example, he points out that a driving test, even though most would define it as authentic when compared with a paper and pencil test, can never be completely such because drivers do not ordinarily have a law officer seated next to them while they drive. In short, as the term is used in the literature, an authentic performance assessment requires students to demonstrate skills and competencies which realistically represent those needed for success in the daily lives of adults. Authentic tasks are worth repeating and practicing. They
  • 18. require students to apply what they know, not merely to recall or recognize information. Finally, authentic tasks are those which are judged by criteria or standards similar to those used to evaluate the efforts of adults. Authentic Instruction and Learning Similar to performance or authentic assessment is the term authentic learning and instruction. Although this term refers to instruction and learning, it is appropriate to discuss it within the framework of assessment because those who call for changes in either assessment or instruction maintain that assessment and instruction must be integrated. In a 1993 article in Educational Leadership, Newmann and Wehlage use the concept "authentic instruction" to describe instruction which results in significant and meaningful student achievement, in contrast with that which is trivial and useless.4 In particular, Newmann and Wehlage maintain that instruction is authentic if it helps students achieve three broad goals: 1. construct meaning and produce knowledge, 2. use disciplined inquiry to construct meaning, and 3. aim work toward production of discourse, products, and performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school To help the reader understand the concept of authentic instruction, the authors offer five standards or criteria, each based on a five-point scale, which can be used to evaluate the extent to which a lesson is authentic. These criteria, with explanations in parentheses, are as follow 1. Students employ higher-order thinking skills (students apply knowledge and skills to solve problems, to synthesize, to explain, etc.) 2. Depth of Knowledge (understanding of a concept, topic, or skill is not superficial) 3. Connectedness to the World (problems/topics are ones which occur in the larger society/ world) 4. Substantive Conversation (teacher-student conversation is two-way and meaningful) 5. Social Support for Student Achievement (the teacher, school and community expect all students to achieve) Performance Criteria 5 Advocates of performance assessments maintain that every task must have performance criteria for at least two reasons: (1) the criteria define for students and others the type of behavior or attributes of a product which are expected, and (2) a well-defined scoring system allows the teacher, the students, and others to evaluate a performance or product as objectively as possible. If performance criteria are well defined, another person acting independently will award a student essentially the same score. Furthermore, well-written performance criteria will allow the teacher to be consistent in scoring over time. Stiggins (1991) notes that if a teacher fails to have a clear sense of the full dimensions of performance, ranging from poor or unacceptable to exemplary, he or she will not be able to teach students to perform at the highest levels or help students to evaluate their own performance.
  • 19. In developing performance criteria, Stiggins maintains that one must both define the attribute(s) being evaluated and also develop a performance continuum. For example, one attribute in the evaluation of writing might be writing mechanics, defined as the extent to which the student correctly uses proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. As for the performance dimension, it can range from high quality (well-organized, good transitions with few errors) to low quality (so many errors that the paper is difficult to read and understand). The key to developing performance criteria, asserts Stiggins, is to place oneself in the hypothetical situation of having to give feedback to a student who has performed poorly on a task. Stiggins suggests that a teacher should be able to tell the student exactly what must be done to receive a higher score. If performance criteria are well defined (with examples provided whenever possible), the student then will understand what he or she must do to improve. It is possible, of course, to develop performance criteria for almost any of the characteristics or attributes of a performance or product. However, experts in developing performance criteria warn against evaluating those aspects of a performance or product which are easily measured (such as counting mechanical errors) or failing to distinguish between quality and quantity. Ultimately, it is asserted, performances and products must be judged on those attributes which are most crucial. Portfolios Invariably, proponents of performance assessment also advocate the use of student portfolios. In doing so, they also remind us that a portfolio is more than a folder stuffed with student papers, video tapes, progress reports, or related materials. It must be a purposeful collection of student work that tells the story of a student's efforts, progress, or achievement in a given area over a period of time. If it is to be useful, specific design criteria also must be used to create and maintain a portfolio system. Typically, proponents of portfolios suggest two reasons for their use. The first reason reflects dissatisfaction with the kind of information typically provided to students, parents, teachers, and members of the community about what students have learned or are able to do. As examples, we are reminded that traditional grading systems ("A's", "B's", etc. ) or test scores (percentile scores or percent correct) tell us almost nothing about what a student has learned or is able to do. Second, it is argued that a well-designed portfolio system, which requires students to participate in the selection process and to think about their work, can accomplish several important purposes: it can motivate students; it can provide explicit examples to parents, teachers, and others of what students know and are able to do; it allows students to chart their growth over time and to self-assess their progress; and, it encourages students to engage in self-reflection. Chapter 1. What is Performance-Based Learning and Assessment, and Why is it Important?
