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Classroom Assessment Do I have to?????. 7 Characteristics of Assessment Learner-centered (to improve learning, not teaching) Teacher-directed (own own.

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Presentation on theme: "Classroom Assessment Do I have to?????. 7 Characteristics of Assessment Learner-centered (to improve learning, not teaching) Teacher-directed (own own."— Presentation transcript:

1 Classroom Assessment Do I have to?????

2 7 Characteristics of Assessment Learner-centered (to improve learning, not teaching) Teacher-directed (own own skill, experience) Mutually beneficial (both students & faculty) Formative (not for grading or evaluating) Context-specific (discipline)

3 Characteristics continued Ongoing (creation & maintenance of classroom) Rooted in good teaching practice (builds on this by making it more systematic, flexible and more effective)

4 Need for Classroom Assessment Faculty monitor and react to student questions, comments, body language and facial expressions – more subconscious and implicit Rarely check these implicit impressions against student’s impressions or ability to perform

5 7 Basic Assumptions The quality of student learning is directly, although not exclusively, related to the quality of teaching. Therefore, one of the most promising ways to improve learning is to improve teaching.

6 Assumptions continued To improve their effectiveness, teachers need first to make their goals and objectives explicit and then to get specific, comprehensible feedback on the extent to which they are achieving those goals and objectives.

7 Assumptions continued To improve their learning, students need to receive appropriate and focused feedback early and often; they also need to learn how to assess their own learning.

8 Assumptions continued The type of assessment most likely to improve teaching and learning is that conducted by faculty to answer questions they themselves have formulated in response to issues or problems in their own teaching.

9 Assumptions continued Systematic inquiry and intellectual challenge are powerful sources of motivation, growth, and renewal for college teachers, and Classroom Assessment can provide such challenge.

10 Assumptions continued Classroom Assessment does not require specialized training; it can be carried out by dedicated teachers from all disciplines. By collaborating with colleagues and actively involving students in Classroom Assessment efforts, faculty (and students) enhance learning and personal satisfaction.

11 Classroom Assessment & Evaluation Classroom Assessment Techniques are NOT meant to take the place of more traditional forms of classroom evaluation. These formative assessment tools are meant to give teachers and students information on learning before and between tests and other evaluations – they supplement and complement formal evaluation of learning.

12 Getting Started Start out Small Try 1 or 2 of the Classroom Assessment Techniques that don’t require much planning or preparation – you don’t risk your own and your student’s time and energy After trying a couple of these you can “assess” whether this is worth the time and effort

13 3 Step Getting Started Process Planning – Select one and only one of your classes in which to try the assessment – It is best to use this on a course you are most familiar with – Decide on the date/time you want to do this assessment

14 3 Steps continued Implementing – Let students know beforehand (at beginning of class period) what you are going to do – Tell the students “why” you are asking them for the information – Assure them that you will be assessing their learning in order to help them improve, and NOT to grade them – Give clear directions, give assessment, collect responses – Read through responses and do your own analysis

15 3 Steps continued Responding – Close the feedback loop by letting the students know what you learned from the assessment exercise and what difference that information will take – You might need to go over a point again, create a handout, etc.

16 5 Suggestions for a Successful Start If a Classroom Assessment Technique does not appeal to your intuition and professional judgment as a teacher, don’t use it Don’t make Classroom Assessment into a self-inflicted chore or burden Don’t ask your students to use any Classroom Assessment Technique you haven’t previously tried on yourself

17 Suggestions continued Allow for more time than you think you will need to carry out and respond to the assessment Make sure to “close the loop”. Let students know what you learn from their feedback and how you and they can use that information to improve learning.

18 6 Flexible and Adaptable Techniques Focused listening The minute paper The muddiest point The one-sentence summary Directed paraphrasing Applications cards

19 Focused Listening #1 Focuses student’s attention on a single important term, name or concept Purpose – tool for quickly determining what learners recall as the most important points related to a particular topic Can be used before, during or after relevant lesson

20 Procedure #1 Select topic or concept that class has just studied or is about to study and describe it in a word or brief phrase Write that word or phrase at the top of a sheet of paper as heading Set a time limit or a limit on number of items to write (2-3 minutes or 5-10 items)

21 Procedure #1 continued Adhere to limits – have students make a list of important words and phrases they can recall related to heading Collect list and study – Compare their list with your own – Related, unrelated, etc. Come back to students with information

22 #1 continued Other ideas – Give students focus topic along with homework – Allow students to work in small groups – Give your list out to student for their comparison – Have students keep a journal of focused lists

23 #1 continued Pros – Simple, flexible – See what students recall easily or not – If used before instruction, see what students already know about a topic Cons – Requires only recall – May not really understand concept

24 Minute Paper #2 Purpose – having students see what most significant things they are learning and what major questions are for faculty Most useful in lecture/discussion courses Good for courses that present a great deal of new information Easy to do and analyze

25 Procedure #2 Decide what to focus on and when to do paper (beginning or end – homework vs lecture) Write out your question either on a handout, transparency or prepare to write it on the board Hand out sheets of paper or handout itself Leave off student names (usually)

26 Procedure #2 Let students know how much time they have to write responses to question and when will get feedback Collect and analyze results Come back to students with results and any corrections (additional lecture, handouts, homework, etc.)

