Assessing Your Students' Learning
- Have written goals and objectives of project/unit.
- Have written a well-defined task.
- To create performance-based assessments for the project/unit content, process, and product
- To create a rubric to measure student's learning
- Assessment is the tool that measures how well the students achieve the learner outcomes. What do you want the students to know and be able to do? Did you take into account your students' prior knowledge. Assessment should be seamless and ongoing. Are you evaluating continuously throughout the project? You will want to think of ways to assess the process as well as the product of their learning. Here are some things to remember about assessment and some resources to read about assessment.
The most important element of performance assessment is engagability. To evaluate your project, you need to determine if your students were allowed:
- To be engrossed in challenging learning.
- To learn by doing.
- To be able to use the computer effectively when appropriate.
- To communicate their learning.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Evaluate Your Performance Assessment Tool
- Did your assessment tool take into account whether learners were engaged in a real-world task or application?
- Did your assessment allow students an equal opportunity to perform?
- Did your assessment allow students to use higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills?
- Did your assessment allow students to achieve one criteria while advancing to another?
- Did you create a rubric to evaluate the students' progress throughout the task?
- Did you allow the students to help develop goals and criteria for the evaluation of the task?
Assessment is not a just a test at the end of a unit. It is found in all three learning components: the content, the process, and the product. It is performance-based, seamless, generative, and ongoing. Students need multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning.
Evaluation is the process of determining what the collected data means to the student, teacher, and curriculum. In order to get the best student achievement, the teacher must know when to reteach and when to challenge further. Evaluating the results of the student's performance assessment guides the direction and focus of new curriculum design and it is a guide for revising your project. In short, evaluation is what we do with the assessment material we have collected throughout the project.
Learning More about Assessment and Evaluation:
- Assessment as it relates to learning with technology, From Now On by Jamie McKenzie
- Assessment and Evaluation: Resources on the Internet (MiddleWeb)
- New Times Demand New Ways - from Plugging In
- Critical Issue: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in Ways That Support Learning from NCREL's Pathways to School Improvement
- Critical things to keep in mind
Now that you have read about the key components of assessment and evaluation, the connection between content, process, and product objectives and the concept of the rubric should be clearer. It is at this pont that many people begin to wonder how the standards, goals, outcomes, and rubrics fit together. For each standard there may be many goals; for each goal there may be many outcomes; and there may be several ways to assess each outcome. The rubric is the tool used to assess the student's progress in accomplishing the task and fulfilling each outcome. Keep in mind that the primary aim of assessment is to foster learning of worthwhile academic content. While evaluation of the project is as vital as assessment of the students' achievement, we can't forget to look for content that will focus on understanding, reasoning and utilization of new knowledge. Your assessment rubric should match the content and format of your instruction. In clear English, your rubric must have items that assess the specific content outcomes for your curriculum or unit. (If your project is about Algebra, it should have Algebra outcomes listed in the assessment rubric.)
Your rubric should reflect your objectives and learner outcomes in both engaged learning and technology. Keep this in mind when designing your rubrics. The outcomes become the criteria for assessment and this connection should be reflected in your rubric. Usually, each criteria is given a specific point value and is described in the rubric. The description tells the learner what he must do to achieve those points. Determining the different levels of accomplishment is the most difficult task. Research has shown that rubrics having even numbered scales are more valid in providing an accurate assessment than those having odd-numbered scales. Students can be helpful in creating the criteria and deciding how the criteria can be differentiated. Although it might be tempting to put off defining the criteria until the last minute, students need to know expectations early on in the project. It is hard to accomplish a task if you don't know the direction. While progressing through your project, remember that you can always revamp your rubric to better represent the focus and direction you and your students take through the process of learning and accomplishing goals.
Let's view examples of rubrics used to evaluate projects/units and be ready to discuss the good and bad points of each:
Your task today is to write a rubric for your project/unit. Please contact your facilitator for directions in accessing the rubric template file. As you design your rubric, remember that you will be using this tool to assess your students' progress throughout the project, starting the first week. This tool is not meant to be used only at the end of the project, like a report card. Look at the assignment page for the due date of this work.
What to send: A copy of the rubric you are designing
Where to send: Send a copy to your project folder on your course server.