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Category Archives: 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation

PBL Assessments

This week’s post is about how the assessments I planned for my PBL project meets the key requirements for effective assessments. One of the tasks this week was to create a rubric as part of the overall assessment plan. This worked for me, as rubrics are my preferred measurement tool. The reasons I like rubrics so much is that they provide students with clear-cut guidelines/expectations for each criteria, reduce subjectivity in grading, and can be used by both teachers and students to assess work. They also streamline grading. I mistakenly thought it would be easy to design one for my project since I am familiar with several rubric generators and knew what I wanted students to be able to demonstrate at the end of the unit. The truth is, it was a little daunting making sure each standard and skill was fully addressed.

The project I am working on is a marketing project that incorporates language arts standards and a variety of tech tools. It is intended to be team-taught with a language arts and a computer applications teacher. Students will have the opportunity to use tech tools in “real-world” applications to create a marketing solution to a problem. What I like about creating a project is that you have the liberty of determining how students will  demonstrate learning and tailor your instruction to fit the audience. This is what I kept in mind as I selected the various assessments.  I like what many may consider backward design, creating assessments before content, for several reasons. 
  1. Knowing what you will assess makes designing lessons easier. You know what students will need to have mastered at the end of the unit rather than coming to the end and trying to throw an assessment together. 
  2. As the designer, you get to decide the standards and what students need to produce or demonstrate to show mastery. You are not locked into a publisher’s notion of what  or how to assess. 
  3. When you have a summative assessment to work from, there is more accountability in the instructional process.
  4. Having formative assessments built in helps monitor how students are progressing. These checkpoints provide opportunities to celebrate successes while identifying when re-teaching and enriching is needed. 
  5. Using multiple measures allows students to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways and provides documentation of student growth.
While I can design the summative assessment for the project and the formative assessments for non-academic standards, unfortunately the majority of the formative academic assessments are set by the school district. So, I will have to work them into the plan. While I did create the rubric for the summative assessment, the peer and self assessments are not complete. I want student input before finalizing them, even though I have an fairly good idea of what the assessment needs to look like. 

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Technology Maturity Survey

The technology maturity survey was an eye opener. If someone had asked me where my school rated before I did the survey, I would have said my school was fairly progressive. Now I realize that we are barely at Island status.

I rate my school as an Emerging Island for a combination of reasons. The primary reasons are:

  •  Because I realize now that it isn’t just about having “stuff”.
  •  How technology is or isn’t being integrated into the curriculum
  •  The impact technology has on student achievement
  • Limited communication between stakeholders

Today after a PD activity, a couple of teachers were talking about what happened to all the student laptops we had last year. I listened to all of the different ideas they had for students no longer having access to computers in the classroom, but I didn’t say anything. The sad thing is I know where they are – locked in a room in the media center. The computers are just sitting there, so close but totally inaccessible. It feels like we are taking giant steps backward.

Our district’s goal is to prepare our students to successfully compete in a 21st century environment.  We have the ability to do that: we just have to get everyone moving in the same direction. To do this, we must have a common focus. We can no longer be “islands” operating in isolation. Communication is the key!

 

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Technology Maturity Survey

The technology maturity survey was an eye opener. If someone had asked me where my school rated before I did the survey, I would have said my school was fairly progressive. Now I realize that we are barely at Island status.

I rate my school as an Emerging Island for a combination of reasons. The primary reasons are:

  •  Because I realize now that it isn’t just about having “stuff”.
  •  How technology is or isn’t being integrated into the curriculum
  •  The impact technology has on student achievement
  • Limited communication between stakeholders

Today after a PD activity, a couple of teachers were talking about what happened to all the student laptops we had last year. I listened to all of the different ideas they had for students no longer having access to computers in the classroom, but I didn’t say anything. The sad thing is I know where they are – locked in a room in the media center. The computers are just sitting there, so close but totally inaccessible. It feels like we are taking giant steps backward.

Our district’s goal is to prepare our students to successfully compete in a 21st century environment.  We have the ability to do that: we just have to get everyone moving in the same direction. To do this, we must have a common focus. We can no longer be “islands” operating in isolation. Communication is the key!

 

This is a test of the standards list.

This test should activate all standards and POs.