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5 Assessment Forms That Promote Content Retention

5 Assessment Forms That Promote Content Retention | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
If we hope to construct enduring understanding in our students, it's critical that, now more than ever, we know their strengths and interests. By incorporating students' strengths and weakness into a

Via Beth Dichter
Kathy Lynch's insight:

Ideas to expand thinking on current assessments, particularly for those who do not test well. Thx Beth Dichter!

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, March 22, 2014 6:24 PM

As teachers today we are told that we must teach our students and help them construct "enduring understanding", providing them with the ability to transfer knowledge from one subject area to another subject area. We are also told that we should personalize education, requiring us to know the strengths and weaknesses and incorporate this into our lessons. And let's not forget that we must also assess our students. How can we make our assessments help students with content retention? This post focuses on this question, and provides five suggestions on ways to do this.

The first three suggestions are:

  • Tests Where Notes or Textbooks are Permitted
  • Take-Home Tests
  • Student-Made Tests

These types of tests may take more time to create but they have the ability to be written so that students have to do more than memorize information. There is more information on this in the post.

The next suggestion is:

  • Projects Pre-Approved by the Teacher

This requires that students demonstrate mastery of the subject. This will require the student to create (a 21st century goal) and additional information is in the post, including a discussion of what this might look like.

The final suggestion is:

    • Revisions and Retests to Build Skillsets

    This section discusses what we may do to help out student build their skillsets through feedback and opportunities to construct accurate information.

    As you read this post you may begin to consider alternative ways to assess your students that help them with content retention.

    Rosemary Tyrrell, Ed.D.'s curator insight, March 24, 2014 1:46 PM

    As teachers today we are told that we must teach our students and help them construct "enduring understanding", providing them with the ability to transfer knowledge from one subject area to another subject area. We are also told that we should personalize education, requiring us to know the strengths and weaknesses and incorporate this into our lessons. And let's not forget that we must also assess our students. How can we make our assessments help students with content retention? This post focuses on this question, and provides five suggestions on ways to do this.

    The first three suggestions are:

    Tests Where Notes or Textbooks are PermittedTake-Home TestsStudent-Made Tests

    These types of tests may take more time to create but they have the ability to be written so that students have to do more than memorize information. There is more information on this in the post.

    The next suggestion is:

    Projects Pre-Approved by the Teacher

    This requires that students demonstrate mastery of the subject. This will require the student to create (a 21st century goal) and additional information is in the post, including a discussion of what this might look like.

    The final suggestion is:

    Revisions and Retests to Build Skillsets

    This section discusses what we may do to help out student build their skillsets through feedback and opportunities to construct accurate information.

    As you read this post you may begin to consider alternative ways to assess your students that help them with content retention.

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    What Students Remember Most About Teachers

    What Students Remember Most About Teachers | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it

    Image is from Mindshift post on FB.

    Dear Young Teacher Down the Hall,I saw you as you rushed passed me in the lunch room. Urgent. In a hurry to catch a bite before the final bell would ring calling all the students back inside.


    Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    So true and easy to forget amidst the alphabet of demands.
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    Why Mistakes Matter in Creating A Path For Learning

    Why Mistakes Matter in Creating A Path For Learning | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    American educators love to emphasize correct procedure, but cognitive science says that students learn better when you focus on their mistakes.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Publicly (but anonymously) share why mistakes are wrong and then the correct way to increase learning and resilience.
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    The definition of Combination Learning

    The definition of Combination Learning | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    The big idea of combination learning is shifting the focus from content to the process of learning.

    Combination Learning allows teachers and students to work together to “mash” bits and pieces of learning to design entirely unique and personalized learning scenarios. The result is a flexible, self-directed learning environment where the teacher acts as facilitator and mentor, and the student is at the center of–and entirely accountable for–their own progress and performance.

    It can be as simple or complex as the circumstances call for. It can be standards-based or open-ended; technology-based or based on in-person human interaction; project-based, game-based, rigorous, supportive, etc. In that way it is more of a shell or template for teachers and students to fill as necessary.

    Via Edumorfosis
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Thx Edumorphosis
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    Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, June 9, 12:12 PM
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    Jorge Luiz Sousa Rego's curator insight, June 12, 12:01 PM
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    Questioning That Deepens Comprehension

    Questioning That Deepens Comprehension | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Scaffold students' thinking about complex texts by asking what the text says, how it works, what it means, and what it inspires them to do.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Share your insight
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    Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD

    Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Six brain-based strategies to help kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder build confidence, engagement, and focus.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    ADHD is pn the rise.... even in the undiagnosed. Theese strategies can help. I love the personal "I noticed.." note

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    4 Key Characteristics Of Effective Teachers -

    4 Key Characteristics Of Effective Teachers - | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    4 Key Characteristics Of Effective Teachers by Dr. Jimmy Shaw and Nira Dale “Coaching and teaching–the process is one-in-the-same,” explains Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and former athletic coach, Dr. Jimmy Shaw.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    So concise: B1. Be clear about what you want 2. Give good feedback 3. Differentiate to meet a student's needs 4. Require Self-reflection and self-assessment. A great clarifier!!!!
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    The User's Manual To Design Thinking Your Teaching (Infographic)

    The User's Manual To Design Thinking Your Teaching (Infographic) | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    I have a confession to make. I've become obsessed with Design Thinking.
    It's gotten to the point where I "Design Thinking" everything. How do I
    Design Thinking my lunch? How do I Design Thinking my classroom phone
    policy? How do I Design Thinking teaching?

