Measuring Student Learning  

In leadership meetings as well as in sessions with all teachers, the problem of determining what students are really learning has been discussed. Teachers are at very different places with respect to this problem. Leaders understand the need to restructure questions to elicit student thinking rather than one word answers. We are also wondering whether assessment questions work well built into the activity packet. Teachers typically use the activity packet as "class work". It is too involved to grade completely, and students often work together on the packet. A separate sheet that asks in depth questions based on the completed packet might work well.

Notes from the evaluator

The number of packets already existing, plus those in development is much larger than the number considered for the original evaluation plan when we suggested developing scoring rubrics for the assessment component of your curriculum development efforts.
  • Packets have been adapted and altered, so that initial assessment components included may become relatively peripheral. I don't want to discourage the push toward adaptation of the packets for the sake of pushing certain forms of assessments.
  • Elaborate scoring rubrics are likely to "overshoot" the evidence that is likely to be produced by student responses. We may not be able to make such complex judgements on the basis of work available.
  • It is less important to produce and deliver specific rubrics for all the packets than to spend time this year building a group understanding of the learning goals that this project is focused on, and getting teachers talking and thinking about their existing assessment practices.
  • I propose that you and the Center Directors *not* put your energies into modifying assessment components or creating scoring rubrics for the other packets this year. Instead, I would like to focus on building up a more robust shared understanding in the program of the relationship between the specific content goals of each packet and the more general goals expressed in the MCLGs and the 2061 Standards.
  • The heart of this process for you should really be determining what standards are most centrally relevant to the unit.
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