21st c. assessment


  • Assessment & testing as participation (treat as discourses)
  • Multiple levels of assessment & feedback (align through immediate, close & proximal activity)
  • Standards & skills as formalisms (must enlist b4  enlisting appropriately or correctly)
  • Close-level reflection guidelines

Rationale: Participatory assessment

Teaching to the test is as useful as the tests are meaningful (NCLB showed external tests aren’t meaningful for teachers); bigger problem for

Participatory a. is key (must interpret participation b4 assessing proficiency)

Iterative refinement/feedback is most effective

Theory can only be found in efforts to reform practice

Prior research in science ed-working to align trad assessment with 90s theory (started work at ETS, NSF on Genscope Genetics & Classroom of the Future)

Quest Atlantis (Baron etc). They are presenting at Games for CHange

Iterative feedback creates “echo” on achievement measures

Current research: Teacher’s strategy guide, Quest for Atlantis, Global Kids & Learning, HRheingold’s Social Media Classroom, etc)

Identified formalism and aligned activities over time General principles emerged

Participatory Assessment (trying to apply participatory & social theories to assessment motivation)

Key Terms:

  • Enact v. implement (complete a curricular routine in contect. diff entre indiv. & communual understanding)
  • Aggregated concerns averages across individuals
  • Formalisms (participatory reframing of skills & standards)
  • Artifacts (participatory reframing of any student produced work) Test is artifact too (bizarre artifact but still)
  • Implications: ahift from indiv. expression to community involvement (not everybody must participate

Social contract fosters motivation and cascading success (worthwhile practices, participation, curriculum increases indiv, communal and aggreagetd achievent on tests)

Assumptions: Learning is primarily social change. All assessments have formative & summative functions (blows up distinction between the two); assessment & test are a type of discourse

Formative functions must be protected; focus on these first

Five levels of a. (works across several levels and

  • Immediate: event-oriented guidelines (interpret how curricular activities are being enacted
  • Close Activity oriented reflection
  • Reflect on how currcular activity worked
  • Proximal: Proficieny oriented rubrics (assess indiv, proficieny using artifacts) increasingly formal activities (does artifact
  • Distal; standards-orietnted assessments (assess proficiency solvng new problems)
  • Remote-level assessment: Achevement-oriented tests (measure attainment of broad proficiencies) Skeptical about utility of these things

Content Knowledge as formalisms:

Treat skills & standards as formalisms (enlisted when participating in knowledgeable activity–misconceptions and such; basis of good teaching which often lost sight of during testing). Boundary objects that traverse levels (??)

students must enlist initially before enlisting appropriately (don’t assess appropariateness prematurely and close of initial enlistment) Diff entre shutting down in the face of ?s

Key practices

  • Close-level communal reflection on prior activities (natural btween
  • Prximal & distal classroom assessments
  • Remote level assessment summative but formative for high level stakeholders

Some initial enlisting may seem/be resistant (I don’t know what that means BUT)

Three is the magic number” article

The “5 posts a day” problem-can’t quantify. Teachers know it when they see it. Get buy in once they see it.

Fostering conversations about assessment is important and then ideas filter down

How to foster worthwhile participation? Will show examples

In Your Classroom

Identify one specific activity (one you like & want to enhance; invovles new practices & skills; one you’ll do again next year); Activity has to generate an artifact and they have to be accountable for it

Nuts & Bolts

Frst define formalisms (new & traditional literacies e.g. annotation & genre)

Align participation across iterative cycles

Focus on one central level (first cycle: immediate (what are you doing in activity CLOSE reflect on it proximal how to change on next one) (second cycle: close PROXIMAL distal- then start from what do you want them to know

Ex start on having kids work on artifact then align w/formalism; discussion and only then they go onto the ning. Public and participatory forum improved class work (quality & quantity of enlistment)

Practical implications: How to make this scalable? Teachers don’t have time or motivation. This what that group does and he’s not sure how to scale.

Moby Dick 1 exxaple: didn’t know what formalisms were. went into classroom 2 days after getting big book. 2nd time knew: wrote them on the board. wrote on board what does this mean to you? rvisted the formalis throughout and kids produced artifact (indiv or in small groups) and then shared it amongst each other. One activity: take 1 page of Moby Dick annotaate & ornament (figure out hard words & make personal connection) (annotated page w/stcky notes in public hallway one time and then in Ning. then structured discussion on experience (what did and didn’t you like? and had them enlist the formalisms) how might it have done differently Not just quizzing them but asking them to critize activity What did you learn about? How did annoating and ornamenting elp you learn X? What new insights did you have etc

Immediate conversation after writing that down and share as class

Don’t grade the writing but use as prompt Don’t penalize for No or none; single one word answers

Made a lot of mistakes-enactment wrong in TSG. Boring trad activity-present your work. As soon as it got trad kids dsengaged. schooling is compulsory but participation is optional. Students have learned that participation will show up in assignments later

Purposes for reading formalism-student didn’t know what it meant at first but students talked through it. If you are going to hold students accountable for knowing what close reading is you have to give them an open adn safe place to discuss it

Designing close level assessment

First define formalisms (new or trad)

generate a seroies of ?s (critique and foster cirtical discosue)

Align w/immediate level activities (use tech language of domain) Not constructavism; enculturating students into domain outside the classroom

Align with proximal rubrics

Enacting close levelassessment:

Implement immediately after activity; immediately discuss non-summatively; don’t grade; and indirectly support indiv understanding

Changed a&o assignment. Scanned and put illuminated texts on ning and then used them to engage in close reading of text. more collective sense of what text was about (and changed how they approached it-collectively)

Enacting Imeediate-level event guidelines: structure enactment around formalisms; iterativly refine; activity enactment & feedbacks

Key Themes:

  • Social networks remediate existing literacies and texts
  • New media affords public & persistent discourses
  • Schools should foster equitable ethical & transparent participations in NML
  • Classrooms must directly support participation

Greg Wiggins Understanding by Design (will come out w/something as practical)

Danny fain?

Measuring New Media . . .Not So Fast

Email him dthickey@indiana.edu for papers

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