Published March 26, 2009
Academic , Accountability , Achievement , Administrator , Assess , Assessment , Comment , Content , Data , Eportfolio , Evaluate , Portfolio , Proficient , Teacher
Tags: Accountability, Achievement, Data, examples, Feedback, Portfolio, Proficient, Student, student work, Success, Teacher, work
Individually, I talked to two teachers who had to present teacher portfolios and had received back comments on their portfolio. One teacher had glowing feedback. He told me how he had only put student material in the portfolio that demonstrated above proficient work. He explained that usually only one or two students in all of his classes had reached that level for each standard and so he included that work.
The other teacher had put in student work at all levels of proficiency. Her feedback focused on how she had to help students to be successful. She had included the percent of students at each level of proficiency; she had even included a graph for the proficiency rates on the four major standards. She indicated some strategies she had tried and whether each strategy succeed or did not succeed with these students.
The administrators were looking for measures of the teachers’ success in helping students to learn. They did not discern the difference between a staged or fake representation of success for a teacher and a teacher’s full disclosure about classroom learning.
How can your teacher portfolio show your growing success in reaching more and more students?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.
Published July 19, 2008
Academic , Accountability , Achievement , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Course , Empowerment , Engagement , Exam , Final , Formative , learning , Standard , Student , student engagement
Tags: choice, Empowerment, Evidence, Exam, Final, Graduation, Oral Presenation, Outcomes, Portfolio, Speech, Standard
In my speech class, I have given my students a choice of which of the nine speeches that they have already done that they wanted on their final. I told them that the final had to consist of three of the speeches that they had given;during the final they would drastically improve on the already given speeches.
I listened as they talked about which speeches they thought would most benefit them. They talked about the portfolio that they have to create as a requirement of the college. They thought of which speeches would most impress a future employer. They all agreed that the “Tell Me About Yourself” interview question speech was absolutely critical. They next agreed on the Persuasion speech since it shows how they can convince others of their ideas. Finally, they decided that they would do an Information speech since often in work, they give information to others. Most of them had already done these speeches on areas in their future career.
Their discussion revealed much about their understanding of their future careers, their showcasing themselves during an interview, and their analyzing the various speeches we had done.
Do you have your students have input into their final? What criteria is used to select material for the final? Does it serve a “greater purpose”?
Published June 4, 2008
Academic , Accountability , Achievement , Analysis , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Portfolio , reflect , Reflection
Tags: College, Day, Introduction, Learn, learning, Portfolio, Standard, Student
I was talking to an instructor who was explaining the portfolio process at her college. She said that they had a portfolio day to introduce the portfolio to all students. They took the students through a series of exercises; however, never did the students actually see a real portfolio nor did they look at their own material which might go in the portfolio. Instead they did a series of “cute” exercises.
My only thought was “Get real”. If I had been in charge, I would start out with the purpose of the portfolio, show them the standards/proficiencies they have to demonstrate, show them a portfolio from the previous semester, have them examine some possible material for a portfolio and decide which best demonstrates the standard, and have them examine a reflection on the standard to evaluate how well it explains what the student has learned and has yet to learn. The more we replicate the real experience, the better our students understand the process and can be successful in it.
Published April 6, 2008
Achievement , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Final , Formative , Formative assessment , formative feedback , Portfolio
Tags: Class, Education, Final, Formative, Formative assessment, Learn, Portfolio, scaffold, Standard, Structure, Student
Last week I went over my students’ portfolios before they handed them in. The portfolio served as the final in the course. The review gave me one last chance to give them formative feedback. As we went over each section, I asked the students what they did well and what they can do to improve. Their most common learning gap was that some students forget to relate what they had done back to the standard. For some students I had to give them the phrase “I showed (this part of the standard) by ……” or “When I wrote ……, I demonstrated the essential characteristics of …..”.
For several students, it was hard making the leap from what we did in class to the standard (even though for each part of the standard, I had labeled the essential characteristics as we had done them in the class. Students tend to get caught up in the activity without thinking about its real purpose.
How do you constantly remind your students of the bigger purpose for each activity they do? How do you keep your students focused on the standards?
Published March 28, 2008
Academic , Accountability , Achievement , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Final , Formative , Formative assessment , formative feedback , Portfolio
Tags: Checklist, Class, Demonstration, Education, Eportfolio, Final, Formative, Formative assessment, Portfolio, Rubric, Standard
In my business writing course I’ve assigned a portfolio as the final. The students are to show that they can write each type of business letter. They are to show the changes in their business letters from their first attempts to their arriving at proficiency.
I wrote up the outline of their portfolio. I decided to give them a checklist to guide them through the portfolio process. I made sure that each portfolio requirement had all of its parts listed.
Then I decided to do a model portfolio for them. I deliberately selected a business communication that they had not done. I went through and began doing each part required in the portfolio. As I did, I realized that my wording was vague or did not allow them to focus on the aspects of each business letter. I realized that some parts needed to be moved around. I omitted some aspects that now seem non-productive rather than demonstrating the type of writing. It was not until I did the portfolio that I learned how to make it a better demonstration of the students’ learning. I am sure that when I assess their portfolios, I will look at them different than if I had not done the portfolio myself! I will have to change my rubric to reflect those changes.
Have you actually done your own portfolio? Your own final?
Published December 13, 2007
Academic , Accountability , Achievement , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Education , Formative , Formative assessment , Grade , Portfolio , Revision , School
Tags: Education, Final, Formative assessment, Grade, improvement, learning, Portfolio, resubmission, School
I’ve mentioned that my students can revise their final. One student was on her third revision; I asked her how she would react to getting the letter she had just written and she responded that she would not do what the letter asked. I could see the light bulb finally go off. She said, “I changed my whole letter, I really had not followed the persuasion format. To get my manager’s attention, I mentioned how long-valued waiters were leaving due to our lack of a tipping policy..” She went on to describe how she had implemented each part of a persuasion letter; she gave her examples. She finally had gotten it; her letter was one of the best of the whole class. If I had just given her her final grade on her portfolio, she never would have reached her understanding of the outcomes required in the course. Once that light bulb went off, she tackled other letters she had not been proficient in. She finally understood using WIIFM (What’s in it for me- the reader) and the tone of her letters changed from demanding an action to showing the tangible benefits of the action for the reader. She easily modified the other letters and their reflections. Her final score went from a C to an A. More important, she is now proficient in those types of letters.
So how much revision do you permit on your final?