Posts Tagged 'Standard'

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

Digital Badges: Naming the Badge

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 evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally” as the badge name? Will they use an abbreviated word name such as “eval media”? Or will the teachers use a number code such as SL2 or SL2media? Teachers may enter the full badge name in a badge program but how long will the actual name be when displayed on the screen with other badge names? For example, if a badge program lists all the badge names going across the screen, then each badge name may only show the first seven characters. Are the students familar enough with the abbreviated standard or proficiency name that they recognize it and know what it means when they see it? If the students cannot recognize the name of the badge learning, then the badge program is not effective for them.

Each badge name needs to be unique. If more than one standard or proficiency addresses the same or very similar topic, then the badge names have to distinguish between the two. In the NCSSFL-ACTFL (Modern Language) proficiencies, a Novice Low proficiency states “I can introduce myself to someone. I can tell someone my name.” while a Novice Mid proficiency states “I can introduce myself and provide some basic personal information.” Teachers will name each badge so that the difference is obvious to the students

What digital badge names will you use?

Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges?

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 Core Standards or other international proficiencies. That decision leads to additional questions. How much learning will the students do during the course? How many badges will be awarded during the course? Will the badges represent each individual proficiency or categories of proficiency? For example, in the beginning college semester of Spanish, students will achieve about 80% of the forty eight proficiencies in the Novice Level of the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Proficiency Statements or the equivalent of thirty nine badges. The semester is fifteen weeks long. Will the teachers group these badges together so that the number of badges gets reduced down to fifteen or fewer categories or will the teachers award thirty nine badges? If the teachers use categories, do the categories represent the same type of learning at the same degree of difficulty? Are the categories chronologically based or can a beginning proficiency category not be achieved until other more advanced categories are learned? For example, the third category of “I can answer a few simple questions” includes the proficiency of “I can respond to who, what, when and where questions”. However, students usually demonstrate proficiency in at least three other supposedly more advanced proficiences before they show proficiency in this beginning proficiency.

How have you selected the the digital badges for the learning in your course?

No Real Destination No Real Learning

I enjoy “talking” with other teachers.  However, I am often amazed at how  they  describe the final learning destination.

A writing teacher may say, “We are doing contrast essays”, a modern language teacher says, “I want my students to speak the language”, a social studies teacher says “My students will be citizens of the world.”  What does each of these mean in a practical sense? How will these teachers know if their  students have reached the final destination  and how well they have done it?  Would another educator be able to identify the  same success?

I have been working in developing some foreign language assessments so that I can quantify the various types of speaking and how well students do on each.  I do not want to say “My students speak the language”  which is a vague concept but to specify what type speaking they do  and how well they do each. Once I can identify what the end learning looks like/sounds like, I can work backward to provide scaffolded  steps to help the students get there at a high level. In addition, I can build in formative assessment to monitor their upward process.

In order for athletes to win, they visualize exactly what they will do; they visualize their success.  Our students need to visualize exactly what they are to do.

How do you identify the end learning for the students so they can become successful at it?  How do they climb the ladder of success in that learning goal?

My  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

Aligning activities and end goal

When a  colleague was teaching a remedial English course, she was told to focus on the creative aspects of writing.   Those beginning college students needed to able to write academic  papers for college, not to write poetry and personal narratives.  They would  become good academic writers by focusing on the standard forms of academic writing  of writing such as contrast and argument papers.

Although this is an extreme example, I wonder how often teachers forget the real purpose of the students’  learning and have their students spend time doing something that does not directly lead to learning that goal.    A question to ask  is “How does this directly and efficiently lead students to being proficient in this skill?”  I remember watching a social studies class where  ninth grade students were coloring in the countries of South America, each country in different color.  The real purpose was to learn where each country was on the map but they spent about a third of the class on coloring.    Locating  countries on a map is a memorization activity so do memorization activities such as study a map with the names shown for  half the countries  and then , see a map without the names and put the names in.  Likewise, in a modern language class, students do not improve in their speaking ability by doing grammar drills. A student can be proficient in grammar but not  be a proficient speaker.  Students become more skillful in speaking as they speak more in class through structured activities.  Likewise, English students do not become better writers by just reading and answering questions about long literary essays.  When educators take students through the writing process with a focus on the specific type of writing, then these students become better writers.

