This week, as part of the process of developing our individual classroom projects, we’ll focus on designing assessments. Grant Wiggins‘ and Jay McTighe‘s book, Understanding by Design (UdD), has had an enormous impact on curriculum development in the U.S. K-12 educational system. I’d like us to consider adopting some key UdD approaches as we work on our projects. Our first order of business, then, is to clarify our project goals.
- What key skills, understandings, and/or attitudes do you want your students to possess as the result of this project?
- Secondly, what would serve as evidence of that mastery? This is where the assessment piece comes in. What performance tasks, projects, quizzes, self-assessments, observations or other evidence will show what your students know and are able to do?
- And lastly, what learning experiences could provide your students with the opportunity to gain that competency? This, then, would be the web 2.0 environment you would use.
As I’ve noted in a previous post:
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (Understanding by Design) hold that the development of goals and assessments (the ‘backwards design’ model) prior to crafting syllabi and classroom activities is essential for effective learning to take place. In addition, they suggest collaborative design, sharing and regular feedback from peers as well as from students, in order to make appropriate adjustments to instruction and curricula. Their work has had a significant impact on K-12 education and as evidenced-based learning outcomes become part of the higher educational landscape, it will be increasingly important for us to consider how, what and why we assess our students, our programs and our peers.
In our required readings we have quite a few examples showing how these socially mediated technologies have been used to support student learning, as well as teacher reflections on their efficacy. What questions come to mind as you look at this week’s materials?
Over the next month I would like us to devote a portion of our class meetings to sharing progress on and questions about the design, implementation and evaluation of our projects so that together, we can reach our goals. We’ll talk in more detail about this on Friday. See you then!
And don’t forget, we will be participating in the Open Video Alliance’s Wireside Chat with Lawrence Lessig this week on the 25th from 6-7:30 p.m.
UCONN’s Institute for Teaching & Learning’s Director of Instructional Design and Development, Desmond McCaffrey has shared with us a chart that matches a variety of testing instruments and methods to Bloom’s original taxonomy so that you can have a sense of the various assessment options available to you. Thanks to Desmond for sharing this with us and to Catherine for passing it along.