27 Characteristics Of Authentic Assessment. 27 Characteristics Of Authentic Assessment by Grant Wiggins, Authentic Education What is “authentic assessment”? Almost 25 years ago, I wrote a widely-read and discussed paper that was entitled: “A True Test: Toward More Authentic and Equitable Assessment” that was published in the Phi Delta Kappan. I believe the phrase was my coining, made when I worked with Ted Sizer at the Coalition of Essential Schools, as a way of describing “true” tests as opposed to merely academic and unrealistic school tests. I first used the phrase in print in an article for Educational Leadership entitled “Teaching to the (Authentic) Test” in the April 1989 issue.
(My colleague from the Advisory Board of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Fred Newmann, was the first to use the phrase in a book, a pamphlet for NASSP in 1988 entitled Beyond standardized testing: Assessing authentic academic achievement in secondary schools. The Original Argument In the Kappan article I wrote as follows: Authentic assessments – A. AP and PBL: It Works! I know that many project-based learning teachers are fearful of fully embracing PBL due to the expectations around standardized testing. We need to honor that fear, because it's not coming from a bad place. Why do we worry?
Because we care about kids! Many of our kids are held accountable by the standardized tests they take. The Good News Edutopia recently released a study that showed the success of PBL projects in AP government classes. AP is Changing CollegeBoard has released the major changes and a timeline for these changes on their website. Greater emphasis on discipline-specific critical thinking, inquiry, reasoning, and communication skills . . . Rigorous, research-based curricula, modeled on introductory college courses, that strike a balance between breadth of content coverage and depth of understanding. Here we can see how 21st century skills, a major component of PBL, are being leveraged and honored in the revision.
AP Classroom PBL Tips Embedded AP Assessments The Meaty Content. PBL Pilot: Matching PBL With Traditional Grading. Editor's Note: Matt Weyers and co-author Jen Dole, teachers at Byron Middle School in Byron, Minnesota, present the fifth installment in a year-long series documenting their experience of launching a PBL pilot program. Project-based learning has been wonderful. Students are self-reporting how they're experiencing a deeper level of learning, and parents are saying that their children are actively (and often voluntarily) elaborating on their learning outside of school. We firmly believe that PBL is one of the best teaching methodologies available for the 21st century. Students observe a wolf exhibit at the Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo. Photo credit: Matt Weyers The opportunities to assess students on the 4 Cs (creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking) have been endless.
Problem #1: Lack of Traditional Homework Working Solution We are combating this by: Further Questions to Consider How do we specifically assess each of the project checkpoints? Problem #2: Parent Education. MakingLearningVisibleResources - home. MakingLearningVisibleResources - Ladder of Feedback. Educational Leadership:Multiple Measures:Why Every Student Needs Critical Friends. The final bell rings on the last day of class before the semester break.
Students stream out of the room as the teacher stands by the door. Glancing back at her desk, she sighs. It is piled high with posters, compact discs, index cards, and papers, the stack so tall that half of it falls to the floor in a heap. This pile represents 10 weeks of student work, reflecting students' creativity and mental effort. Only the teacher will look at these projects now, and only she will provide detailed assessment, which will reach students long after they have stopped caring about these projects. There has to be a better way to give meaningful feedback. I have found a better way that I use in middle school enrichment and mainstream classes in many content areas—peer critiques. Authentic Feedback for Authentic Assessments Using peer critiques to evaluate and improve student work is a natural outgrowth of the movement toward more authentic assessments in education (Henderson & Karr-Kidwell, 1998).
Educational Leadership:Feedback for Learning:Seven Keys to Effective Feedback. Rubrics. Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing. Photo Imagine that on Day 1 of a difficult course, before you studied a single thing, you got hold of the final exam. The motherlode itself, full text, right there in your email inbox — attached mistakenly by the teacher, perhaps, or poached by a campus hacker.
No answer key, no notes or guidelines. Just the questions. Would that help you study more effectively? But what if, instead, you took a test on Day 1 that was just as comprehensive as the final but not a replica? This is the idea behind pretesting, one of the most exciting developments in learning-science. That is: The (bombed) pretest drives home the information in a way that studying as usual does not. The excitement around prefinals is rooted in the fact that the tests appear to improve subsequent performance in topics that are not already familiar, whether geography, sociology or psychology. The basic insight is as powerful as it is surprising: Testing might be the key to studying, rather than the other way around. A. B. C. Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding.
What strategy can double student learning gains? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment, defined by Bill Younglove as "the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately. " Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning according to a benchmark, formative assessment monitors student understanding so that kids are always aware of their academic strengths and learning gaps.
Meanwhile, teachers can improve the effectiveness of their instruction, re-teaching if necessary. "When the cook tastes the soup," writes Robert E. Stake, "that's formative; when the guests taste the soup, that's summative. " Formative assessment can be administered as an exam. But if the assessment is not a traditional quiz, it falls within the category of alternative assessment. In the sections below, we'll discuss things to consider when implementing AFAs. Other Assessment Resources. How Tests Make Us Smarter. Using formative tools for better project results SmartBlogs. In a high-school art room, I watched a student working at an easel. When I asked about her progress, she explained that she was attempting to paint sunflowers in the style of Monet, her favorite artist.
She told me she liked how the flowers were looking but said the vase was giving her trouble. She planned to keep reworking it, applying layers of acrylic until she got the play of light just the way she wanted. Then she laughed and said, “You should see what’s underneath! I bet there are three or four versions beneath this one.” Not only was the student producing a lovely painting — which would one day grace her family’s living room — but she was paying close attention to her learning process. At the end of this inquiry project, her finished work and artist’s statement would be publicly exhibited. Assessing for learning Across the arc of a well-designed project, teachers build in frequent opportunities to assess for learning. Vary assessment strategies. Look beyond content mastery. The Right Questions, The Right Way. 15 assessments that don’t suck… Movies have sequels. Bands have compilation releases.
