Digital assignments: How shall we grade them? A couple of years ago, I took the decision to encourage students to submit their assignments in forms other than the traditional, paper based essay. It was about time. Should we persist in assessing students in modes of communication they may never use in the real world? Clearly, there are several questions to contemplate here. The first question is how do you grade these assignments, if they are not presented in traditional essay mode? The second question is how can you ensure that students put the equivalent cognitive effort into say, a video, as they would into a 4000 word assignment? Whatever you decide to do, it will be imperative that you ensure all assessment criteria are applied equally across all assignments, no matter what wrapper they are presented in. There are further, procedural and administrative issues that each institution will need to deal with. I'm certain this is not complete. Photo from Wikimedia Commons Digital assignments: How shall we grade them?
Assessment in open spaces Photo: Tay Railway Bridge (Dundee) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Tim Haynes “We have to build our half of the bridge, no matter who or where we happen to be.” – Colm McCann Summary: Learning and pedagogical relationships are transformed when we engage with students in open online spaces or networked publics. These can become ‘third spaces’ of learning, beyond the binary of informal and formal learning. Once a closed classroom (physical or online) becomes open to the world, assessment options multiply, with many more opportunities for student choice, voice and creativity, and of course, feedback. [Slides] [Audio interview] xx This post summarises my talk at the eAssessment Scotland 2013 conference, “Assessment in Open Spaces”. The eAssessment Scotland conference is a completely free, 2-week event which is open, distributed and accessible. In this context, I examined three spaces in which networked educators meet networked students, and explored the affordances of these different spaces. Like this:
Roger Tilles warns of 'dangerous' overemphasis on education testing Originally published: October 2, 2013 9:42 PM Updated: October 2, 2013 10:23 PM By JOHN HILDEBRAND email@example.com State Regent Roger Tilles leads a public Q & A at the Port Washington Library. (Oct. 2, 2013) (Credit: Barry Sloan) One of the region's top education policymakers warned a Port Washington gathering Wednesday night that what he termed a "dangerous" overemphasis on testing threatened to undermine a statewide movement toward high-quality Common Core academic standards. The speaker, Roger Tilles of Great Neck, who represents Long Island on the state's Board of Regents, said he supported Common Core, like most educators, because "it makes kids think." Tilles said, however, that Core standards were becoming confused with new tests that were rushed into place in April, and were being used to rate students' achievement and teachers' job performance. "I really don't want to see the Common Core lost, and I hear that," Tilles said. State Education Commissioner John B.
Letters: Modern language exam grades translate into poor results It is well-known that the UK is losing out culturally and economically because of inadequate foreign-language skills among English native speakers. This problem has been significantly exacerbated by the fact that pupils choosing modern languages have not been rewarded adequately for excellent performance. Ofqual has acknowledged in its corporate plan 2013-16 that "relatively few A* grades are awarded in modern foreign languages when compared with other subjects with a high proportion of A grades". This finding confirms evidence by schoolteacher associations that has repeatedly been presented to Ofqual and the exam boards since introduction of the A* grade at A-level in June 2010. The disadvantaging of modern languages candidates in school examinations has been blighting the subject at all levels, and will continue to do so until the unfair grading is addressed effectively.
Graduate School of Education | Publications Literature review Oldfield, A, Broadfoot, P., Sutherland, R. & Timmis , S. (2012) Assessment in a digital age: a research review. Discussion papers Series authors Patricia Broadfoot, Sue Timmis, Sarah Payton, Alison Oldfield, Rosamund Sutherland Other publications Patricia Broadfoot, Alison Oldfield, Rosamund Sutherland and Sue Timmis (in press, 2013) Seeds of Change: the potential of the digital revolution to promote enabling assessment in Wyatt-Smith, C and Klenowski, V (eds) The enabling power of assessment. Conference contributions Broadfoot, P (2012) Can Digital Technologies Transform Educational Assessment? Timmis, S, Oldfield, A, Broadfoot, P & Sutherland, R. (2012) Where is the cutting edge of research in e-Assessment? Timmis, S & Draper, S (2012) Assessment Reform, Innovative Technology, Improving Formative Assessment and Feedback: Are They at Odds with Each Other?
