Day 3: Improving Assessments

This week, I’ve been thinking about my official (written-on-paper-and-shared-with-my-school-administration) goals for this year. I started by reflecting on my 2 goals from last year: changing course assessments and creating interventions for struggling students in my classes.  I think these were both good goals, and I’m still passionate about both and have room to grow in both areas.  

I also pulled out my evaluation from last year, and noticed that Domain 1F of the Danielson model directly addresses student assessment.  In my classes, the assessments are pretty traditional: tests, quizzes, lab reports, occasional projects.  They’re good assessments: the tests are well-aligned with learning objectives and are fair and valid measures of what students know.  And I use formative assessments frequently.  

But I still have room to grow here!  The “Exceeds” rating describes that students have choice in their assessment, students design assessments for their own work, assessments have real-world application, students develop rubrics based on learning objectives, and students are actively involved in collecting information from formative assessments and provide input.

I think with the additional technology I have access to this year, I could easily modify and create new assessment opportunities for my students that would require them to be more active and reflective (and would allow them to be more creative and demonstrate more critical thinking).  I won’t be moving away from traditional tests, at least not any time soon, but it would be great to get my students to reflect on their formative assessments and then use that to inform the steps they take as they prepare for the end-of-unit assessments.  I also would love to have my students develop rubrics for the products they create in our projects.  

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