So how does what your students do directly and efficiently lead them  to being proficient in a specific skill?

My  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

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

Spoiling our Students Through Formative Assessment

My wife and I spent the week taking care of our 15 month old grandson, Rowan. We now understand what it means to spoil a grandchild.  Like other grandparents, we did not buy special toys or clothing; we did not keep him up past his bedtime; and we did not take him to special places.  We did spoil him by devoting our complete attention to him. We did not focus on working, taking care of the house, etc; we only focused on him.

Every teacher should spoil the students in their classroom.  The teachers should be so prepared for class that when class starts the teachers can focus their complete attention on the students. How are the students responding to the instruction? Which students are “getting it” and which are not?  What learning problems are emerging?  What instant strategy can be implemented right now to help the students overcome their learning gap? We need to change our perspective from what we teach to what the students are learning. We need to  become  attentive parents/guardians who constantly look for clues of learning strengths and learning gaps.  We need to be nurturing parents/guardians who can treat  any “illness” as soon as we see it.  We do not want any student to bleed out while they wait overnight for us to figure out a solution to their illness.

Let’s spoil our students so that they achieve more in-depth learning!

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

Reponding to Your Students

Standardized Terms for Common Understanding

I am constantly amazed that we, in education, have not standardized learning terms.  Is a benchmark a 3-4 a year comprehensive test of the skills in the course? Or is a benchmark the level at which the students are to arrive? What’s a standard? The list of generic skills from the state?  The quality we expect of students?  What is formative assessment? Student observations that lead to improved lessons for next year?  A student observation that leads to instant feedback for that student?  Each new educational movement brings in its interpretation of a term.

We cannot even have an educational discussion because we use the same word to mean different things.

The Federal Gov’t wants to clarify the end product of learning instead of having states have their own standards. I agree. Even more the federal government should publish a dictionary of what educational terms mean so that everyone can use the words with the same meaning. A common vocabulary means that teachers within the same building, within the same district, within the same state, and within the same country can have a common meaning.

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

Reponding to Your Students

Formative Assessment Avoids One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

Grant Wiggins’ Big Ideas website published my latest article,  Formative Assessment: Not One-Size-Fits-All- Feedback.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to 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

High Expectations For Our Students: Our Responsibility

Robyn Jackson in Never Worker Harder than Your Students differentiates between standards and expectations.

The standards specify what high level content or process learning we want of the students. Expectations refer to our belief that we can help the students  to get there. If we have high expectations, then we believe that we can help the pupils to be successful. If we have low expectations, then we do not feel that we can help them learn. If we truly have high expectations, then we will figure out what we can do to help the students to  grow in the standard to the point of achievement. We do not focus on what they cannot do, we focus on what we can help them be able to do. We do not focus on what they do not know, we focus on how to help them obtain the prerequisite knowledge or skills in the context of the course. If we have high expectations, we do not ask students to learn the missing material or skills on their own, we build knowledge or skill development into our class into mini-lessons targeted to help them. If we have high expectations, we take responsibility for their growth; we work on the solution, not cursing the problem. If we have high expectations for our students, we promise ourselves that they will be successful in our class due to our efforts.

Do you have high expectations for your students? How do your students know?

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

Reponding to Your Students

Baby’s Learning and Our Students’ Learning

My wife and I  have taken care of our ten month old grandson for two days.  He  now puts Cheerios in his mouth.  He cannot yet feed himself with spoon. Life skills take a long time to develop.

I teach a college composition and research course  in which I spend the whole semester in having the learners develop their essay skills. Most students come in with a very low level of skill. Numerous students write their first essay as one long paragraph with no introduction, no conclusion, no major categories of proof, no evidence and no detailed examples. By the end of the course,  they can write a full five paragraph essay in 50 minutes. We constantly assess and improve upon the various skills in essay writing until they can skillfully use them.

