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Illustrations of Assessment Procedures

时间:2011-05-27 22:32来源:知行网www.zhixing123.cn 编辑:麦田守望者

"Assessment of student learning requires the use of a number of techniques for measuring student achievement. But assessment is more than a collection of techniques. It is a process, a systematic process, that plays a significant role in effective teaching. It begins with the identification of learning goals and ends with a judgment concerning the extent to which those goals have been attained." Robert Linn and Norman Gronlund, Measurement and Assessment in Teaching, 1995.

In order to assess student learning one must have a vision of the whole process of teaching. It starts with curricular goals, extends through instructional planning, actual teaching methods, and the organization and management of the classroom. Just as a good teacher uses a combination of teaching methods, a combination of assessment tools is essential to effective teaching. There is a place for objective tests, standardized tests, essays, research projects, term papers, book reports, observational techniques, performance-based assessment, and self-report. The quote above refers to not only the 'number of techniques' but also to the 'systematic process' that an effective teacher uses to assess student learning. In teaching any one set of skills it is necessary to systematically plan the type of assessment that is appropriate at each stage of the student's learning of those skills. This gives the teacher insight into how to proceed to so that students have optimal chance for success.
I have taught for 22 years. I have taught computer science for 15 years. In comparing the types of assessment tools I used before entering the Masters program and the types of assessment tools I now use, I can say that in some ways I have come a long way and in others I received affirmation that I was using effective tools. The approach to teaching computer science has changed much in the 15 years I have been teaching it. When I started, programming was the main and, in many instances only emphasis. I used a combination of objective tests, worksheets, and programming assignments to assess student learning. In the programming courses I now teach (C++ and AP Computer Science) I find I still use objective tests, worksheets, and programming assignments, but I use those tools to focus on much higher levels of thinking than I did before. In addition, I use essay tests, self-reporting techniques, and specification writing as well. As the emphasis on programming diminished and the use of the computer as a tool became the focus of most computer classes, the types of learning objectives changed. Computer science is still skill based, but the skills are now based in the use of different programs: word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software, searching the Internet, evaluating information on the Internet, and writing World Wide Web pages. This shift has affected my objectives, teaching methods, and of course, assessment. I now use a more sophisticated form of performance-based assessment. For example, when writing a page for the World Wide Web the content a student or group of students can choose is very open. Students can investigate 'extreme' sports, 'special' effects (e.g.. northern lights, claymation), an inventor, an artist, a musical style, etc. The assessment for a project like the one above needs to take into account the content as well as the technical competency of the individual or group of students. I try to focus more on technical competency in beginning assignments. When students have mastered the technical I put more emphasis on the higher level thinking processes that should be reflected in choice of topic, clarity of purpose (inform, persuade, etc.), choice of verbal, visual and audio support, etc.

When I start to teach a new unit one of the beginning techniques I use is to ask questions, this assessment tool lets me know what students know and what they might have misconceptions about concerning the topic. After I introduce initial concepts I design an activity to allow students to practice the use of those skills in an unpressured atmosphere. I observe students work, encourage students to discover more on their own, and intervene when appropriate. We continue this way (new ideas, practice) until students have a basic skill level. We then do several activities, each one more challenging, using higher level thinking skills than the one before. During and after each activity I give individual students and/or groups feedback, usually on a rubric. Finally, students achieve the learning objective for that unit. During the learning process and after mastery I have students self-assess and give me that feedback via journal writings.

Periodic feedback to parents is important also. At Caravel Academy report cards are given to students every 9 weeks, for four marking periods per year. Numerical grades and short written comments are recorded. In the middle of every marking period, progress reports are issued for every student. They also consist of a numerical average and a short written comment. If a student receives below a 76% (our equivalent of a C) on a major assignment or a student fails to turn in an assignment I send home a "Parent Communication Form". Caravel Academy has developed these forms (with pressure sensitive copies) to communicate with parents. The teacher checks the reason for the form from a list (no assignment turned in, late assignment, low score, etc.) and gives a copy to the student (and a copy to the office). The student brings the form back signed by the deadline (usually 2 days after receiving the form) or a detention is issued. If a student's average falls below a 76% that student is assigned to 'Mandatory Study Hall' for the next two weeks. A student reports to Mandatory Study Hall (there is a separate space for different subjects) during the last period of the day (an activity period). In Mandatory Study Hall students receive help in the subjects in which they have an average below a C. Students that I assign to Mandatory Study Hall come to my computer lab to get extra help from me and advice on how to work for success in the computer field. I also meet with students after school or allow them to use my room (if I have an extra seat) during their regular study hall so that they can have extra time to work. If a student is having difficulty in my class (or is missing assignments regularly) I usually follow up the Parent Communication Forms with a phone call. This allows me to discuss the plan for success that the student needs to follow with the parent. Caravel Academy is a private, college prep school. Students (for the most part) want to succeed and are appreciative of offered help. Computer projects are designed with student's interests in mind and computer use is very motivating so most of my students are eager to succeed and will work hard to achieve mastery.

Below are some examples of assessment items I have used:
Rubric for Electronic Journal entries
Rubric for 'The Name Book' a presentation using Microsoft Power Point
Rubric for GWBASIC programming project (graphics and animation)
Rubric for Autobiographical World Wide Web page
Rubric for Famous Person World Wide Web page
Sample objective test for GWBASIC programming
Sample objective test for C++ programming
Sample word processing performance pre-test
Sample test on the creation and use of a data base
Sample essay question for C++ programming
 

Rubric for Electronic Journal Entries

In each of my classes I ask students to keep an electronic journal. Once a week students write in the journal. They might summarize the topics we have learned in class or summarize an article that they have been assigned to read on a current computer related topic or discuss how work has been progressing on a particular project we are working on in class. They must also include their reactions to the ideas discussed. I use the rubric below to evaluate each journal entry. I also use the journal entries as a means of private communication between myself and the student. The journals also provide me with a measure of how well the ideas were learned by the students or how engaging the projects associated with particular topics were. Click here to see sample journal entries.

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标签(Tag):Illustrations
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