Dr. Paul Trautman
EDUC 6731: Assessment for Student Learning
June 28, 2015
I can give faith that my assumptions about assessment have been changed throughout this course. Dr. Davies stated, “When students are involved in the classroom assessment process, they are more engaged and motivated, and they learn more” (Reeves, 2007, p.31). Therefore, when creating are lesson plans we should establish appropriate learning goals and assessments that motivate students. Before this course, I was a failure in creating assessments that tied up with standards and the course content. This course has really helped me in developing assessments and knowing the importance in engaging and motivating students. Reflecting on what I have learned, made me change the assessments unit I developed on the Fibonacci sequence in a positive way. For example, now the group task of interpreting the Fibonacci sequence allows them to work together to determine the definition of optical illusions and to identify examples of what they collectively interpret are illusions. Also, they promote student involvement. It includes group presentations and elections. For the other group task, I will distribute a variety of samples of the seven basic types of illusions to each group. Students will have time to discuss and evaluate what they are seeing. In the end, each group make a presentation about the classifications of their samples. I believe that now the assessments included in my unit plan promote student involvement. For example, giving them the opportunity to create their own definition of optical illusion makes them feel that their opinions matter and promotes discussion in the class. Also, making them do presentations allows the presenters to be very engaged with the material. Furthermore, I learned how can teaching skills with curriculum content improves learning. Silva (2009, p. 630) stated, “An emphasis on what students can do with knowledge, rather than what units of knowledge they have, is the essence of 21st-century skills.” This led me to re-evaluate the performance tasks I created for my unit plan. Therefore, I decided to create a new performance task that could emphasize higher order thinking and problem solving. Considering Dr. DuFour’s plea for educators to "unleash the potential of effective assessment", teachers have the power to create a collaborative culture, motivate students, promote continuous improvement, and be an engine for transforming student’s live and even schools (Reeves, 2008). The story that Dr. DuFour narrates in his epilogue demonstrates the ability to practice effective assessments. Also, in his story we can evidence the importance of continuous improvement. In most schools, this requires an organizational or professional commitment to an ongoing process of learning, self-reflection, adaptation, and growth. Some changes I would initiate at my school to make the “Tale of Excellence” a reality, would be to create interdisciplinary units in all classes. At the high school, I am that only teacher who creates Interdisciplinary UbD plans. Also, I will promote paper and pencil assessments for student involvement.
Dr. Stiggins emphasized the value of traditional assessment methods by drawing attention to the potential for such assessments to support learning by “saving teachers time, promoting high levels of student achievement and enhancing student engagement” (Laureate Education, 2010). Furthermore, to use rubrics whenever necessary for different types of assessments. In my opinion, rubrics make assessing the students' work efficient, consistent, objective, and quick. Arter & McTighe (2001, p. 8) stated, “The best rubrics are worded in a way that covers the essence of what we, as teachers, look for when we’re judging quality, and they reflect the best thinking in the field as to what constitutes good...
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