I wonder how much time we spend in our classes in teaching the life skills of our course. Do we give our students prolonged time to learn, practice, and be assessed on their critical skills?  Do we consciously build on the skill over time to get it to a proficient level?  Do we revisit the skill to help them increase in their level of the skill? Do our students finally reach a level that they have developed a life skill of our course?

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

Reponding to Your Students

School Awards For Teachers

I recently  attended a college’s award ceremony for faculty and staff.  I was impressed with all the categories of awards.

I’ve made up some awards that I would like schools to give. These awards will not be given to just one teacher but to any teacher who does any of the following:

Focus their students’ learning on the standards

Spend more working with students than lecturing

Diagnose students’  learning problems instead of just giving grades

Give specific feedback that actually help the students to move forward in their learning

Keep cumulative records of students’ strengths and learning gaps in a specific learning goal

Celebrate their students’ standards-based learning successes

Transform academic learning  into real world learning

Invite parents and other experts in the classroom (physically or virtually)  to share their wisdom about a learning goal

Involve the students in meaningful community or global projects that truly make a difference in other students’ lives.

Empower students to feel that they are capable of being successful

Share the learning goal, assessments, and success strategies with other teachers

What other awards would you like to schools to give?

In Medias Res (in the Middle) or From the Beginning

My wife and I went to a movie. It took me a long time to figure out what was happening until they did some flashbacks. I felt very lost just jumping into the middle of the movie.  Where do you begin your unit planning? Do you start in deciding on the standard, the particular aspect and then the learning goal? Or do you jump right into the activities you will do in the unit?

Understanding by Design advocates starting with the standard, the assessment, and then the activity so that “the end is always in mind”. Without a firm view of your “end” you will not be able to measure student learning against the standard. f you plan “in medias res”, you cannot be sure if you activities truly help the student reach the learning goal. Also, you may not be focusing on the essential ideas for the standard but, instead, on some very minor learning. Likewise, with a firm view of the “end” learning, you may focus on students’ minor errors that are not the most serious errors.

The preplanning (standard and assessment) for the lesson gives a foundation for all you do in the unit. Start from the beginning so your students can arrive at the end.

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.

Looking Ahead For Better Learning

I attended my every three year Defensive Driving Course to get a reduction in my insurance. The AAA instructor and the DVD said that we should always be looking 20-30 seconds ahead on the road or about a third of a mile forward so we can be prepared for what is ahead.

I wonder how often we take our eyes off of our current learning to remind ourselves and our students of what is ahead, the standard. It is too easy to get focused on the moment so that we forget where we are really headed. By being focused only on the present activity, we may not connect our present activity into the bigger picture. The present activity may not seem to serve any purpose except when seen in the bigger picture. When students know where they are headed, they are more likely to get there and to be able to assess their progress. As we check what is ahead, we can help modify our instruction to make sure our students get there.

How do you help your students to see the standard or the big concepts of the year?

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.

Organic Learning With Technology or Inorganic Learning?

I drove past a farmer’s stand that proudly proclaimed itself as organic. I laughed. When I was growing up on a farm, everything was organic. Cows produced the fertilizer for the fields.

I wonder if we have made changes to make the learning process less organic. Have we gone to using technologies in which that might reduce learning? Do our PowerPoints truly energize the learners into deeper learning or do the PowerPoints put them to sleep? Does the time we have the students spend on creating a podcast really reflect in-depth learning about the course’s standard or does the time reflect surface only learning over multiple days? Do our students spend time in responding to others in a blog when the other people do not read their comments? Do our students spend time in creating fancy projects that include many visuals when the visuals do not add more meaning to the project? Do we have students create the same information on a wiki that is presently available in another location? Do we have students virtually visit a location (like a zoo) without having them learn critical standards information?

Have we used technology to interfere with students’ learning instead of helping them to grow in-depth and comprehensively in the standards? How organic is your classroom or have you covered it with harmful fertilizers?

