Archive for March, 2007

Student Created Course WikiBook (Dr. Allan)

Wiki chapter to wiki class book

Dr. D. Allen of Old Dominion spoke at SITE about Student Developed WikiTextbook for a college course. Basically each student writes a 1,000 word article with five multiple choice questions at the application level and with five sources. The topics are arranged so that three students write about the same topic. Students rate each other’s articles according to three criteria and those with the highest votes are included in the course wikibook. Half of the students’ grades are based on reading the wikibook articles and taking quizzes made up of the students’ questions. In the second semester, they read the best articles from the previous semester and rewrite weak ones.

He raises the question of what is credibility in terms of sources (students did 2 academic sources, 2 popular ones and one of their choice). Also, he raises the issue of student empowerment in a course. Since students have to synthesize the information that is available and since they know the information is for a wider audience (the class), they probably tend to write with a greater focus on applying the information.

The idea of a constantly improving Wikibook for a course intrigues me. I would make some suggestions to his process. Each semester I would like students to improve on the previous semester’s articles. I would have the students evaluate student produced articles against formal text books about the same topics. I would like outside experts such as other professors to evaluate the student’s chapters to insure a high level. Imagine students being mentored by an “outside” expert as they write the chapter.

Could you apply a similar process in your course so that your student create a meaningful textbook (wikibook)? By your creating a structure for this process, students become more engaged in the material, work in a collegial manner, are held to a high standard of learning, and focus on the specific standard areas that you have determined are important. In addition, they like to see their high quality work “published” on the web. If you have created a class wikibook, please share information about it.


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007



Digital Divide – Digital Inclusion – Knowledge Divide

Digital Divide

More from the SITE conference

Paul Resta spoke on the Digital Divide. The Digital Divide is much more than just access to computer and the Internet. He prefers that instead of the Digital Divide, we think of Digital Inclusion. There is exclusion based on social, economic, geographical, language, and gender. He demonstrated through a graph that 70% of the web is in English, 5% in Japanese, 5% in German and 3.9 in Chinese: the English language excludes many people from accessing the information.

He stresses that there is a Knowledge Divide and that even if the Digital Divide is closed, the Knowledge Divide will not be solved. There is a shortage of teachers worldwide. He showed various world maps showing the percent of the continent not having radios, tvs, and computers. He stated that the USA is number 16th in the world in terms of penetration of broadband.

Dr. Resta stated the Digital Inclusion includes access to:
basic literacy
Hardware and the Internet
Culturally and relevant content in local language
Exchanging digital content
Educators who are culturally responsive.

How much do you students work with students in other nations through technology? What do you do in your classroom to help students understand the daily culture of another country through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Putting Natural Learning in the Classroom (Roger Shank)

Theory Failure Recovery

Roger Shank spoke on “Teaching in a New Era” at the SITE conference

His vehemently argues that in natural learning we set a goal, we fail, we try again, and we develop a strategy for how to improve.

He gives these examples of goals set and achieved by people: a young child learning to say”cookie”; a person learning to skateboard; and a person learning to play the guitar.

In this theory, failure and recovery model, we want students to fail regularly, often, and early so that they can develop in their learning goals.

He proposes these “rules”:

A good teacher does not lecture.

A good teacher does not answer questions; he/she forces the students to answer their own questions.

A good teacher does not give grades.

A good teacher does not determine the curriculum; an expert in the subject area (a scientist) does that.

A good teacher does not have in-depth knowledge about the subject area; he/she facilitates learning in the subject area.

A good teacher does not tell the students what is interesting

Do you see students’ mistakes and errors as opportunities for learning? Does your classroom demonstrate natural learning? How do you use technology to facilitate natural learning?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Improving Students’ Math Standard Learning Through Technology: 13 Examples

I wrote, Make Math Work, an article on improving students’ math NCTM standards learning through technology with thirteen examples for TechLearning

What other examples have you used to improve students’ standards math learning through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Eportfolio as Formative: Do We Help Students Improve?

Eportfolio At End or a Cycle

As I have been looking at some students’ eportfolios, I have been hit by a driving concern. If we find that over 50% of the students are deficient in a certain skill such as the ability to identify an area for improvement, how do we build the remediation into our course? If we notice this deficiency early in the year, we could rectify it by spending class time on it. If we only notice this deficiency at the last summative eportfolio, then, at best, we can pass on the information to their next year’s teachers.

