Sunday, May 11, 2014

EDUC 7726 Best Practice and Assessment

This week for EDUC 7726, we were asked to select a section from best practice in assessment and add ideas of how technology could support the assessment.  I decided to select section 1.A. Purposeful: Used to inform and guide teaching.  I feel as if this is crucial topic for any teacher to make sure that their assessments are purposeful and are used to guide the instruction in the class.

It seems as if our students in our school are always being assessed.  There are times in my class that I have to take a step back from my instruction to make sure that the data I am gathering from the assessments are used to help me determine what and how I am teaching a specific topic.  It is vital for teachers to use the assessments to gather data and provide instruction based on the data.

One of the resources that I found helpful and full of information and additional resource links was Edutopia's Ten Tips for Project Based Learning.  Tip #5 discussed how to gather feedback fast to assess your students’ understanding of a topic.  This reminded me of the daily check ins or Do Nows that we perform in our classrooms to identify where the students are with a topic and what additional information or instruction might need to be done in class that day to ensure the students are fully understanding the topic.  

My recommendation to other teachers is to continue the assessment strategy of collecting and gathering data fast by having their students complete quick check ins, do nows, or exit slips.  Once their students have completed the work though, the teachers need to use it to drive their instruction and ensure that the students are where they need to be in order to meet the desired outcome of the lesson/class.  Sometime there does not seem to be enough time in the day to look at all the papers and results from the quick assessments, but I truly believe they offer valuable data that could make a huge difference in a child’s education.

One way to use technology to assist with purposeful assessments is to have teachers have their students use a Google form or an online site that offers the students an opportunity to complete quick assessments such as Socrative or Engrade. These sites can provide immediate data for the teachers to use to drive their instruction. The teacher can use the immediate data then to provide feedback to the students on their understanding of the topic and can make changes to the upcoming lessons to address any issues that might exist.

There are other online resources that can be used for assessment. Scholastic - Read 180 is an online resource that provide purposeful assessment that allows students to take part in instruction that is based on their abilities and understanding. This program is designed for literacy. In addition there is Scholastic - Math 180 that is designed for math.

According to Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, it is important for teachers to provide timely feedback to their students. Technology can provide timely feedback to students on their assessment results. It can also provide teachers with information on what their students know and they then can select strategies that will address the weaknesses in a content area.

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