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

High Quality Student Work Early in the Semester

My students have given their first speech in my college oral presentation course. I analyzed their entering speaking skills and adjusted the curriculum. We have gone over the speech rubric, analyzed three speeches using the rubric, analyzed the text of one speech, and created a template that incorporates good presentation. They organized their ideas with a graphic organizer. We spent time going over techniques for relieving nerves. They did a practice speech to a partner who gave feedback. As my students gave their first speeches, I was in shock. Wonderful Shock. Their speeches were actually at the same high level as the final speeches of my students from last semester even though this semester’s students are only in the third week of class. I had raised the bar for these students, they understood the high expectations and they had the tools to help them reach that high.

I congratulated the class on a superior job in presenting. I look forward to hearing their other speeches as they shine even more.

How do you structure your class so that your students soar in their learning? What do you do so that this year’s students do drastically better than last year’s?

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Passion: Use it in Your in Teaching

I knew that I had to revise a course (Critical Thinking) that I was teaching. The course bored me. I realized that I was not excited about the content of the course in the form I had it last year and the students were not excited either. The course did not seem to fit together. I realized that I had nothing to “hang” the course around. So I’ve decided to “hang” it around passages from Don Quixote, my favorite novel. As I look at the novel more, I realize that I can cover all the course standards by using the book. Furthermore, the students will learn more since the ideas are in a context and the book uses humor to teach value thinking skills. Yes, I will still use the textbook but the text will be the jumping off point for reading the ideas in Don Quixote.

I was delighted to find that in Wiske’s Teaching for Understanding with Technology, she has as one aspect of a generative topic that the topic has to be “fascinating and compelling” for the teacher. She gives the example of an elementary teacher who uses bird names for the different parts of the writing process since she enjoys watching birds. Another instructor uses his passion for bridges as the overarching theme for his course.

What is your passion? How do you connect that passion with the course standards? How does your passion make the course more meaningful for the students and allow them to better learn the standards?

\

Meaningful Learning for Students

A squirrel got in our basement. He is hiding and will not come out.

I wonder how often students get trapped in our classes. They attend and they do the mandatory work. They eat away at all the homework.  I wonder how often they get motivated by the learning to come out of their “do not bother me” hiding place.  Do they see the classroom learning as critical to the lives?  “When am I ever going to use this in my life?” How do we constantly show them the big picture of their learning so that they see how it does relate to their lives?   One high school teacher I know teaches themes (reality/illusion; fantasy love/real love; work/ideas) that are important to his students through literature. Each piece of literature helps his students to deal with their current and future lives.  I’ve heard of a  science teacher who  incorporates his class science into household science so that the students see science as part of their daily lives.

How do you relate your course to your students’ lives in a real way, not a “someday you’ll need it” way? Do they want to learn your subject because it means something to them now?

Students Create Own Class Final Based on Portfolio

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”?

Finals Do Not Reflect Standards

How well does your final match up with your standards and particularly those standards which you identified as being critical for the course?

A colleague shared with me  a  course final which focuses on a topic not mentioned in the course proficiencies (standards).   Since it was her first time in teaching the course, she had not studied the final.  When she did, she wondered where it came from.  She went back through the course proficiencies again and still could not find the topic.  Then she went to the textbook and searched it for the topic; it was not there. Someone had decided that the final had to be a certain topic which was neither in the standards nor the textbook.

How well does your final match up with the specified standards and the high level of thinking in those standards?  Does your final measure all the standards and all of their parts?  Does it measure some of the standards and even just some of those learning goals?

Portfolio -Real Reflections or Surface Ones?

I’m still thinking about the conversation with a person about portfolios at her college. She says that the students are helped in their reflections since the college provides a worksheet. When she showed me the worksheet which was in thin columns – it asked for the evidence, what they thought was good and what improvements they can think of.

I realized that students have to have very small ideas to fit in the columns. Students were not asked what they had learned about the standard from their college experiences. They were encouraged to think of changes but without identifying what they had learned, I do not know how they could tell what they still needed to learn or change. They did not have the standard in front of them to identify which parts that have had success with and which parts they still needed to work on.

