Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Career in Teaching: Accelerated Certification Class "Assessment for Learning"

On Thursday night I taught from 6 to 8:30 about Assessment for Learning (AFL) with the Career in Teaching program. We had a great class and there were some very solid discussions revolving around assessment.

The biggest point of emphasis is that there is a lot more to assessment than traditional tests, quizzes, homework and essays.  You must effectively target clear learning objectives each lesson and then check for learning and understanding.  We discussed methods like exit tickets, peer and self-assessment strategies, setting assessment to the targeted and intended learning, and how AFL can help with student motivation.

Here's the power point I used:

Acp Night 2_afl

It is difficult to discuss assessment with teachers in waiting. But, it is worth the effort. It is my firm belief that assessment FOR learning is a critical tool for any teacher's tool box. We did discuss reassessment a bit and there was some resistance there, but rightly so. It is the most difficult of the methods discussed. So much of it is common sense practice, but with a methodology that puts things in perspective.

One of the videos we watched was about Andy Smith of Woodchurch High School in the Wirral, UK. His infectious passion for physics inspires all he teaches. This video clip explains his assessment for learning techniques.

We also viewed Douglass Reeves' Toxic Grading Practices.  And we discussed "The Zero."

Zeroes to 60s

And we did not have time to discuss this, but I passed out the case studies on grading that help to showcase some of the issues around assessment for learning.

We had a great class.  If anyone has any questions, please let me know.  I'd be glad to help.

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