    Teaching? Yep. Let's do
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Very cool way of thinking about planning
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    7 Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners

    7 Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Most teachers struggle with students whose academic performance doesn't match their potential. When the usual approach doesn't work, try something different.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Yay! So many of these ideas make sense. They are worth a try
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    Debunked: 10 Common Myths About Our Visual Brains

    Debunked: 10 Common Myths About Our Visual Brains | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    We debunk 10 widely believed statements about visual perception and how we use our brains, such as the myth that we only use 10% of our brains.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Common Myths debunked
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    Experts warn against teaching to learning styles in K-12

    Experts warn against teaching to learning styles in K-12 | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it

    News, voices and jobs for education professionals. Optimized for your mobile phone.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Despite all evidence to the contrary, learning styles continue to persist. Here again is a compilation refuting them. As per UDL, present multiple ways.
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    Skills and competencies for knowmadic workers

    Skills and competencies for knowmadic workers | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it

    Richard Rowe from the Open Learning Exchange International once told me, the problem lies not only in identifying why education fails, but also in how to design successful solutions. Instead of outlining a recipe of solutions for education (which lies far beyond my scope) the approach offered here will be to enquire, explore and outline the conditions required to foster critical skills such as problem-solving, reflection, creativity, critical thinking, learning to learn, risk-taking, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. In this chapter, I discuss five trends that can be used to explore the conditions necessary to ensure “multi-skilled profiles” and “multi-contextual learning practices” for an expanded understanding of education. These five trends can be summarized as follows:

    The mismatch between formal education and the challenges of an innovation-based society (informal and flexible learning approaches);The shift from what we learn to how we learn (lifelong, self-learning, and learning to learn);The fluctuating relationship between digital technologies and content (ICT and critical thinking skills and new literacies);The changing conceptions of space-time and a lifelong learning environment (which is rarely time or context dependent); and,The development of soft skills (global, tacit, and social).
    Via Ramiro Aduviri Velasco, Gisela Martinez Hernandez, Edumorfosis
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    There are so many great ideas collected about what we really should be preparing our youth to do in their futures. This quote seems to embody it al.." Skills are essential; content is merely desirable." Among the skills so desperately needed are/will be those that computers cannot perform and emphasize not the WHAT we learn, but the HOW.These are the so-called soft skills that are rarely taught and which content acquisition sometimes extinguishes: questioning, exploring, critical thinking, knowledge and skills transference, social and interpersonal skills, self management and risk assessment. Education should be more heavily tilted to the HOW not the WHAT. 
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    How One Teacher Let Go of Control To Focus On Student-Centered Approaches

    How One Teacher Let Go of Control To Focus On Student-Centered Approaches | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Kristine Riley took the step towards student-centered learning by letting go of some of the controls she set in her classroom.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Letting go of control: giving Choice and Voice leads to invested learning
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    Research suggests that students may make more academic progress by focusing on task-oriented goals than on grades

    Research suggests that students may make more academic progress by focusing on task-oriented goals than on grades | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    If a student wants to earn an A in a class, the best way to do that might not involve concentrating on the grade at all.

    Instead, students should set their goals on the shorter-term, more tangible parts of a class -- committing to doing homework, showing up to a certain number of classes or dedicating a set time for exam preparation -- according to a working paper (abstract available here) from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    The paper’s authors measured two types of goal setting, performance based and task based. After surveying close to 4,000 college students in two field experiments, they found that performance-based goals -- setting a goal to earn a certain grade in the class used for the survey -- didn’t have a statistically significant effect on whether a student actually got that grade. But when students set their goals on the tasks required to earn those grades, they performed better over all, even though that wasn’t explicitly their goal.

    Via Edumorfosis
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Thx Edumofosis! Small goals are easier to attain & then add them up to the end goal grade
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    How to Be a Lifelong Learner

    How to Be a Lifelong Learner | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    The instructor of the world’s most popular MOOC explores how to change your life through being a lifelong learner in this Greater Good post by Kira Newman.

    Via Chris Carter
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Thx Chris Carter! A good read for my Study Skills students. A very nice synopsis of the benefits of learning with some fresh facts (only 11 minutes of walking helps! I have a chance!) that may make it more accessible. 
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    Chris Carter's curator insight, July 12, 11:56 AM
    Get past simply teaching content. Guide students in discovering the importance of learning.
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    Questioning That Deepens Comprehension

    Questioning That Deepens Comprehension | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Scaffold students' thinking about complex texts by asking what the text says, how it works, what it means, and what it inspires them to do.
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    Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation

    Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Encouraging student commitment ultimately brings better results than the external motivations of reward or punishment. These seven self-persuasion strategies will get you started.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Always wondered why we built behavior systems on extrinsics like tokens when research always pointed to intrinsics as preferable.This article offers strategies to take Pink's ideas and help the intrinsic grow in students. Love it!
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    Teaching a Class With Big Ability Differences

    Teaching a Class With Big Ability Differences | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Techniques for meeting the needs of students with diverse abilities and interests.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    A wealth of techniques and tools to differentiate learning and personalize access to the curriculum
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    27 tools for diverse learners

    27 tools for diverse learners | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Something remarkable has happened in the past decade. New discoveries about the workings of the learning brain have converged with advancements in educational technology to finally make possible the kinds of flexible learning environments that students need to prepare for their future.