How do we build in frequent eportfolio checks and how do we thoroughly examine the eportfolios each time so that we can catch such deficiencies early in the semester or year and therefore build in time and activities to help the students improve? How do we do a class wide analysis of our eportfolio examinations to see what patterns are emerging? If the students’ demonstrations of the standards/proficiencies through an eportfolio are important to us, then we will build class time in for student improvement. If we only do a superficial check in on the eportfolio during the semester and if we only evaluate an eportfolio at the end of the semester, then the eportfolio is more of a “buzz word” or busy work than a meaningful formative educational tool.

So how do you use eportfolios?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Flickr – Student Learning by Associating Categories (Tags)

Nautica tagging for Flickr

There are several Flickr programs that allow you and your students to find tags associated or clustered with the initial tag you searched for.

Flickstorm sorts by topic rather quickly – bottom half has tags

Airtight Interactive Type in a term, see images about the term and see connections

Tagnautica shows the associated tags and images (my favorite visual association so far)

Flickr clustering allows for clustering of ideas so that “bill” can be clustered in numerous ways. Type in the tag and then click on cluster

This can be a great educational game for your students. You think of a tag like ice for your science unit and then you ask the students to list all the related tags (categories) that they can think of. Then type “ice” into one of the above and compare the tags to the students. Have the students determine which are science categories and which are non-scientific categories. This type of inference thinking helps to broaden the students’ thinking and helps them to think in terms of connections instead of one isolated term. They have to compare and contrast tags.

So how do you have you students develop tag (category) building through Flickr?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007





Rating Eportfolios Over Time: The Big Question

Copy or new reflection in newest eportfolio

What does it mean if a pre-service teacher directly copies his/her reflection from a previous semester in his/her most recent eportfolio and does not add anything?

Does it mean that

The previous semester’s reflection was the best that it could be and it cannot be better this semester?

The student ran out of time to think about the proficiency so he/she just copied it?

If it is the second, then how do we build time in the semester for the students to reflect on their growth?

If it is the first, then our program needs to be examined so that each semester provides deeper and richer experiences for the students.

What do you do in your program so that students have more in-depth and more comprehensive proficiency reflections each semester?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Rating Eportfolios Over Time: High Ratings or Real Growth?

3 eportfolios and ratings

Virtually every eportfolio article talks about how eportflios can be used to measure student progress over time. Yet, I wonder how often do we measure student growth in eportfolios over time? A university may have a pre-service education students do three eportfolios. A student gets rated each time. If each of the student’s eportfolios is rated independently, then the student may get a high rating each time when assessed according to a specific rubric.

However, if I examine all of the eportfolios for that student, I may find that the student has copied the same reflection from the 2nd to the 3rd eportfolio. If I look at each eportfolio individually, I would not know this information and I would probably give the student a high rating each time. If I look at each eportfolio compared to the previous ones, then the subsequent rating would not be as high because I would be aware of the student copying from him/herself. Do you rate each student’s eportfolios individually or in comparison with that student’s other eportfolios? How do you really look for student growth over time?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Music Learning To a Higher Beat Through Technology

music notes

Music teachers have many wonderful technology resources that can help their students. Here are a few.

Student interviews another student about her music -Kingswood #3
Your students can explain their musical compositions before they play them.

David Honeyboy Edwards Youtube music blues in a shoebox

Thelonius Monk in Berlin 4:12

Tons of student made music videos to critic

Have your explain how to do something in music through an emovie (you can post it to YouTube for the world to see)

Has your class been Youtubed (blog entry) Search to see choir, instrumental, etc.

Have students sing or write a song based on a picture from Flickr. Or give the class the same general topic (family) and have them pick a picture from within that topic for their music.

Have students select pictures to illustrate a song or instrumental piece. They compare their pictures and explain their understanding of the piece.

Graphic Organizers/Inspiration
Students show the historical connections, cultural connections, famous artists, famous examples, time period, and characteristics for a style of music.

Have your choir learn how to sing a song in French from a French choir, sing it for them, and sing it with them.

Your students can watch up close as a famous instrumentalist plays. The students can play and the expert can give them constructive feedback.

