Changing the ways that you assess in your classroom is a hard step for many teachers. The process outlined in this post gives you a simple, and effective method that you can implement in your classroom today.

Assessment today is very rigid. More often than not, it is done on paper and pencil. This fact does not provide flexibility in location, and differentiation of the task. Once the students are finished, they have to wait to get results. Teachers need time to break down these tests and determine what needs to happen in regards to interventions or enrichments. These factors are necessary to sound education, but can cause delays in learning with students and in worst case scenarios, build holes in students education. 

Standardized testing has a strong foothold in education which is good and bad. It allows us to measure the success of faculty members and facilities, but it takes time and is often the focus in our schools. These items are out of the control of many and should be something that education does not focus on.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzSSTwQ_jtV2RTBfaUhPMk1UeFE/view

The future of assessment is found in creation. Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in unique ways. These demonstrations will not only show their knowledge of the material taught, it pulls in student voice and choice, student interests, and technology. This sounds like a glamorous task, so where can you begin. I will break this down into 4 easy steps.


Teaching

In order to assess material, you must first deliver material. Regardless of where you are in creating future ready curriculum, implementing future ready assessment can occur. These assessments are not based on what kind of unit they have delivered to them, they are based on future ready skills aligned with standards and benchmarks.

Tools

In education, there are many tools to choose from. The two that this type of assessment has been catered to are by far the two most popular. Chromebook's and iPad’s are the two leaders in educational technology. If your district uses something different, you still have the opportunity to look at the scripts and modify them to fit the needs you have. Simply align the product the students are creating with the tools you have access to.

Other tools found with this type of assessment includes Google Apps for Education. You have full access to materials, however, if you are not a GAFE district, you will not have access to copy them for yourself.

Scripts

This is the meat and potatoes to future ready assessment. This section of the assessment holds all of the magic. As you begin to look through these resources understand a couple of things.

  • Your students will not know how to do this
    • Students today are great communicators, not creators
  • Take a little time to teach them how the apps work
    • Doing this before hand removes many headaches
  • Walk them through how apps work together
  • Stay hands off
    • Allow the students to be themselves

So, once you have done the above things, you are ready to let your students go. You as the teacher have two options:

  1. You can choose a script for all students to do
  2. You can allow students to choose

Apple

Google 

Set firm timeframes for your students and hold them to it. This is not meant to be a chaos fest, it is meant to give students the most amount of freedom, with you still being able to assess content.   

Rubric

The final step of any assessment is the measures. The rubric designed and developed is general enough to be used for any subject, but also can drive down the assess the content knowledge the student it demonstrating. This rubric can, and should be catered to each and every assignment that you have your students do. 

To get your own copy of this document, click here. This tool should be copied for each student. Here is how to best use this tool:

  • Make a copy for each student
  • Fill out the information pertaining to the assignment
  • Drop this file into the students portfolio (Google Drive)

WHY?

Students assessed in this fashion show many benefits. Since they personalize and own the project they create, they will remember more of the material. They are analyzing, creating, and evaluating their knowledge to create a sound project. These elements are the highest rankings on Blooms taxonomy and in quadrant D. Make no mistake that these methods are cognitively, academically, and future sound.

Students are hooked from the beginning. The second you tell them that you will not be doing your unit 5 test and instead be creating a project using iPad’s, they will be all in. Engagement will shoot through the roof as they begin and it will sustain until the end of the unit. Feel free to preface the unit by showing students what they will be doing to demonstrate their knowledge. 

You are differentiating from the beginning. No matter if you choose a script for them, or let them choose, your provide them the freedom to create what they like. Students of all levels will find a way to demonstrate their knowledge with the tools provided.

You are still teaching. Although this is an assessment, students are still learning sound technology workflow skills, and proper creation techniques. They will look at their technology differently from this lesson onward.