  • 20. In the act of learning, people obtain content knowledge, acquire skills, and develop work habits—and practice the application of all three to “real world” situations. Performance-based learning and assessment represent a set of strategies for the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and work habits through the performance of tasks that are meaningful and engaging to students. Balance in Literacy Performance-based learning and assessment achieve a balanced approach by extending traditional fact-and-skill instruction (Figure 1). Performance-based learning and assessment are not a curriculum design. Whereas you decide what to teach, performance-based learning and assessment constitute a better way to deliver your curriculum. Teachers do not have to “give up” units of study or favorite activities in a performance-based classroom. Because authentic tasks are rooted in curriculum, teachers can develop tasks based on what already works for them. Through this process, assignments become more authentic and more meaningful to students. Figure 1. Student's Literacy
  • 21. Traditional testing helps answer the question, “Do you know it?” and performance assessment helps answer the question, “How well can you use what you know?” These two ways of looking at literacy do not compete; the challenge is to find the right balance between them (Figure 2). Figure 2. What Is the Balance? Content Knowledge The subject area content can come from already defined curriculums or can be enhanced by the adoption of a set of themes or topics by the department, grade-level team, school, or school system. Process Skills Higher-order thinking or process skills can come from the various disciplines, such as writing or proofreading from language arts or math computation and problem-solving skills. Other process skills cut across subject area lines or may be identified as areas of need based on standardized testing (e.g., analogies, categorizing information, drawing inferences, etc.). Work Habits Time management, individual responsibility, honesty, persistence, and intrapersonal skills, such as appreciation of diversity and working cooperatively with others, are examples of work habits necessary for an individual to be successful in life. Performance Tasks Performance tasks build on earlier content knowledge, process skills, and work habits and are strategically placed in the lesson or unit to enhance learning as the student “pulls it all together.” Such performance tasks are not “add-ons” at the end of instruction. They are both an integral
  • 22. part of the learning and an opportunity to assess the quality of student performance. When the goal of teaching and learning is knowing and using, the performance-based classroom emerges. Performance tasks range from short activities taking only a few minutes to projects culminating in polished products for audiences in and outside of the classroom. In the beginning, most performance tasks should fall on the short end of the continuum. Teachers find that many activities they are already doing can be shaped into performance-learning tasks. Two initial concerns of teachers moving toward performance-based classrooms include the amount of time needed for performance tasks and the subjectivity traditionally associated with teacher assessment and assigning “grades.” Time The initial move to any new method involves an investment in time. The development of performance-assessment tasks is no exception. With a little practice, however, teachers find that they can easily and quickly develop performance tasks and assessment lists. This process is further simplified as teachers and schools begin to collect and maintain lists of generic tasks and assessments that teachers can adapt for individual lessons. Teachers find assessment lists a more efficient way of providing feedback to students than traditional methods, thus saving time in the long run. Finally, as students work with performance assessment, the quality of their work improves, reducing the time teachers must spend assessing and grading student work. Examples of Performance Tasks Performance tasks should be interesting to the student and well connected to the important content, process skills, and work habits of the curriculum. Sometimes students can help in constructing these tasks and assessment lists. The following are three performance tasks that call for graphs: (Upper Level) Middle or High School (Provide the students with a copy of a speeding ticket that shows how the fine is determined.) Say to students: “How is the fine for speeding in our state determined? Make a graph that shows teenagers in our town how much it will cost them if they are caught speeding. Excellent graphs will be displayed in the Driver's Education classroom.” Elementary School (At several specified times during the school day, students observe and count, for a set length of time, the number of cars and other vehicles going through an intersection near the school.) Say to students: “The police department is considering a traffic light or a crossing guard at the intersection near your school. Your help is needed to make graphs that show how many vehicles go through that intersection at certain times of the day. Excellent graphs will be sent to the Chief of Police.” Primary School (In view of the class, place 10 caterpillars in a box. Place a flashlight at one end, while
  • 23. darkening the other by folding over the box top.) Say to students: “Do caterpillars move more to the light or more to the dark? Make a graph that shows how many caterpillars move to the light and how many move to the dark part of the box. Your graphs will be displayed at Open House.” Teaching and Learning Activities Tips marked with an * indicates that the tip is consistent with learnngcentered teaching Higher Levels of Learning *How to produce big gains in your student learning *Helping students to accept that there is more than one right answer *Enhancing Learning Planning Lectures *Increasing your student's understanding