Software/Online resources
Free Finale Notepad to create music

Elementary Music Bulletin Boards

Music resources

So how do music teachers involve students in their music learning through technology in your district? How do they use interactive technology to improve the quality of music learning?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007





A Superintendent’s Conference Day on ELA through Technology

ELA and many technology

I had the wonderful experience of being the keynoter on ELA and technology at an elementary school. I did a presentation on improving ELA skills through videoconferencing where we videoconferenced with two “sites” – one on listening to an “expert” read a science poem and answering questions and one peer to peer on Readers Theatre about Three Little Pigs with human tableaus to show comprehension.

Then I did an interactive presentation on Increasing ELA learning through Technology in which I went through Vocabulary, Basic/Literal Reading, and Inference Reading. Many teacher commented that they never thought of using technology to improve these specific ELA learning. Numerous of the activities were based on Robert Marzano’s work.

Then I did a mini-workshop on creating Big Books using PowerPoints.

I was very impressed with the faculty. They were attentive and participated. They seemed eager to learn new techniques. I was amazed when I told them how to search for PowerPoints on a topic (topic +.ppt or “term” +.ppt such as “Rhyming Words” +.ppt), most admitted that no one had ever shown them that technique. Several had taken full day district workshops on PowerPoint.

What do you do to make subject area technology use easier for teachers? How do you help your fellow teachers? Do you share your Sight Words PowerPoint? Do you work together to find great images for the PowerPoint that has few words? Or do you take over their keyboard and do it for them which disempowers them?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Art Beautifully Drawn by Terrific Technology

Art and technology

Art teachers have many valuable technology resources that they can use to improve their students’ learning.

Walter’s Art Museum Director’s Blog

Museum of Glass blog African-American quilting entry

PDF of Art Museum Blogs by Ideum


Moma Museum Blog Jackson Pollock’s Echo Number 25


Cubism Explanation and Watch student drawing 2:00 minutes

Virtual visit with a museum or an artist -great source is CILC

Students analyze a story told in four pictures and create their own visual story.

So how else do your art teachers use technology n their classrooms?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007





Bombed Technology Integration Due to No Standards-based goals nor Assessments

Bombed due to lack of goal, not technology

I find that sometimes technology-infused projects “bomb.” They almost always are poor learning experiences not because of the technology but because of the lack of specific standards-based goals or standards-based assessment.

When I talk to a teacher and she says she wants her students to produce a newspaper, she is stating the task, not the learning standard goal. What academic skills does she want her students to learn? When I ask her what assessment she will use, she responds that she will use a rubric based on their writing effort. That rubric does not measure student progress toward a standard.

With neither a specific standard nor a specific standards-based assessment, no technology-infused learning can be successful. The more unclear the learning purpose is, the more the students are in a fog about what is important to learn and how they are to demonstrate their learning. Students can never master “Westward Expansion” but they can master the concept of the impact of the changes in the economic and social aspect of people’s lives due to a nation’s growth. Teachers scaffold the experience for successful learning through technology only when they are sure of the specific learning outcomes.

So how precise are your standards-based goal and standards-based assessment to make a great technology infused learning experience?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcast: Students Add Worthwhile Learning Content

Local and National History

So why is it worth listening to your students’ podcasts? Does their podcast add new knowledge? Does it give others a new and deeper perspective on the topic?

Here’s some suggestions for a Social Social class podcast:

1- Compare how a local historical event fits in with the bigger one. For example, where does your town’s underground railroad station fit in the bigger underground railroad route? How did the actual location of the slaves’ hiding places compare to where the hiding places in other stations? Was the station near a river? How did the slaves “sneak” in?

2-Evaluate a local system such as the monetary system of “Ithaca Dollars” against the monetary system of the USA. How are they same? How are they different? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Contrast local government to state or federal government.

3-Create a graph of the growth (or decline) of your town since it was incorporated. Explain the growth (or decline). How does it compare to other towns in your geographical area?

4- Analyze the values of your community as expressed through bumper stickers. What does a random sampling of cars at the various grocery stores show you about what people value? How does the result of that study compare to the way your community voted in the last elections?

