Assessing 21st Century Skills
Recently, one of the teachers who is participating in our district’s 21st Century Learning grant project came to talk with me about assessing 21 century skills – one of the expectations for teachers in this project. Her observation was that students frequently practice the skills when engaged in research or project based learning. The thing she was struggling, with, though, was how to “grade it.” Assessing skills like collaboration, information literacy, creativity, self-direction, and critical thinking seems like a difficult task–when you think of assessment as “grading.” So to effectively assess skills and habits of mind –we must design a performance task for the students. One of the most difficult tasks of designing an effective formative assessment tool for 21st century skills is deciding what criteria should be included. These items become the criteria upon which a rubric or checklist can be built.