A Social Studies friend complained that he showed his students the important geography of a country via pictures, maps and movies and his students, as a class, could orally say the geography. They could talk about the impact on the country. However, when he gave the students a map and asked them to label the geography and comment on its impact on the country, they could they not do it (average score of 45). He said that he realized his students could verbally talk their way through content but still not be able to really do it. He became aware that each student may be able to answer a single question but still may not understand the answers to several questions. He decided that to build frequent “reality” checks (assessments) into his class so that they students would have to demonstrate the learning. He began to use maps, outlines, charts, drawings, concept maps, etc. instead of relying on the verbal answers of his students. He found out that he could quickly assess the students’ learning in a comprehensive and in-depth manner. He could verify their actual learning instead of their verbal footwork. He created these assessments from the unit final.
What do you rely on- student talk or assessments?