Archive for the 'Proficiency' Category

Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting

 

ISTE 2016

By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D.

College World Language Students’ Preferences

Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48%

World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges
Digital Badges Pro-
– Breaks down proficiency more
– Shows all badges at once
– Is more attractive
– Is more appropriate since we use Schoology
– Avoids misplacing paper certificates

Con – Prefer Paper Certificates
– Looks more official / credibile
– Has a physical touch
– Is easier for me, limited tech at home
– Is easier to read the proficiency name
– Can have it when the course / Schoology ends
– Can see a pile of my certificates
– Can easily show it to others
– Can post it on frig / decorate my folder with it

Advantage of Both:
– Tells me my actual speaking skill, not my grade with homework,etc.
– Shows my  progress in speaking (still have lots to do)

Interesting (Some issues) : Teacher
– Uses badge to cover each individual proficiency or to cover categories of proficiencies. (i.e. 100 proficiencies or 12 categories)
– Makes badge names short but meaningful (not I.A.2)
– Determines level of proficiency for badge (80%, 90%, 100%)
– Needs student proficiency demonstraton time
– Needs time to award badge

Do We Know the Students’ Exact Progress in the Learning Standards At Any Moment?

Every teacher should know at any given moment where their students stand in regard to state standards, state assessments, or even the “final”. We need to focus on our students’ learning progress and how we can help the students to improve from where they are to where we expect them to be. Waiting until the end of the year for students to take a pre-state assessment and then cramming down not-learned concepts make no sense.

When we start with the end in mind (Covey and Understanding by Design), we identify the precise learning we expect of the students and we create assessments that measure not only the end product but the many steps in their progress toward the learning. These mini-formative assessments help us to know at any moment where our students stand in terms of the end assessment. By using a technology as simple as a spreadsheet, teachers can keep track of their students’ formative assessments, give students new strategies to use to be successful, and, after much practice, re-assess the students to see growth.  Student learning is about continual growth toward the end learning.  If we want students to achieve the end learning goal, we need to constantly assess their progress and provide new strategies for success.

Do you know where your students’ exact progress right now in your course toward the state standard or assessment?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Having Students Go from Proficient to Above Proficient Through Improvements

In my Oral presentations (speech) class, I’m grading their final speeches on how much they have improved from when they originally gave the speech. They have to show me their original speech, the rubric in which I indicated their strengths and gaps, and a sheet which explains how they are overcoming their gaps. Their final (two speeches that they select from those they have done) are graded on improvement.  If they show the three  improvements, they get an A. For each learning gap that is not changed into a strength, they loose ten points.  So far students have shown drastic improvements, their speeches have gone from being below proficient or being proficient to being above proficient. They have learned to support their speeches with image-based PowerPoints that drive home their messages. When we raise the bar and prove ways for students to improve, they go over the bar!

How do you have your students improve and become above proficient?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Color Coded Rubrics For Formative Assessment

If your rubric has a limited number of concepts, you might consider using  color coding. As you assess student work, you use a certain color highlighter for each major concept in the rubric (for example, for writing, red for  thesis and topic sentences, yellow for evidence, green for details,  etc.)  When you see a strength, you use that color marker to put in a Plus(+) sign next to where you  highlight the actual strength  Likewise, you can put a minus (-) sign next to a learning gap such a sentence that is missing a  transition and indicate where the transition should be.  Since each color corresponds to your rubric, you do not have to write out the type of learning strength or gap.  You indicate the category by its color and then you can write a formative feedback comment more quickly.

A variation is to use a certain colored highlighter for above proficient (green), proficient (blue), developing yellow), and beginning (red)  levels in the student work. For example, if students write an introduction at the proficient level, you highlight it in blue. If their conclusion lacks a restatement of the thesis, does not include the categories of proof, , and does not have an extender, you highlight it in red.  Students can do a color scan of their papers to see their levels of proficiency.

Help your students to improve by adding  color to their work

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Exemplar Collecting and Using For High Quality Learning

At one of the colleges I teach at, I had to submit material for a course review. I was pleased to receive not only a perfect 3/3 but also to be asked to send some of my material in as exemplary work. However, I became even more interested when I found out that this college that has at least six different campuses is collecting exemplars. My question becomes “When are they going to share these exemplars with the faculty so that we can improve by seeing the excellent work that our colleagues are doing?”

I would suggest that we all collect exemplars at our schools and use them to improve our teaching and our students’ learning. Have each teacher submit his/her best student paper, project, etc. For example, each English 9th grade teacher can submit one excellent student paper for the major types of writing. The teachers can physically put them in a cabinet or even better they can put them onto an English Wiki so that teachers at any given time can access these exemplars. These instructors can discuss with each other what makes each exemplary. They can all come to the same idea about what exemplary work is. Furthermore,They can use these exemplar papers to raise the learning level of their students. The instructors will have many exemplars for their students so that the students can realize that the high quality can be shown in many diverse ways.

Get your team to start collecting and using exemplars now!

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Class Standards and Finals: Mixed Signals

Do Course Proficiencies match up with course final?

A colleague emailed me a bizarre story. Her college is part of multi-college educational system. She teaches a course that is required for all entering students. All of the colleges have the same outcomes for this course. However, they all have different finals; the finals do not resemble each other in any way. One college requires a research paper; another requires a timed proficiency test and another requires certain assignments. How can a class be outcome or proficiency based and not have the same or very similar final? How can the final not be based on the specific outcomes?

How does your course’s tests and final reflect the specific standards/outcomes/proficiencies? Giving a state exam or benchmark should not be a final in your course but simply be a small sampling of evidence of the outcomes. How strong is your standards-based learning signal? Does it reach to the final?

Scored Against Perfection

table setting scoring against perfection

My wife and I went to the New York State Fair. She enjoyed looking at the table setting judging. I looked at that detailed analytic scoring for the judging which each participant sees before the competition. The words that impressed was “scored against perfection”. Each entry received a rating number and statements that identified its strengthens and its areas for improvement.

I wonder how many of us “score against perfection” or do we score the number correct which may not be critical parts of student standard learning. Do we score each quiz, each test, each project, and each homework against the perfection (above proficient level) of the standard?

Do we record in a spreadsheet or our grade book these above proficient scores, those proficient scores, those progressing scores, and those beginning standards-based scores? Do we include formative comments for each so that we and the students can review them for improvement?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


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