Learning Goal and Video:

This first video is an introduction to and overview of the six modules included in the course: Building an Assessment Plan.

This module focuses on the elements of comprehensive classroom assessment and provides an opportunity to practice identifying possible evidence related to a specific outcome or standard. It will help you formulate questions to focus further study and introduce the text, Making Classroom Assessment Work, 3rd Edition.

*Note: There is a text transcript below the video.

Module 1 - Building an Assessment Plan

 

 

Anne Davies:

In this first module, we're going to talk about the foundation for classroom assessment. What's the important terminology you need to understand? What are the research pieces you might want to pay attention to and get ready for the important work of building a plan? The reason why this is important work is it makes your life easier as a teacher and it helps students learn. Your task right now is to reflect on what you currently know and believe about classroom assessment.

Sandra Herbst:

In module two, you're going to come to understand how you need to begin with your curricular documents, your standards documents, so that you're clear about those content standards and outcomes that you're responsible for along with the process standards and outcomes. The reason why this is important is because in these times we don't get to decide what it is that we teach. We need to think about what our jurisdiction is providing us in these documents and a way to get started is to dig into them, cut them apart, lay them out, sort them in a way that makes sense for you, and that's where you're going to start. You're going to start by pulling out those documents, opening them up, (don't forget to read the front matter) and then think about the ways that you're going to organize your standards and outcomes in a way that works for you. When you get to the end of the classroom assessment process, you're going to have to put a mark on some kind of report card regardless of the way that you report out, and so what you need to do is you need to begin with the end in mind and this is what it means to begin with the end in mind, so that when you're actually at the end, you can feel confident that you've done the work that you needed to do.

Anne Davies:

In module number three, you're going to think through reliable and valid evidence of learning. The great thing about this process is when you get to that place where you have to make an evaluation, make a professional judgment, you're ready. You have all the evidence that you need to ensure that your professional judgment is reliable and valid. You can be confident in moving forward.

Sandra Herbst:

In module four, you're going to think about ways that you can describe quality and proficiency, not only for your students but for yourself as well. When you think about getting ready to teach and preparing students to be successful, we need to start first with ourselves. I need to know, for example, what a term like justify means. It's also powerful for our students because what it allows is for students, and in particular the ones who struggle the most, it's allowed them to see what has been invisible for so long. And so being able to describe quality and proficiency helps all learners learn more. Now that you know that quality and proficiency are important, here are a few things that you can do. You can turn to your colleagues and ask them questions. You can take a look at student samples and sets of students samples to inform you. You can even go back into your documents, those documents that your jurisdictions produce, and figure out what that means for your subject area and your grade level.

Anne Davies:

This is the point at which you actually have to make that professional judgment and report it out in the symbol that's required in your jurisdiction. So what this means is you look at the evidence of learning from your students and you compare that to the definition of quality and proficiency and figure out, "How close have they got?" Do they in fact know what they need to know? Do they understand what they need to understand? Can they do what they need to do and articulate what they need to articulate? That's our job as teachers to make that informed professional judgment. That's what this module's all about. Your job right now is to actually think about how you're going to engage in this process. How are you going to pull those pieces of evidence together and how are you going to report out using the symbols that are required?

Sandra Herbst:

In module six, you're going to consider the ways in which working together is better for you and better for your students. Anne has often used the phrase 'Together is better' and it really is true. So instead of me taking a look by myself individually at everything that I need to teach, I can work with valued colleagues to not only lighten the load but to learn more. Some of the things that you can consider to make this happen are to reach out to colleagues, perhaps in your own school or your own system, or other schools and systems, connect with your school leaders and ask them might they know of like-minded people that they can pair you with. The other thing that you can do is use really practical protocols so that you can take a look at your curriculum, your standards document, and also student work, because when you engage in these kinds of strategies, it does allow you to move from isolation to collaboration.