October 26, 2007

How do I know that my students have learned? And how do I know that the content my students have learned is valid?

To begin planning my assessment the goals that the state wants me to shoot for must be examined. I try to determine what a person who knows the information in the core content statement would be able to do to demonstrate to me that they know the material. Most of my  students have gotten used to to test bank questions which most times are just memorization exercises which prove very little about learning.

I am a big proponent of transfer as evidence of learning. For example in the physics class I teach my students have been studying projectile motion. The class has watched videos, heard me discuss the materials, worked with java applets simulating projectile motion and performed 2 mini activities to learn about projectile motion.

As an assessment I have assigned a performance event which requires students to launch a marble into a cup at a variable distance to determine as the  projectile unit assessment. Yes they do not like these types of assessment at first but eventually they have grown to look forward to them, but back to assessment.

So how does this performance assessment demonstrate learning? We teach so that students may use the knowledge in the real world, not the abstractions that the world of academia imposes upon students. I feel as though if students have really internalized “aka leaned” the information they can best display this learning through application in a unique manner.

Yes different subjects lend themselves to performance assessment better than others but I feel that all subjects can be varied to assess in this manner.


One Response to “Assesment”

  1. dancingnancy533 Says:

    Its great that you are using performance assessment instead of what they are used, something like a paper assessment. It exposes them to different ways they will be tested in the real world because most times it doesn’t come from a paper exam.

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