How have your students produced new worthwhile learning content for others? Share your stories.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Acuity, Student Diagnostic Testing, and Teacher Time To Refocus Instruction

Teach it Differently

A district is using the Acuity program to assess its students at various grades levels on Math and ELA. (The same company that makes the state benchmarks produces this program-just a coincidence, I’m sure 🙂 )

If the school district uses this program three times a year, they can get valuable information on the progress of each student. My concern is that the teachers will have insufficient time to analyze the results and refocus instruction. If teachers do not have plenty of time to figure out how to do “remediation” or “re-teaching”, then the Acuity program serves no purpose.

I was involved in a program in which our Spanish students were tested every 6 weeks on the 40 most important objectives for the course. An hour or even a half day of release time was not enough time to digest the feedback on the students’ progress and to refocus instruction. Often we would see major gaps between what we thought we taught and what the students actually learned. A day was not even enough to figure out different ways of presenting the learning so students could be successful. Reteaching by speaking slowly and speaking loudly with the same material was not going to result in better student learning. Having students just do more problems will not help them unless they have learned a new strategy.

I advocate that any school district using Acuity or any similar tool gives those teachers at least two days after the results are available each testing time. For example, all ELA teachers of the same grade level will have the same two days to analyze the results, to share successes, and to plan for how to re-teach. If Acuity were administered three times, they would have a total of six days.

So how many teacher refocusing days have your built into your Acuity program? Or are you just having students do more problems that they still do not understand?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Personal Learning Goals and Self-Assessment in a Blog

Personal Goals in a Blog

We all want students to be life long learners. Students have to be able to self-assess and improve. One technique is for students to create a personal subject area or school goal blog.

They identify what their own major goals are for the course and how they might go about achieving those goals or what help they might need. Frequently during the semester they revisit their goals and write about their progress. They may revise their goals or revise the activities to help them get there.They add evidence of their activities that support their growth in their goals.

These blogs become their goal and learning online journals. The blog serves as a personal celebration of the students’ successes. They may choose to put some of this in their eportfolio.

How do you have students’ use blogs for their own self assessment of their learning goals?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Eportfolio as Digital-Age Assessment of Student Learning

Reflection leads to better eportfolio

I written about 18 blogs about electronic portfolios (eportfolios); here is an article, Digital-Age Assessment, in which I summarized much of that information for TechLearning (Feb. 15, 2007). You might want to compare the ideas I’ve presented to your ideas. How else can an eportfolio be used for assessment? Let me know your ideas.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Learning Performance Tasks: Climbing the Learning Ladder

Going up Bloom

If we want students to learn a standard to its highest level, then we have to structure the learning for them.

One technique is to make sure that you have questions or activities at each of the three different thought levels: Knowledge-Comprehension; Application- Analysis; and Synthesize – Evaluation.

In Science , this would look like:

  • Explain the three aspects of the stream (biological, physical, and chemical) and how each can be measured

  • Analyze the stream for each aspect

  • Evaluate the health of the stream by examining the relationship of the three aspects

You might create a word processed unit planning template to remind you to incorporate all three levels for each standard. You may have a word processed list of the various verbs for each level of Bloom so you can pick active thought verbs. You can structure your assessments so that they assess each of the three levels.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcast Questions: Content not “Appearance”

Ugly Podcast graphic

Podcasting, at present, reminds me of the early days of desktop publishing and web pages. People would put up stuff just to have it published or be seen on the web. In desktop and web pages publishing, many people would overuse different fonts and sizes; they focused on the appearance of what they had to say. They did not focus on content. Students put up webpages that were direct copies of encyclopedia entries or slightly reworded versions but they had bold colors and many dancing bears.

Podcast is a technology and that technology should enhance student learning. It should not be its own purpose.

Your students’ podcasts

How much time do your students spend in preparing a podcast? Is the time proportional to the amount that they learn about the standard?

How in-depth about the standard is their podcast ?

How comprehensive about the standard is their podcast ?

At what level of thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) about the standard is it ?

How do you assess their standards-based learning (not the podcast)?

Listening to Others’ Podcasts

Have you determined which of your students are auditory learners and which are not?

Do you have your students listen to educational podcasts produced by other students or educators?

What do they learn about the standard? Does that learning go beyond “textbook” factual learning?