    According to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, flexibility is key because it allows educators to accommodate their students’ natural variability in learning styles and preferences. While UDL is not just about technology, this idea is at the heart of how technology can make personalized learning a reality.

    Neuroscience has revealed that learners show a great deal of variability in three key areas: how they engage with learning (through the brain’s affective network), how they best perceive and process information (through the recognition network), and how they are best able to respond and show their understanding (through the strategic network). To account for learner variability in each of these areas, CAST developed UDL Guidelines that call on educators to provide options in the form of multiple means of engagement with learning, multiple means of representation for information, and multiple means of action and expression through which learners can demonstrate their understanding. The ultimate goal of these guidelines is to develop expert learners who are purposeful, motivated, resourceful, knowledgeable, strategic and goal directed.

    Read on to find out about a number of free and low-cost UDL-aligned apps and websites that you can use to make their learning environments more flexible and personalized. Or, if you prefer to view the list visually, take a look at our Pinterest board.

    Via Edumorfosis
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Thx Edumorfosis.it  A great summary of tools to afford a variety of learners ways to access learning and show what they know.
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    Evaluation Within Project-Based Learning

    Evaluation Within Project-Based Learning | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Because PBL is about more than learning content, PBL teachers should investigate and experiment with multi-model strategies for assessing their students' learning skills.

    Via Sarantis Chelmis, Ivon Prefontaine, PhD, Stephania Savva, Ph.D, Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Dean J. Fusto, Chris Carter
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Thx Chris Carter! This is the piece I have always struggled with, the overall project grade...how do you grade a creative product like a painting? This confirms my feelings that you grade the skills and processes that went into the creation.
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    Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 1, 6:09 PM
    I used rubrics and continuously edited them. I shared them with students so they could learn how to assess their progress and give me feedback about their learning and the rubrics. Rubrics are an opportunity for continuous conversations about teaching and learning.
    Chris Carter's curator insight, April 2, 8:00 PM
    Evaluating the steps and processes, as well as the final product, allows rigor and guidance for students. An important reality is that rigor need not be for high-stakes grades. Frequent, low- or no-stakes formative assessment can tap into the power of retrieval-based learning while PBL creates the opportunity for Design Thinking implementation. These two concepts can be realized in the evaluation of PBL.
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    4 Tips on Teaching Problem Solving (From a Student)

    4 Tips on Teaching Problem Solving (From a Student) | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    A student shares her insights into the most important skill you can teach. (Hint: It’s not perseverance.)
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Make it real and not easy and teach them how to grapple with issues to try to understand as per a student. Well said.  
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    21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever

    21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    It's 2017. Communication is changing fast (my 7-yr old daughter and I just exchanged Snaps while I am in Chicago and she is outside of Philadelphia in different time zones, with real-time interaction). Collaboration has evolved to
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Really great way to elevate the thinking about teaching beyond facts/content. We need to view the content through the skills lens. The end goal should not be the facts of Chemistry but rather the communication skills, thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and collaborative skills used to make sense of it and how it applies to our world. The link to the BC(British Colombia) curriculum in the comments is priceless for adding social emotional, cultural and social responsibility portions of the development of of an adult citizen. 
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    17 Ideas to Help Combat Learned Helplessness

    17 Ideas to Help Combat Learned Helplessness | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Author-consultant Sarah Tantillo identifies 17 common teaching actions that can lead to student inertia & learned helplessness and suggests better alternatives.
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    Many great techniques that I regularly use I can improve on AND this article provides the ways to change for the better.
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    Integrate quizzes Into videos to ensure Active Learning

    Integrate quizzes Into videos to ensure Active Learning | Special Science Classroom | Scoop.it
    Making your online course engaging for learners is therefore very important. Videos are becoming increasingly important as part of eLearning courses. They offer a potential for active engagement with learners, and are therefore critical to successful pedagogy. The interactivity that a video offers is superior to other communication means. To enhance interactivity and improve learner experience, integrate quizzes into videos.

    Well-designed evaluation mechanisms are a critical element to ensuring active learning. Bloom’s Taxonomy is the most followed learning evaluation system in education today. This taxonomy treats knowledge, attitude, and skills as 3 distinct goals of an effective education system. Quizzes can be designed to test for learners progress in these three general areas.

    Via Edumorfosis
    Kathy Lynch's insight:
    lots of good reasons to use quick quizzes in class and on videos, particularly with those with attention and memory challenges.
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