27 #2 continued Other ideas – Only have student write 1 important point – Close concepts – “most powerful image”, “most convincing argument”, “most surprising information”, “most memorable character”, “most disturbing idea” – Have student discuss what they wrote in small groups

28 #2 continued Pros – Immediate mid-course feedback that allow quick response to students – Responses can be read, tabulated and analyzed quickly – Faculty demonstrate respect for and interest in student feedback – Allows students to compare their responses to class as a whole

29 #2 continued Cons – If overused or poorly used, students will begin to view technique as a gimmick – It is more difficult than it may seem to prepare questions that can be immediately and clearly comprehended and quickly answered

30 Muddiest Point #3 Simplest technique and very effective Purpose – provides feedback on what students find least clear or most confusing Helps faculty learn what students are most difficult for students to learn Well suited to lower-division and even large classes

31 #3 Procedure Decide what you want feedback on – the entire class lecture, one module, discussion, presentation Do this at the end of the class period Pass out slips of paper or index cards Ask students for the “muddiest point” – “most confusing point”, etc.

32 #3 procedure continued Collect responses on the way out Analyze responses Come back to students with corrective action – maybe a bit more lecture, handouts, etc.

33 #3 continued Other ideas – Have this done with a homework assignment at beginning of class – Ask students to read each other’s drafts and point out muddiest point in draft – Let students know that some of your exam questions will concern the muddy points you have responded to in class

34 #3 continued Pros – Quick, simple and easy to do – Students will respond if even shy in class – Give faculty a “snapshot” diagnosis of what students are finding difficult to learn – Faculty can see material through student’s eyes – Students can internalize this and help with self- assessment

35 #3 continued Cons – Focusing only on what students DON’T understand – Best prepared lecture will be misunderstood – Students can have difficulty naming what they don’t understand

36 One Sentence Summary #4 Challenges students to answer “Who does what to whom, when, where, how and why” Purpose – to have students concisely, completely, and creatively summarize a large amount of information on a given topic Can be used for historical events, plots of stories, political processes, chemical reactions, and mechanical processes, etc.

37 #4 Procedure Select important topic or work students have recently studied and that you expect them to learn to summarize Write out yourself the question “Who Did/Does What to whom, When, Where, How and Why” Rewrite this into a grammatical question for students

38 #4 procedure continued Pass out question to students – allow them more time to answer than you did – 1 sentence only Collect and analyze – separate responses into the various questions (who, what, etc.) Do the Zero, check mark or plus when looking at responses Put into a matrix and see where weaknesses and strengths are for students

39 #4 continued Other ideas – Work in pairs or small groups to critique and improve each other’s summaries – Use to summarize different chapters

40 #4 continued Pros – Quick and easy way to assess students’ ability to summarize a topic – Powerful technique for helping students grasp complex processes – Students must organize their thoughts into one sentence Cons – Some material can’t be easily summarized – One sentence can oversimplify the material

41 Directed Paraphrasing #5 Translate complicated, technical material into more simplistic language Purpose – ability to summarize and restate important information in their own words Useful in topics students will be expected to later explain to others

42 #5 Procedure Select important theory, concept or argument that students have studied in some depth Determine an audience that would be realistic yet challenging for a paraphrase of this topic Decide on time limit for what you are asking for

43 #5 procedure continued Give students paper, topic, time limits and who intended audience is Collect responses Analyze – might do 4 piles – confused, minimal, adequate, excellent Look for 3 things – accuracy of paraphrase, suitability for audience, effectiveness in fulfilling assigned purpose

44 #5 continued Other ideas – Paraphrase for 2 different audiences and explain difference in paraphrases – Students keep journal as summary of important topics in class – Have different students paraphrase different reading assignments or lectures and share – Give handouts with useful paraphrases

45 #5 continued Pros – Builds on and up students’ skills in actively and purposefully comprehending and communicating material – Focuses on wider relevance of the subject Cons – Need strict time limits – burdensome – Qualitative criteria hard to explain to students – Need individualized feedback –time consuming

46 Application Cards #6 Taking what they learned and coming up with real work application Purpose – see how students understand the possible application of what they learned Used with a variety of classes and class sizes

47 #6 Procedure Identify an important and applicable principle, theory, generalization, or procedure Decide how many applications you will ask for and time limit (one is often enough – no more than 3 and 3-5 minutes) Hand out index cards or paper, give students what they are to respond to; tell them to come up with “new” applications

48 #6 procedure continued Collect cards and analyze Might sort into great, acceptable, marginal or not acceptable Share with class some of each so they can see valid applications

49 #6 continued Other ideas – Work in small groups – Complete as part of homework assignment – Keep applications journal

50 #6 continued Pros – Very simple and quick to see how students think about potential uses of learning – Tie theory to real work applications – Students can hear best examples from feedback Cons – Shift from theory to application – Some are not interested in application – Students in introductory courses may have trouble

51 Reference “Classroom Assessment Techniques” – Thomas A. Angelo & K. Patricia Cross – 2 nd edition – Jossey-Bass – ISBN –


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