Do your students’ portfolio reflections represent in-depth thinking or surface comments?

Portfolio Orientation – Get Real!

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.

Celebrate Student Successes and Move Forward

This semester I am trying to celebrate student successes more frequently. I let students know when they have successfully demonstrated a task, a goal or even the standard. I emphasize what they are doing well. So far, students have had a very favorable response. Many seemed shocked that I point out some many successes. I am trying to build in them a feeling that they are successful learners. Also, when I do give them formative feedback on a learning gap, I focus on how they can improve. They see that they can transform this into a success based on their past successes.

Do you build on students’ successes or failures?

What is your target? Don’t confuse context and content

Unless we are focused, our students will never hit their academic target. We have to identify exactly what they are to learn.  Some sometimes we focus on the context, the learning vehicle, instead of the content, the learning purpose.  An example is an English teacher who focuses on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the context, without considering the real purpose of the content such as analyzing themes which is part of NYS ELA Standard 3 Critical Analysis. Is A Midsummer Night’s Dream the most appropriate context for the learning goal?

Once we do decide on our specific learning goal, then we have to decide how we will help students develop that skill.  Just reading  A Midsummer’s Night Dream will not accomplish the task. We have to develop specific activities to help students grow in analyzing themes.

Do you focus on content or context?

Final Grades = Above Proficiency with many As

I’m going to be in trouble again with final grades and the school. Since my students can redo any assignment and even re-do the final, almost all my students end up with As. My students usually earn As or Fs (little or no work and little or no attendance). However, often administration thinks a teacher is an easy grader when almost all students in the class get As. In one class, students revised over 32 pieces of business writing. In another class, almost all students revised over 8 pieces of writing and their final research paper. I see the As as proof of students changing from being unproficient to being above proficient in their work. Even though students take the time to do the rewrites, they know what and how they have to improve their work; they based their improvement on formative feedback. I am more concerned about them learning to well than on the actual grade.

Do your grades resemble the traditional bell curve? Or do they show a proficiency/above proficiency curve with most grades in the Bs & As? Do your grades really reflect specific standards learning?

Final Portfolio Still Formative Feedback

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?

Portfolio Requirements-Teacher Does It and Improves Standard Demonstration

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?

Gradebook Grades or Standards-Based Grading

A teacher was showing me how well her students were doing. She showed me from her electronic gradebook their high grades in homework, class participation, and quizzes. However, when I asked her how well they were doing in the standards for her course, she gave me a puzzled look. She repeated that her students did well on homework and quizzes. I rephrased my question and asked her which particular standards did each homework and each quiz focus on. She said they assessed the book’s chapters.

I showed her how she could change her grading to reflect the standards. She could create new categories such as S1 (standard 1), S2 (standard 2), etc. Instead of focusing on all the homework, she could select which part of the homework focused on Standard 1 and then record that grade under Standard 1. Likewise, she could modify her quizzes so that each quiz focuses on one standard so instead of a quiz grade she could give a standard grade. Now her students could see how well they were progressing in the standard instead of how well they did on quizzes, participation, and homework. She could know how well they were progressing in the important standards rather than the textbook chapters.

Do you give grades or do you give standards-based grades through your electronic gradebook?

Standards Tagging To Benefit Students or Just an Exercise?

The college where I work wants each activity in the class calendar to be labeled with one of the official course outcomes (standards).

I applaud the effort in asking instructors to think about how what they are doing supports the outcomes. However, I also realize that most instructors just put numbers in so that each activity has a number. They do not change what the activity is; they just put a label on each activity. The instructors do not change what they do in the classroom.

Furthermore, there is no common course assessment so, in fact, each instructor gives whatever type of final covering whatever type of content. Until we give common course assessments there is no real outcomes based (or standards-based) learning.

Students do not benefit from such pseudo-standardizing of courses.


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

Blog Stats

  • 786,928 hits