Let’s Talk About Assessment

What does it mean to assess? I have written about the shift in focus from the product to the process, and I thought it was time to break down what the process could look like and how we can measure it.

Varied assessments are a must.

Varied means a choice of several. Here are a list of what ‘varied’ could include when used:

  • Acting
  • Drawing or Painting
  • Film, Podcast, Media Display
  • Presentation of slides
  • Essay
  • Experiment
  • Build
  • Design
  • Solve or Attempt to Solve a problem or Issue
  • Demonstrate in some way

The process of creating, thinking, researching, the skills to write, draw, design, present, collaborate, communicate, and coordinate are all scaffolded in learning modules, which can be satisfied through completion of progress metrics to show positive growth.

If a learner has little to no experience prior to beginning the unit, then any growth for them is positive. If a learner is familiar or advanced, the learning scale can include anything that the student chooses to explore.

The Common Core State Standards give us a great starting and ending place for student learning, and dictate where students should be to show completion of the standard.

Each student would fit into a starting place, and from there works to obtain progress. Progress for some may mean intense study, progress for others may mean basic exposure, and then a different course of study is necessary to complete the ultimate path.

Track the skill obtained.

How well are students writing? Reading? Consistently showing comprehension of respected skills from topics of study? Solving new challenges that require multiple means of presentation or content knowledge in order to achieve mastery?

Math can be literally broken into CCSS grade wise, and that can drive learning. Are students working? Are they showing up consistently and putting forth effort? Does a teacher see new skills being used in practice? Are students stagnant? Are students regressing? Is content covered mastered?

Monitor the entire process, and create a culminating grade based on the beginning, versus the middle and then compared to the end. Was their growth at all?

Did students truly not understand because they didn’t put forth effort? Because then it can literally just be redone at another time. Made redone with someone else or with other assistance or in another way?

Learning is on going, so assess the entire process of it in this way.

Let’s next get into how we take that measurement and make it a grade tomorrow.

My name is Joe Clausi, and I have over 20 years of experience in secondary education, on both coasts of the United States, and with all kind of schools.

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