Posts Tagged 'Diagnostic'

Pre-assessment: Open Eyes or Blinded

This semester I have given many pre-assessments to my students. Last semester, I made many mistakes in instruction because I did not know enough about my students before the beginning of the semester. I taught material that they knew and did not delve into material that they did not know. I assumed that they could read the textbook when their reading rate and comprehension which I tested once I saw a problem revealed an average class reading rate in the low 100s and a comprehension rate of 60% or lower. I thought that since they were college students they could organize their own writing.

So this semester, I have given them writing diagnostic, writing patterns past knowledge diagnostic, grammar diagnostic, vocabulary diagnostic, and reading diagnostic. I can hear the moans about wasting all the time on diagnostic. My students spend 45 minutes on the combined writing and grammatic diagnostic, three minutes on the vocabulary one, four minutes on the past writing patterns and about 15 on the reading one. So in just about one hour and ten minutes I have done six diagnostic tests that have transformed how I teach writing to the students.

What pre-assessments do you give and how do you change your instruction to better improve your students’ learning?

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Writing Types Quick Diagnostic – Quick yet meaningful information

I do not want to teach my writing classes with blinders on.  I want to know the students’ entering perceptions about writing and their actual writing skills. I made up a quick online survey on  Zoomerang. The survey asks the students

To identify if they have done this type of writing
If they have done it how many times 1-6
How well they think they do it 4 (very good)-3-2-1(beginning level )

Narrative (Telling a story)
Definition (What something means)
Classification (Categories of something)
Process (How to do something)
Illustration (Explaining something)
Description (What something looks like? Mood?)
Cause and Effect (What caused something? What was the result?)
Comparison (How similar or different are two items?)
Argument/Persuasion (Convince/Persuade about something)
Research Paper

For them to identify their favorite type of writing and why
For them to identify their least favorite type of writing and why

What they do well in their writing?
What they would like help with in their writing.

As soon as they have completed the survey, I have the compiled results.  I now have meaningful information to help me plan the course.  I will change it to help them move forward in their writing.

Does our diagnostic assessment give valuable writing and grammar information?

I spoke of a teacher who gives a three hour grammar diagnostic test.  I tried a different route.  I gave an essay writing diagnostic and I recorded each grammar and  writing errors or proficiencies on a chart as I read each student’s paper. When I finished, I looked for patterns.  Their diagnostic assessment took 45 minutes for them to do and about 30 minutes for me to read and record.  I found that out of all of my students that there was only one “grammar”learning gap that three students shared and that was spelling.  There were a few learning gaps that two students shared.  The writing diagnostic revealed that they could use grammar fairly well; it did not interfere withe the comprehension of what they wrote. Their biggest learning gap was not in grammar but in their actual writing.  About 80% of the class lacked specific examples to prove their points. I  will focus on writing and teach grammar when I see specific needs.

What powerful diagnostics do you give?

Diagnostic Testing for Vocabulary

I’m teaching two writing courses and I’m giving a diagnostic writing in each.  They write an sample essay.  However, I found out a tremendous amount about my student’s vocabulary with a simple vocabulary activity that I did in class. I gave them various vocabulary lines like   scorching……. freezing in which I asked them to add words in between or at the ends such as scorching…boiling…hot…cool…frosty…icy…freezing.  I gave them four other opposite  lines to do.  I could quickly tell who had an indepth vocabulary and who will probably have difficulties in expressing themselves. I walked around as they were doing the vocabulary sheets and recorded my observation.  Next class, I will have to do activities to help them enlarge their vocabulary so they can be expressive writer

What quick diagnostic tests do you do in your class that give you powerful results

Diagnostic testing Questions

I was sharing college teaching stories with another instructor who also teaches a course similar to mine. She has her students do a three hour online diagnostic test and then the students do the grammar drills for each part that they did poorly on.  I was shocked  to hear that they spent three hours on the  diagnostic and then about 1/3 of each class on grammar drills and quizzes.  She shared her course outcomes with me and grammar in one of several items in only the first of  the seven outcomes.  When do our students spend more time  being tested rather than being instructed? When do we know so much about our students through diagnostic tests but do not have time to change how we teach them? When do our diagnostic tests not really measure our true goal such as writing? I took a grammar term practice test and missed a few questions although I considered myself a fairly good writer!

Online Diagnostic Testing

As teachers we have so much to do in a class. When we can enlist the help of technology, we gladly welcome such help. A teacher could create online diagnostic tests and provide some remediation or the teacher could use a program such as MyWritingLab by Pearson. Such a program gives numerous diagnostic tests, provides the answers to each question and even has a video (mostly text) to help explain the answers. Students can retake the tests until they have shown proficiency. When an online program can help with lower skills, then we can concentrate on helping our students with higher level thinking skills.

What diagnostic or online computer programs does your school use? What is your reaction? What does it do well? How could it help you more?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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