How do you assess them on the standard?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Challenge Student Thinking Through Differentiated Simulation Cards

Challenge Card

Students like adventure in the classroom and a simulation can engage them in in-depth thinking. This approach can work in any class where you create a strong scenario to which students can react.

If you have created a simulation such as creating a nation, you have your students set up their new nation by deciding on a form of government, on the laws of the land, on the monetary system and taxation, on the transportation system, on the types of shelter, etc. Then you present them with situations that challenge their new nation.

You can vary the difficulty of your challenge for the academic level of your class.

One card may say “Your citizens are protesting the high taxes and promise to vote you and other leaders out of their offices in this (democracy) unless the taxes are lowered. What do you do? Explain your action.”

A more structured version may say, “Your citizens are protesting the high taxes and promise to vote you and other leaders out of their offices in this (democracy) unless the taxes are lowered. If taxes are lowered, then there is no money for governmental services. What do you do? Explain your action.”

An even more structured version may say “Your citizens are protesting the high taxes and promise to vote you and other leaders out of their offices in this (democracy) unless the taxes are lowered. If taxes are lowered, then there is no money for governmental services such as highways, water, and health services. What do you do? Explain your action.”

An very structured version may say “Your citizens are protesting the high taxes and promise to vote you and other leaders out of their offices in this (democracy) unless the taxes are lowered. If taxes are lowered, then there is no money for governmental services such as highways, water, and health services. Do you keep the high tax rate and show them what services their taxes support? Do you lower the taxes and lower the services? Or do you ignore them? Explain your action.”

With a word processor, it is easy to differentiate the situations by adding more structure. Also, you could use one or more digital images as a prompt to aid those who have difficulty in reading.

So how do you engage your students in differentiated responses to a scenario through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Assessing Teacher Formative Feedback to Students

Teacher Feedback Analysis

How can you use technology to improve your feedback to students in the classroom? Do you email your students or use communications within a management system? Do you make up feedback podcasts for students as you “correct” their work? Do you have a list of possible strategies for each major misconception or conceptual error in the unit that you can copy and paste to customize for students with those learning problems?

How else do you use technology to increase the amount of feedback that you give students?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Teacher Technology Use For Students: On Task or a Waste of Time?

Technology Use Learning or Waste

I heard a classroom teacher say, “Do a few Math exercises on the computer and then you can play games for the rest of the period.”

When I heard this, I was shocked. I wanted to scream. This school has very low state math scores and yet the students are going to play non-academic games. I kept track and most students finished the Math in ten minutes so they played for thirty minutes.

It reminded me of a school where every Friday the Special Education students got to play computer games as a reward for working hard the rest of the week. So for working 4/5 days, they got to waste time, a full class period, on the computer. It meant that for 20% of every week, they did not learn. 20% of an 180 school year was 36 days of not learning. I do not know of any student that could miss 36 days of learning and be successful.

Do you use your students’ time effectively when they are using technology? How do you maximize thinking time and minimize hyper-jumping? How do you scaffold the technology-use to help them quickly climb up the thinking levels? How does every minute using technology bring the students closer to being proficient in the standard?


Student Assessment or assessment: Which Do You Think of?

Assessment or assessment

When I taught Spanish we referred to capital “C” Culture and lowercase “c” culture. Culture with a capital “C” referred to the arts and literature of the country while lower case “c” culture referred to how people lived their daily life.

I think we have the same issue with assessment. We are referring to two different concepts. Capital “a” Assessment is the high-stakes tests, the end of the year final, and the big unit tests. Lowercase “a” assessment refers to the formative assessments we regularly do in the classroom such as checking students’ standards-based homework, asking a student to explain a process, and analyzing how far a group has progressed in their performance tasks. These small “a” assessments give us specific information on students and inform instruction. They are “hinge” assessments that help us to redirect the focus of instruction based on the classroom data that we collect. We can use technology such as spreadsheets, databases, or word processing checklists to help us keep track and to analyze the data. Some new terms have developed to differentiate the two meanings: assessment of learning (Assessment) and assessment for learning (assessment).

Most educators only think of evaluating student learning as Assessment, not assessment. They panic over hearing about Assessments.

