Bill Ferriter suggests that before you worry about how you are going to assess learning online, you need to address the question of what you are assessing for.
- We need to know the level of rigor of the essential standard that we are assessing before we can write a question that will generate reliable information on student mastery.
- We need to decide on the kinds of things that students should know and be able to do if they have mastered the essential standard that we are assessing.
- We need to write and then deliver a small handful (3-5) of questions for each essential standard that we are assessing.
- We need to think through the common misconceptions that we are likely to see in student responses to our questions.
- For any constructed response questions or performance assessments, we need to decide together what “mastery” will look like in student responses.
- That might include developing exemplars of different levels of student performance or creating shared scoring rubrics.
If the focus is multiple choice questions, Ferriter uses MasteryConnect, while if it is about deomonstrations, he uses Flipgrid. Although there are many other
, these work within his context. As he explains:
Your goal is to find tools that:
- Have little to no learning curve for you or your students.
- Aren’t blocked by your district’s firewall.
- Fit into your budget — or the budget of your school.
Ferriter closes with a reflection on how he deals with the threat of students cheating. FIrstly, he makes a concerted effort to lower the stakes on my classroom assessments by making them smaller and providing students the opportunity to repeat where needed. In addition to this, he suggests that if the answer is in fact Google-able then maybe it is actually just poor assessment.
Your piece about cheating reminds me about an experience I had in Year 10 Science when we had an open-book test. I remember Ms. Hé not paying too much attention to our chatter during tests. We would turn and talk with colleagues to get the answer. The funny thing was that it did not really make a difference. I cannot remember what grade I got, but I know it was not great. I think it clearly highlighted the lack of care I had for the subject. Cheating made little difference. In hindsight, I wonder if that was in fact her strategy, not sure. It was a useful lesson to learn.