Emerging Practices of Online Assessment

This week we focused on the differences between teacher-centered and learner-centered class structures as well as tools that would promote a learner-centered environment, including performance tasks, interactive inventories, rubrics, blogs, and more authentic assessments.

Blogs

This is my first experience with creating a blog, although I’ve been intrigued by their use for the classroom.  I am particularly fond of the class scribe concept as well as the “before the test” reflective post.  Both are learner-centered and encourage the student to self-assess.  The class scribe use of the blog guarantees student participation and gives each student the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.  The “before the test” reflective post could also be used to guide valuable class review time.  A class blog would fit well into my current teaching situation, but I’m not so sure about using a blog in an online course.  “5 Questions about Classroom Blogging” is a VoiceThread which demonstrates another useful tool that could be incorporated into a blog.

Interactive Inventory (a reusable learning object survey)

Did I miss the point or was this just a self-test… a check for understanding?  The most valuable part of this survey was its reusable nature.  Although extremely non-threatening it was a quiz and a review all rolled into one.

Authentic Assessments

“It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.” — George Polya

I have always been interested in problem-solving.  Specifically, how students learn problem-solving techniques and how I can facilitate that growth.   I have incorporated explanations of problem-solving into my classes, but have been looking for a way to expand on that.  While reading about authentic assessments, it occurred to me that I could have my students create a digital problem-solving portfolio, which would hopefully demonstrate their growth as a problem-solver in mathematics and in my class.  I see this beginning with a basic inventory (perhaps a survey would be the tool of choice) and then allowing students to include artifacts, and, more importantly, their reflections on problem-solving throughout the school year.  Some sort of closing inventory/reflection would also be necessary.  I’ve got to do some research to expand on this idea.

Additional Selected Readings/Links

Shawn Cornally’s TEDx talk and Formative Assessment/Feedback/Grading Tool

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