When you hear assessment which one do you think of? Do you focus on lowercase “a” assessments or capital letter “A” Assessments? How does technology help you in each?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


English Learning Through Technology:14 Examples

My article in TechLearning, Read all About it, contains fourteen different uses of technology in the English classroom from elementary through high school. How do you promote from basic skills to higher level thinking skills in your English class through technology? What other examples can you add to this list?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Written Feedback For Improved Student Learning: Build a Digital Specific Suggestions List

Teacher Written Feedback

Do you identify your student’s strengthens in the work based on a standards-based rubric or checklist?

Do you identify a few areas that can be improved based on a standards-based rubric or checklist?

Do you suggest specific ways for the student to improve? Avoid suggestions such as “try harder”, “be more careful”, “Do better,” and “think harder” which are so general that they will not help the student.

Do you give in-class time for the students to make the suggested changes or to learn and apply the new technique?

One way to facilitate this feedback is to develop a word processed list of possible student errors or misconceptions that students might make in this unit. You include several specific suggestions or remediations for those common errors and misconceptions. You can develop this list by yourself or, even better, with your subject area team based on the work that past students have done. You can all keep this in a collaborative online environment such as a blog or online system. When students digitally hand in their work, you can insert your comments in ALL CAPS. When students redo the work, you can look at your ALL CAP comments and see if the students have improved based on your comments. If the student implemented you strategy or technique and still showed no improvement, what other strategy will you suggest so the student can be successful?

If you notice new errors, misconceptions, or conceptual errors, you can add them to the digital list. Likewise, you can have a positive list of good thinking demonstrations that you can use to praise.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Course Management System As Assessment for Student Learning

Ideal Course Management System

What would my ideal “course management” system be? The system would be used primarily for recording, analyzing, and reporting formative assessment results and suggestions for improvement. This would include teacher, peer and self-assessments. A secondary use would be for summative assessments such as assignments and tests which would be proficiency based. Also in the summative section would be results from the previous years, last state test or from practice state tests recorded by proficiency. This section would also include past year’s proficiency-based grades, attendance, and other personal data. A tercerary use would be for an eportfolio (both formative and summative use). If the eportfolio was developed over a series of Eportfolio planning days, then both students and teachers could use it as a formative assessment for student improvement.

At any given moment a teacher would be able to see a multitude of data that clearly shows the number story of a student’s progress in the proficiency. The proficiency data would be visually displayed through graphs and charts. Likewise, a teacher could have an overview of all students’ progress in a certain standard. The system would produce a “report card” which focuses on each student’s progress in the standard with suggestions for improvement in any less than proficient areas. The grading would be on a scale such as Exemplary, Proficient, Nearing Proficiency, and Developing Proficiency that all teachers and students understand.

The system would allow any teacher in a subject area to see summary information from any other teacher in that subject area at that grade level, the lower grade level, and the higher grade level.

Students would have access to this information so that they could monitor their own progress. Likewise, parents/guardians would have access to the information.

The system would have value-added assessment since teachers, students and parents could see the growth of a student over years..

So what does your course management system focus on? Formative? Summative? Eportfolio? Which will most benefit your students? Or which combination?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Assessing Student Eportfolios: Focus on Standards Rubrics

Avoid Non-Standards Based items in eportfolio rubric

I’ve been looking at various eportfolio assessment tools such as rubrics and checklists and I’ve been shocked by what I found. Many of these rubrics or scales include evaluating these non-standards items: “creativity”; “visually appealing”; “has variety”; and “links work”. Usually these non-standards items receive the same point value in the rubric as content. So if students have a beautiful, creative, varied, and well-linked eportfolio but has no valuable content about their standards-based learning, they can still score very high(80% or higher).

I believe that educators should assess an eportfolio using the national or state rubrics. For example, I would use the National Council of NCTM’s standards or the state math standards rubric as a basis for evaluating a math eportfolio. I would use the NCTE or the state’s English rubrics to assess an English eportfolio. If a school is measuring something for which there are not standards,then the school will create their own measurable standards. If we believe that an eportfolio show a student’s progress in the standards, then we will want to use state or national standards rubric to evaluate the student’s progress.

If we want to give an assessment “grade” to the non-content items of the eportfolio, then that grade should be independent of the content grade and count much less. Perhaps the content eportflio grade counts 90% and the non-content grade counts 10%.

What rubric do you use to evaluate your student eportfolios? How much does that rubric focus on national or state standards? How much does it focus on non-standards items?


