This strategy is useful in a world cultures course. A student will create a mock family-dinner during a particular time period and in a particular region. The student can create a menu for what the dinner would most likely consist of, using their knowledge of the culture. Then, the student would create a dialogue among the family. They would use information about what major events were going on during this time period, and how different aspects of the culture play into the conversation. This strategy is useful because it is a real-life scenario. Students can use their own creativity when designing a menu and the dialogue. Additionally, students must make connections between facts they have learned about the culture and time period, and how this information might influence daily living, such a a conversation at a dinner table.
*Note: there is no link to an article, this is an idea that I brainstormed.
This strategy comes from Jon Mueller’s Authentic Assessment Toolbox. The Coffee Shop Conversation is one of my favorite assessment strategies I have discovered thus far. This particular document using the conversation as a culminating activity to assess student learning after reading a book. The classroom is transformed into a coffee shop (how cool!) and students interact with one another to discuss the reading. Assessment does not get any more practical than this. This assessment caters well to the “real-world,” as skills in discussing intelligently about what one has read are useful throughout life. A teacher can provide specific prompts for discussion or allow more flexibility. Students will use their own words to describe what they have learned, questions they still have, or inferences. This tool could be used after reading a primary source document about a key historical figure or historical event. I also thought that a great use of this assessment strategy would be giving students a section of the newspaper to read, and then they participate in a conversation about that article.
This post by Marsha Lee is a gold-mine of authentic assessment ideas useful in a social studies classroom. Lee acknowledges that traditional summative tests do not always assess what is important, and students need opportunities to demonstrate higher level skills. The post provides specific examples for building models, classroom discussion, debate, document-based questions, simulations, interactive mapping, mock trials, and theatrical performances. There are links provided for each of those ideas. While the authentic assessments require a lot of work to prepare, I think that the benefits are well worth it.
This article provides an excerpt from the book, Teacher’s Guide to Performance-Based Learning and Assessment. The chapter discusses the characteristics of performance based assessment and also makes the case for the importance of this type of assessment. The authors describe performance based assessment in relation to student literacy, connect knowledge, process skills, work habits, and time. The article then provides examples of performance tasks for primary, elementary, and upper level middle or high school. Teachers can modify these examples, or use these examples as a framework for creating their own performance based assessment. This style of assessment is beneficial because students are demonstrating their learning in a way that is closer to the “real world” than pencil-and-paper quizzes or exams. Students can use demonstrate their knowledge in practical scenarios, which also gives teachers a good indication of not just memorization or understanding, but also application.
The simplest way to create. From any device, with anyone
Anna VandeBerg's insight:
Padlet’s tagline is “paper for the web.” The site provides a tool to create a bulletin board-like creation. Students can insert multimedia, collaborate with one another on the same “wall” in real time, and use their own creativity in the wall’s design.
Padlet can be used as an assessment too. For example, students can create a wall containing key points from a lesson. Students can also create a wall and present it to their peers. If working in groups, students can use a collaborative wall to summarize their learning. The teacher can use this work as a formative assessment. This tool is useful because it may peak students interest more than a pencil-and-paper assessment. Instead of going to the physical white board to demonstrate their learning, students can create their own “cyber” wall. The personalization provides a more creative assessment. Additionally, students gain practical experience with using web tools to present their learning, which may be beneficial in the long run for college or future careers.
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.
Anna VandeBerg's insight:
Google Earth has a plethora of uses. Teachers can use Google Earth as a tool for authentic assessment. There are endless possibilities and creative avenues for assessment with this tool, especially in a geography class. Students could role-play as a tour guide, and use the street view to give a tour of a certain area. The teacher would create certain criteria needed, such as describing key landmarks or geographic features, that students can "travel" to via Google Earth. Google Earth serves well as an assessment tool because students are using a tool that is used by adults in the "real world," and also engaging in spatial skills. Additionally, using role-play as a tour guide sparks interest and adds extra spunk to the assessment, rather than a pencil-and-paper map making activity.
This strategy comes from Jon Mueller’s Authentic Assessment Toolbox. This particular strategy involves creating a collage. Students are prompted with the task of creating a collage to illustrate the main point of a newspaper article relating to the first amendment. The assessment involves other components, such as rewriting the newspaper article from the opposing point of view. A teacher could adapt this assessment to cater to desired learning objectives, either eliminating or adding additional components. I think this particular assessment is useful because it involves both reading comprehension and synthesizing to find a main point. Evermore, the student gets to use their own creativity to design the collage, which makes the assessment less bland.
This article, compiled by the staff at Edutopia, provides tips for using authentic assessment. The article refers to The School of the Future’s (SOF) mission to “empower each and every student,” and using authentic assessment is one way to foster this empowerment. Althought the article is mainly theoretical, there are some practical suggestions. Tip eight is the use of tasks on demand (TOD)- quick in-class assessments given without warning. At first, this strategies seemed harsh and unlikely to empower students. However, I think that TOD could be used as a formative assessment tool to get a quick snapshot of the class’ understanding. Students could be given a sticky note where they have to jot down the main point of a lecture or a reading, and compare their idea with peers next to them or share with the class. If a student has no clue what to write, it would be a “red light” indicator to both the student and the teacher that the concept needs to be re-explained.
This blog describes the a paper slide videos. The blog was created by an elementary school teacher, but I think the paper slide videos are suitable for middle level students as well. The blog provides brief instructions for teachers, such as the material needed (paper, crayons/markets/pens, and a video recording device) and some suggestions for using this assessment tool. Students use a series of illustrations and words on pieces of paper- and flip through these pages as they explain and demonstrate their learning. The examples on the blog provide helpful suggestions and possible ideas for the use of this assessment tool. The tool is useful in a social studies classroom because students can use different abilities to collaborate in creating a video. Students can work independently or in a group. The tool also engages digital learners. One aspect of the video is that it is created in just one take. This way, the video can be quickly published and reveals the students rough or unedited knowledge of a concept.
Easel.ly is a data visualization tool. The site includes templates and tools that allow for the creative presentation of information. Infographics are the main highlight of this tool. Students do not have to be design experts to use this tool- they can select a theme and follow prompts to complete their very own infographic. Students who have a knack for design can be more creative if they desire. This tool can be used to assess students’ knowledge. However, I think this tool may be most useful for upper middle levels, rather than fifth or sixth grade. Students can select the important details of their knowledge and organize and synthesize specific information and ideas, or use the infographic to convey broad concepts. As an assessment tool, an info graphic caters to multiple intelligences. By creating an infographic, students can creatively personalize the way in which they demonstrate their learning.
Students and teachers will need to register for an account in order to save and share infographic creations. The registration requires an email address, username, and password. Once an infographic is created, students can download the info graphic, embed a link to the infographic, and make viewing the info graph private or public.
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