  • 24. *Making lectures more meaningful learning experiences *Helping students to learn more *Helping students to understand a difficult concept *Are your students realizing that learning in your subject should not end when the course does *Why the type of assessments used lead to the type of student learning *Planning for the functions of content coverage in your courses *Encouraging students to read and come prepared for class *Encouraging students to read current professional or relevant literature *Helping students to read the research or clinical literature *Getting students to effectively read and use their textbooks Transmitting information electronically *Getting your students to read with more meaning *Helping students to master the content and study *Getting students to write better reflective journals *Getting students to question the written word, even textbooks *Getting your advanced students to become lifelong readers in your discipline *Getting your students to reflect on what they should be learning in increase understanding *Does the amount of content taught influence how well students understand the material? *Helping students to become self-directed learners *Getting students to participate more in class Getting a quick read on how students are doing while checking for who is enrolled Helping students to see flaws in their reasoning or correcting improper conclusions
  • 25. Planning your course so that students will come prepared to class Getting your students to read before class and engage more during the class through use of a communication form Helping your students to take notes that are worthwhile and foster learning Modeling your thoughts and problem solving skills for the students Helping students to answer questions or out of class assignments that involve research Helping students to understand a topic *Helping students to use text and other readings more effectively Planning your course to help students acquire the thinking skills of the discipline Assessing if students can read the figures, graphs or diagrams in your discipline *How to keep your teaching of the same material fresh Helping students to use different kinds of resources for papers Engaging students in the course and the subject matter on the first day of class Making your (large) lecture classes much more interactive Personal reflective annotations for reading assignments: A writing-to-learn assignment Helping students to contribute more to class discussions based upon out of class assignments Adding energy to a class when the students are dragging Good questions for reflection Helping your students to do better presentations Another idea for a topic for a class discussion Having students share some of their learning from doing a review of the literature Being more explicit than, "Do you understand"? Helping students to learn how to do good summaries
  • 26. Getting student to value the importance of and develop abilities to interpret nonprose text Giving students advise on how to do better in their course A way to encourage class participation Helping students to know which details or examples they need to know and what is given for the purpose of explanation Checking to see that students read resources and write their papers Asking good questions to stimulate students' reflection Assessing if students can read the figures, graphs or diagrams in your discipline Helping students to do better peer teaching Helping students to solve problems better or have better reasoning Having more meaningful discussions *Helping our students to come closer to being an experts in our disciplines *Planning on spending time to help students confront misconceptions Helping students to really understand and benefit from your course A role model student in your class Helping students to solve problems better Helping students to really understand and benefit from your course Helping students conceptualize the relationships among concept to be explained in a big project or paper Helping students learn how to solve problems or write effectively in your class Assessing students and working with a smaller group within a larger class Helping students solve problems Developing metacognition (or thinking about one's learning) skills Keys to increasing student learning and performance
  • 27. Helping students do well in courses that require judgment Blogging about applications of material in your courses can improve student attitudes toward your subject Getting students to engage in their reading Helping students to think about their learning Requiring students to reflect on their learning helps them to learn more Remembering September 11th in your teaching, Teaching and Learning List of Web Resources Guidance in discussing war with students, in class Helping students to pay attention more, and become more aware when they are not comprehending through meta-cognition Long term impact of using learning-centered teaching Using concept maps as a teaching/learning and assessment tool Giving in to students' preferences or meeting our responsibilities as teachers in higher education? *Student Assignments o *Helping students to prepare papers, presentations, lab write-up, etc o *Writing to Learn o *Ways to help students master the material, acquire skills o *Reviews for finals o *Helping student to do well on assessments that require critical thinking o Giving Assignments to Meet your goals o *Having examples of excellent work to motivate students o Giving effective presentations and helping students to do the same
