"With all the education action around Standards-Based Instruction,Understanding By Design, Assessment for Learning, Grading for Learning,Project-Based Learning, Competency-Based Instruction and more, we need to have a frank conversation about formative assessment and grading. This may be a difficult conversation to have."
How will teaching and learning in the early 21st century differ from its 20th century predecessor? Some shifts are already well underway. These include the growing embrace of open educational resources and of courses collaboratively designed and developed by teams including content area specialists, educational technologists, and instructional designers. Peer mentoring and grading are becoming more common, as is a gradual shift toward learner-centered pedagogies and competency-based, outcomes-oriented approaches.
Alongside these developments are five far-reaching developments.
1. A 21st century education will be geared toward 100 percent proficiency.
2. It will rest on the science of learning.
3. It will be data-driven.
4. It will be personalized.
5. It will take advantage of technology in ways that truly enhance the learning experience.
"Differentiation is far more than a set of strategies to meet the differing needs of students. It is an approach based on certain beliefs about students (e.g., All students are capable and uniquely talented.) and certain values (e.g., leveraging students' strengths and interests instead of being stuck on students' deficits)."
"Most teachers and current textbooks offer varied approaches to the material to be learned so the teaching can be brain-compatible with the varied student learning styles. It is only logical that respect for these individual learning styles be incorporated into assessment forms."
"The competency-based grading and reporting model has been a part of one high school's improvement plan, writes principal Brian Stack. In this blog post, he notes five things that changed at his school in the three years since implementing the model. Among them are the formation of small learning communities for students and professional learning communities for teachers, the use of competency-based, common grading procedures and the reporting of student progress based on students' mastery of course-based competencies."
A new report released by by CompetencyWorks, "Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education," helps education leaders design grading policies that communicate academic performance to students and parents. Chris Sturgis, the report's author and principal at MetisNet, said, "Our traditional grading system undermines learning because it allows students to 'slide by' until they stumble over the gaps in their knowledge." The report also identifies six elements of competency-based grading.
Recently, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has published key findings of their latest “Most Innovative Companies 2014” survey. Beside the annual ranking, headed by the top three companies Apple, Google and Samsung, some insightful outcomes with...
There is mounting evidence that complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, technology-enabled active learning strategies and learning guidance—rather than memorization and repetition—improves learning, supports knowledge retention, and raises achievement. These new student-centered blended learning methods inspire engagement, and are a way to connect with every student right where they are while supporting progress toward grade level standards.
"Having a vision for the future is an natural extension of Hope and Optimism, another 21st century skill I proposed. A vision for the future enhances hope and optimism. To clarify, having a vision for the future is identifying and taking steps toward fulfilling one’s dream. It goes beyond and is qualitatively different than identifying what one wants to be when one grows up or thinking about college. It is about dreams."
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