Eportfolio as formative assessment Through the Teacher

Eportfolio as formative assessment by teacher

In a previous blog, Student Eportfolio as Formative Assessment, I emphasized how a student can use his or her eportfolio as formative self-assessment. This time I will focus on the teacher using eportfolios to provide class and individual assistance. Let look at how Mr. Rodriquez uses eportfolios to provide summative feedback.

As Mr. Rodriquez looks at individual student’s eportfolios during Eportfolio Review Days, he uses a checklist which has student names going down and the standard skills going across. When he notices that a student is lacking a skill, he writes a number one (“1”) under that student’s skill area. He interviews the student to determine why he or she has not demonstrated that skill yet. After he has had a mini-conference with each student and offered different degrees of mini-help to those students, he looks at the skill sheet. He quickly analyzes if certain skills pose a problem for numerous skills. If his checklist is really a computer spreadsheet on his tablet computer, he can have the computer quickly calculate the scores for each skill and for each student. He can decide based on this data whether he needs to have a whole class reteaching of a concept, a grouping of students who need help in the same area, or whether he will do one on one with students who have unique learning problems.

If his students are doing their eportfolio in an eportfolio system, he can have the system produce reports as to the progress of the students. He can find out how many students have completed each standard and which standards each student has done to date. If he notices that many students have not completed a specific standard, he will interview some students to discover the reason. Depending on his eportfolio system, he may be able to see which artifacts (assignments or evidence), the students have selected. Again, he can use this eportfolio data to decide on whole class, small group or individual assistance so that each student can be successful.

How do you use your eportfolio system to help you in being a formative assessment for the success of all students?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Design a City: Big Student Learning Through Simulation and Outside Judges

Future city

“Future engineers think up cities” describes how middle school students think up future cities (USA Today, Feb 26, 2007, 8D). In their city design, these teams included such aspects as forms of energy to power the city, transportation, infrastructure plans, protection from natural disasters, communication, water, and police protection. After they designed the city using SimCity, they built a model, wrote an essay and gave a presentation to engineering judges.

The students worked under the guidance of a professional engineer from their community as they developed their city.

In this project students developed higher level thinking skills in Science, Math, Social studies, and English standards-based skills.

Talk about a real world learning experience! They develop a future city based on sound science and engineering principles. They worked with an expert from outside the school who constantly gave them formative feedback. They had their work evaluated by experts outside the school.

So what simulations and real world experiences do you involve your students in? How do you engage students in higher level thinking and multi-disciplinary standards through technology? How can you involve community experts to help guide your students?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007




Student Learning and Our Teaching: Lucky, Losing, Learning or Leading?

LuckyLosingLeadingLearning Grid-Reeves

Reeves’ matrix helps us to examine why our students are successful or not. Do we have a high understanding of antecedents such as pre-tests and regular embedded formative assessments that help us to analyze students’ progress and to discern how to reteach information so that our students can have high results? Have we kept a digital record of what misconceptions or conceptual errors our last year’s students made in this standard? Do have a digital record of which of our teaching strategies were successful last year based on the many formative assessments we gave? Or do we teach blindly without the valuable information from pre-tests and embedded formative assessment and therefore, we have little ability to duplicate success?

Do you keep online team blogs of the results of formative assessments and build online team resources so that all of your students can replicate student success in the standards?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcast Rubric for Standards- Based Student Learning

In a previous post, I complained that most podcast rubrics were did not focus primarily on standards. Here’s one I created

Podcast Rubric By Harry Grover Tuttle


Demonstrate the standard by starting with an essential question, or starting with “How does”and a statement from the standard

Do an in-depth analysis by using several words such as the causes of, because of, the consequences of, the impact on, and the present day implications.

Provide a comprehensive analysis by connecting to other essential standard vocabulary within the key component such as latitude, longitude, map scale for the Geography Standard.

Connect the key component to other key components in the standard such as connecting the key component of chronological thinking with historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research capabilities, and historical issues-analysis and decision-making from the National History Standards.

Connect the key component to another standard such as connecting the history standard of “changes in transportation over time” to the geographical standard and the economics standard.

Do you have a podcast rubric that focuses on standards-based learning that you would like to share? How can using this type of rubric help your students to create more robust standards-based learning?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


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