  • 28. o *Helping students to see the application of a concept o *Giving more effective group assignments o *Helping to do better on open-ended assignments o Helping your students to write better essays and papers o Helping students learn how to and to value making revisions to their writing or to their projects o Involving more students in a fun way to review for a test o A possibility for an extra credit assignment for weaker students o Keeping students more engaged with guest lecturers or students presenters o Helping the weaker students through self-monitoring and meta-cognition o Getting students to think about what they are learning Higher Levels of Learning *How to produce big gains in your student learning While preparing to teach, or throughout the semester, ask yourself what am I doing to encourage my students to: learn how to learn be motivated help them change their values learn how to interact better with other people integrate concepts that they are learning with other concepts, other courses, their lives, future careers, etc. apply their skills to new situations, as well as develop their knowledge Remember developing knowledge is not the only aspect of getting a university degree (Taken from Fink's Taxonomy of Higher Learning) back to top »
  • 29. *Helping student to accept that there is more than one right answer I have heard many faculty say that our students have difficulty accepting that there might be more than one right answer or no right answer. Here's an in-class way to help them: 1. Ask students for more answers after one has been given, when several possibilities exist 2. When you ask a question say, I am looking for three or more possible answers, meanings, results, interpretations, etc. back to top » *Enhancing Learning Learning is enhanced if students are asked to do the following: 1. Use their own words to restate material they learned 2. generate their own examples 3. recognize it in different contexts and formats 4. make connections between what they just learned and other facts or ideas previously learned 5. apply it in different ways 6. anticipate some of its consequences 7. state it in its opposite or converse back to top » Planning Lectures 1. First consider what you are trying to accomplish. Lectures are best for the following: - to pique student curiosity, motivate to learn if instructor's style is very expressive - to model an approach to solving problems or thinking style - to give background knowledge/summary that might not be available or as integrated - to help students learn very sophisticated material for which resources
  • 30. are not available at their level - to present an organization, structure to help learn material - to add personal viewpoint, insights into material - to present up-to date material that is not available elsewhere 2. If your purpose is > 1 of the above, then consider giving a lecture. If not, consider other student-active teaching formats. If you are planning to cover material in the textbook or other course materials, lecturing may not improve the students' understanding. Once students learn that you are duplicating what is in the textbook they will choose to do either come to class or read the book few will choose to do both. 3. If you decide to lecture - follow these steps: 1. prepare class objectives 2. whenever possible limit class of 50 minutes to 1 major topic 3. plan an overview of the lecture - time content schedule 4. try to avoid the 2 most common mistakes of lectures - covering too much material and delivering the material too fast 5. divide the major topics into 10-15 minute chunks plan student-active activities between the lecture chunks 6. plan the internal organization of the lecture: Introduction the body the conclusion 7. develop appropriate visuals 8. think about illustrating abstract concept and relations and examples prepare easy to follow at a glance lecture notes, graphic notes may be fine notes should be sketchy as you know the material key concepts to cover do not write out notes put directions to yourself in notes - ask students to do ___, write on board ____,etc. back to top »
  • 31. *Increasing your student's understanding A goal of higher education is to increase our student's deep learning. Deep learning is learning for understanding and not just memory. Deep approaches to learning are involve integrative processes where students actively synthesize and connect material to existing knowledge: Four key ways to increase deep learning are: 1. Assignments should motivate students to learn 2. Teaching and learning activities should build on a carefully structured, integrated knowledge base 3. Use active student learning and involvement as much as possible 4. Maximize the learning interactions among students back to top » *Making lectures more meaningful learning experiences To make your lectures more meaningful learning experience for your students: 1. Let students know about the objectives that you are trying to achieve 2. Have an attention-gathering introduction 3. Divide your lecturing into mini-lectures of 15-18 minutes each 4. Give the students something to do in between the mini-lectures-a review of what was covered or a problem to solve 5. Conclude with a 2-5 minute time to let the students recap of the most important points in the lecture either through a classroom assessment technique or an oral summary 6. Encourage students to take their own lecture notes 7. Provide effective handouts. back to top » *Helping students to learn more If you want your students to learn more, then develop opportunities for your students to discuss, examine, challenge, and look at their learning from different perspectives. This allows the students it improve upon their learning before they internalize it.