Assessment & feedback programme The JISC-funded Assessment and Feedback programme is focused on supporting large-scale changes in assessment and feedback practice, supported by technology, with the aim of enhancing the learning and teaching process and delivering efficiencies and quality improvements. Access project blogs here1. See further information on the programme themes, and all project outputs at the Design Studio2. A final summary report is now available which highlights the main themes and lessons learnt from the first two years of the programme - 'Supporting assessment and feedback practice with technology: from tinkering to transformation' 3(October, 2013). Overview Assessment lies at the heart of the learning experience: how learners are assessed shapes their understanding of the curriculum, and determines their ability to progress. This programme, focused on supporting large-scale technology-enhanced changes in assessment and feedback practice, seeks to address these challenges. Funded Projects7
Transforming Assessment and Feedback The Assessment and Feedback area of the Design Studio gives access to existing and emergent work of interest on assessment and feedback. In this area, you can explore topics associated with assessment and feedback, find out what we currently know about enhancing assessment and feedback with technology and follow links to emerging themes and outputs from the Assessment and Feedback programme. **New Briefings on Assessment and Feedback** Jisc has published four new briefings around key themes which have emerged from the Assessment and Feedback programme: Changing assessment and feedback practice with the help of technology Electronic Assessment Management Enhancing student employability through technology supported assessment and feedback Feedback and feed forward: using technology to support learner longitudinal development See also the final synthesis report Supporting assessment and feedback practice with technology: from tinkering to transformation' (Oct 2013)
Starting with an A “Imagine a classroom where everyone started off an academic year with an “A” grade, and in order to keep the grade, a pupil had to show continuous improvement throughout the year. In this classroom, the teacher would have to dock points from a pupil’s assessment when his or her performance or achievement was inadequate, and pupils would work to maintain their high mark rather than to work up to it. How would this affect effort, expectations, performance, and assessment relative to current practice?” Image by ludwg This is one of the questions we pose in our upcoming paper, due to be published next month, which explores the application of behavioural insight to educational policy and practice. Specifically, we are concerned with the socio-economic attainment gap – the difference in performance between pupils from affluent backgrounds and those from deprived backgrounds. So what is the big idea with everyone starting with an A? Comments
What are the advantages and disadvantages of portfolio assessment? Last month on the blog I mentioned that my school was dipping its toes into formative assessment in the form of writing portfolios. Overall, I’m very happy with the way it’s going, noting the advantages I discussed in my previous post. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been all plain sailing! With this in mind, I thought a follow up post might be in order, one in which I attempt to balance the pros and cons! Formative assessment, just to get you all up to speed, covers the range of informal diagnostic tests and techniques, such as learner portfolios, us teachers can use to assist the process of learning by our learners. 1. One great benefit of portfolio assessment for learning is that it is ongoing. Summing up why this is good: As learners work on their writing in classroom tasks, input from the teacher can inform, guide and validate each step of their writing process. 2. Cheating and plagiarism remain significant problems in academic settings. ‘students18′ by @yearinthelifeof (me!) 3. 4.
Growth of online marking 'could improve reliability' 7 June 2013 Last updated at 02:43 ET By Angela Harrison Education correspondent, BBC News There was a legal challenge over last year's GCSE English exam grades Traditional marking of exam papers by one person is giving way to a system where parts of papers are marked online by different people, sometimes overseas. Questions from some papers taken by students in the UK last year were marked online in Australia. A report by England's exams watchdog Ofqual says such changes could improve reliability. Splitting up papers for marking can increase consistency, it argues. The report was ordered after complaints from some heads and teachers about marking standards. And the grading of last year's GCSE English exams led to a legal challenge, although the judge ruled the process had been lawful. The report describes the tens of thousands of people employed as exam markers as "knowledgeable, nearly always holding a degree in their subject". Australian connection Automated marking
SLA research: still in the shackles of traditional grammar? Second Language Acquisition () research also needs a lexical revolution to free itself from the shackles of grammar tyranny. Rant alert! I was recently asked to give a talk at a conference on the topic of writing. Since my main area of interest is vocabulary/grammar (i.e. language) rather than developing skills per se, I decided to take a more "lexical approach" to my talk and focus on error correction in L2 writing: both lexical and grammatical. I scoured a lot of research articles to glean the current state of knowledge about error correction or - as it is more fashionable to say today – corrective feedback. As I expected, the research literature on corrective feedback has been dominated in the past 15 years by the Truscott/Ferris debate. While I would like to save my views on error correction for another post, I just wanted to express my dismay at the total lack of references to lexis in the studies I've looked at – and I have looked at quite a few. *He is becoming to mature
Understanding Grading | Paris Unraveled From middle school on, French students are graded on a scale of 1-20, but this system does not correspond at all to the American system of percentages. Because few professors give feedback or comments, or even return papers and quizzes, it’s often difficult to know where you stand compared to your classmates and what you have to do to get a good grade. Here’s a quick guide to the factors that affect grading and how to understand the grades you receive. Contrôle Continu vs. Contrôle Terminal Contrôle Continu is the term used to describe the set of assignments that students complete in order to get a grade for a course, and it usually includes attendance, an exposé or paper, and sometimes a final exam. Another type of grading, known as “Contrôle Terminal” is offered to students who are also full-time employees or handicapped, and who are unable to regularly attend class. In general, taking classes as “contrôle continu” is a really, really bad idea. Notation Éliminative French Grading Scale
Marking in Perspective: Selective, Formative, Effective, Reflective Marking in Perspective: Selective, Formative, Effective, Reflective Context and Motivation I’m feeling relieved, smug and virtuous because I’ve just marked some books. It feels good because a) it was overdue and, hence, was having that ‘albatross’ effect; b) for a change I am looking forward to going into my class tomorrow without feeling guilty and most importantly c) because I feel like I’ve renewed a connection with my students’ learning in a way that is hard to do any other way; I’ve done something worthwhile which always feels good. To be absolutely clear, I am a Dylan Wiliam devotee; you won’t catch me doing marking slavishly because someone tells me I should or because it looks good; I only do marking if I think I need to – and this only if I think it will make a difference. So, this is my current assessment of what marking should be like if we are to maximise its impact: Marking should be selective: Teachers in general spend too many hours marking. Marking should be formative:
Two (Optimistic) Predictions for Learning in 2014 Getty The beginning of a new year always prompts list-making — resolutions, what went right last year, what can be done better in the next. How will 2013′s trends shape the year ahead? Looking into a crystal ball (and with input from experts), these are just two of many)movements we hope will take shape in classrooms across the country in 2014. Self-Directed Learning Using Digital Tools Will Take Center Stage In 2013, we observed the logistical and ideological mistakes of Los Angeles Unified iPad roll-out, as well as the confusion and difficulty with which schools grappled with computer-based testing created to align with the Common Core. Many hope that 2014 will be the time to find that holy grail — using technology to go beyond providing efficiency and management to truly transforming student learning. Levinson said the trend he sees taking shape is a kind of old-meets-new story in which the constructivist dreams of 100 years ago come to fruition using personalized digital technology.