Bloggers have new posts with links to old ones…and to hype them they put words like “suck” in the title….ahhh…even better…a number in the title! Just went back and renamed the post. Welcome to “15 assessments that don’t suck.” At a recent edcamp I put up a session entitled “Assessments that don’t suck.” It was an attempt by me to simply find new ways of assessing kids that don’t suck.
To keep my sanity, I must always do something different each year. Please remember….when doing an activity for the first time you must do it along with the kids. Everything in RED is a hyperlink, click on the links for more info RSA VideosRSA videos are a huge crowd pleaser. Note card ConfessionsI am still tweaking this in my head for next year. Full class music videosWhat can I say…my favorite.
Reverse PoemsOk…I have to admit I have not successfully completed these with a class. Black-out PoemsThese are really neat. SpeechesI loved this assessment. 6 BIG Assessment (AFL) Practices. The Best Resources On Grading Practices. This is the last — for now, at least — “The Best…” list in my student assessment series (though, of course, I’ll be adding new resources to each of them on an ongoing basis). Here are the previous posts in the series: The Best Resources For Learning About Performance Assessment The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment The Best Resources On ELL’s & Standardized Tests The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad) The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments This is sort of a “catch-all” post for various posts I’ve made on student assessment that don’t quite fit into the other lists, but the emphasis is on what we all have to do in our classrooms — give students grades: Response: Several Kinds Of Grading Systems is one of my Education Week Teacher posts.
‘The Grading System We Need to Have’ is Part Two in that Ed Week series. Our Grading Guidelines. Leadership for Grading Practices in the Differentiated Classroom. By Rick Wormeli Asking teachers for their grade books so you can assess their implementation of standards-based grading practices can shoot defensive walls sky high. Declaring that homework cannot count in a final report-card grade may pull the safety pin on a faculty grenade. To complete the war analogy, open discussion of grading practices is often an emotional minefield. But it doesn't have to be this way. Grading need not be a battle. When faculties move toward grading philosophies and policies that reflect differentiated, standards-based instruction and assessment, many current practices are questioned, and teacher behaviors change. In just this short list, we can find elements that match our own educational philosophy as well as one or two that might run counter to what we would do if we were in the classroom.
Tell me about the students in this class. Adapted from Wormeli, Differentiation: From Planning to Practice, Stenhouse, 2007. Feedback for Learning:Seven Keys to Effective Feedback. Ways to Include Students in the Formative Assessment Process. Improving Written Feedback. This week I gave a seminar at TeachMeet Clevedon. I am going to post more fully on my topic of teachers getting better by undertaking ‘deliberate practice‘ sometime soon. One smaller aspect of my presentation was how teachers can improve written feedback, both to improve learning and to marginally reduce the time taken to give written feedback. With the gift of more time we can free ourselves to pursue becoming a better teacher more deliberately: with reflection, planning and deliberate practice. Of course, written feedback is so crucial that it can improve teaching and learning significantly, therefore it deserves our attention in its own right.
The following list of tips is a synthesis of my experience and that of my English department (see our policy for feedback here). It also draws upon many excellent teachers and their cumulative experience of effective written feedback. - Create a ‘marking rota’ . - Give feedback in lesson time. . - Don’t mark everything. . - Refuse sub-standard work. How the Transactional Approach to Instruction Helps Build Independent Learners. Move alongside students, give feedback, offer them your support during difficult moments, and gradually let go—that’s what ASCD author Rhoda Koenig wants to help you learn to do.
In her ASCD book, Learning for Keeps: Teaching the Strategies Essential for Creating Independent Learners, she offers everything from sample lessons to exercises that will support your efforts. Below is a passage that will get you thinking about transactional instruction. Using a math lesson as an example, Koenig shows how differently a discussion with students can play out when a transmission approach is replaced with a transactional approach. How might this look in your classroom? Stop by our website for additional information about the book and author or to access sample chapters and the free study guide. How Can We Make Assessments Meaningful?
I think meaningful assessments can come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, to be thoroughly engaging and to draw the best work out of the students, assessments should come in different formats. Thankfully, with the Common Core standards exemplifying the 4Cs -- Creativity and Critical Thinking (through performance-based assessments), Collaboration, and Communication (through the use of interdisciplinary writing) -- we are looking at a more fluid future in testing formats.
As long as the format itself is aligned with real-world skills, a meaningful assessment does not need to be lockstep with a particular structure any more. When I think about my own definition of a "meaningful assessment," I think the test must meet certain requirements. The assessment must have value other than "because it's on the test. " It must intend to impact the world beyond the student "self," whether it is on the school site, in the outlying community, the state, country, world, etc. Feedback to the Future, with Tools Students Really Use. Despite spending enormous amounts of time giving feedback, Melissa Poole was not seeing any change in her students. During a peer-led feedback session, she realized her students did not know how to give good peer feedback and she wondered, "Maybe I'm not giving them good models of feedback? " In her session on "Feedback 2.0" at ASCD's Annual Conference, Poole detailed how feedback has evolved in her classroom.
Poole's feedback traditionally came at the end of an assignment, was delivered in writing (the typical inked-up assignment), and covered lots of traits. Students weren't really reading her feedback, or if they were, they hyper-focused on the negative and read it as criticism. Moreover, they weren't applying the feedback to future work. "Too often, feedback is just a way to justify a grade, rather than help students improve," Poole observed. For example, she'll screencast (using a service like Jing , Camtasia , or Snapz ) her markup of a student's paper using Word's track changes.
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