  • 32. The converse is also true-learning is least useful and perhaps may be inaccurate, if it is private and hidden. If students study alone, without have a venues to share and enlarge upon their learning, and only have 1 opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, their learning may be reduced. Lee Shulman Change editorial 2000. back to top » Helping students to understand a difficult concept If your students are having trouble understanding a concept that you want them to learn, try to give them an analogy in a completely different field, perhaps even in an non-academic field. For example, if your students do not write introductions and bridges in their papers, show them that TV shows and movies have a set beginning (title, main characters are identified, etc.) and specific ways to help the viewer know that the scene is changing (fades outs, etc.). This tip came from a discussion among the participants at the TableTalk on creating dynamic videos on Monday, February 19, 2002. back to top » *Are your students realizing that learning in your subject should not end when the course does As the weeks roll on through the semester are your students coming to realize that their learning in your subject should continue after the course ends? What are you doing to help students continue learning when the course is over? Think about trying to do some of the following. Here are a few ideas to foster the idea that learning this discipline can continue after the formal class ends: Are you showing how interesting the subject is and how much you still enjoy learning about it? Have you made it clear that you will still be accessible to the students as they continue to learn? Have you fostered intellectual curiosity in this subject matter? Have you helped students to develop these learning to learn skills in this discipline: o ability to ask good questions in this discipline o knowledge of print, electronic, human resources that are available to them o ability to evaluate the appropriateness of these resources for their continue learning o ability to read the primary or secondary literature on this topic If we can get our students to achieve this lifelong learning in a subject, we and they will have succeeded.
  • 33. back to top » *Why the type of assessments used lead to the type of student learning Assessment systems need to really reflect the level of understanding you want your students to achieve. If students feel that they only need to reproduce information, rather than make sense out of it and apply it to new problems, the students will assume their learning should have short-range aims and outcomes. If you want students to achieve critical thinking and problem solving, the students need to perceive that you require these skills of them. back to top » There are many different types of portfolios, each of which can serve one or more specific purposes as part of an overall school or classroom assessment program. The following is a list of the types most often cited in the literature: Documentation Portfolio: This type is also know as the "working" portfolio. Specifically, this approach involves a collection of work over time showing growth and improvement reflecting students' learning of identified outcomes. The documentation portfolio can include everything from brainstorming activities to drafts to finished products. The collection becomes meaningful when specific items are selected out to focus on particular educational experiences or goals. It can include the bet and weakest of student work. Process Portfolio: This approach documents all facets or phases of the learning process. They are particularly useful in documenting students' overall learning process. It can show how students integrate specific knowledge or skills and progress towards both basic and advanced mastery. Additionally, the process portfolio inevitably emphasizes students' reflection upon their learning process, including the use of reflective journals, think logs, and related forms of metacognitive processing. Showcase Portfolio: This type of portfolio is best used for summative evaluation of students' mastery of key curriculum outcomes. It should include students' very best work, determined through a combination of student and teacher selection. Only completed work should be included. In addition, this type of portfolio is especially compatible with audio-visual artifact development, including photographs, videotapes, and electronic records of students' completed work. The showcase portfolio should also include written analysis and reflections by the student upon the decision-making process(es) used to determine which works are included. Portfolios are used to display a persons credentials and talents. There are different types of portfolios for different interviews and industries. For example, there arefashion portfolios, art portfolios, professional portfolios, and presentation portfolios. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE PORTFOLIO It is important to include all of the following: 1. Cover Letter “About the author” and “What my portfolio shows about my progress as a learner” (written at the end, but put at the beginning). The cover letter summarizes the evidence of a student‟s learning and progress.
  • 34. 2. Table of Contents with numbered pages. 3. Entries - both core (items students have to include) and optional (items of student‟s choice). The core elements will be required for each student and will provide a common base from which to make decisions on assessment. The optional items will allow the folder to represent the uniqueness of each student. Students can choose to include “best” pieces of work, but also a piece of work which gave trouble or one that was less successful, and give reasons why. 4. Dates on all entries, to facilitate proof of growth over time. 5. Drafts of aural/oral and written products and revised versions; i.e., first drafts and corrected/revised versions. 6. Reflections can appear at different stages in the learning process (for formative and/or summative purposes.) and can be written in the mothertongue at the lower levels or by students who find it difficult to express themselves in English. a. For each item - a brief rationale for choosing the item should be included. This can relate to students‟ performance, to their feelings regarding their progress and/or themselves as learners.