Rick had quite a bit to share about what research indicates makes for effective assessment. (Hint: more formative assessment--not graded, but rich-in-feedback--and less summative assessment--which would be graded.) And, truth be told, since I've read quite a few things Rick has published, I wasn't at all surprised to hear him talking about this, and I really agreed with him.
But there was one thing Rick shared in this presentation that really resonated with me, and I've continued rolling this around and around in my head:
The question teachers need to ask is not
"What is the standard?"
It is "What evidence will we tolerate
for students to show their learning?"
This is not an easy question to answer. I think that part of the problem is that different teachers will have different levels of tolerance for different assessment vehicles. Perhaps not every teacher would agree that a podcast is a valid way for the students to show what they have learned. Or perhaps some teachers might argue that a podcast is the only way to show what they have learned? Or maybe, if we really mean it when we say that we believe students are unique individuals, we might have to allow multiple assessment vehicles for students to show what they have learned?
This is NOT to say that every student has to have a personalized lesson plan, or that teachers need to accept any evidence of learning to meet the standard. We have to decide what we will tolerate as evidence: what may students do for this particular learning target that will show that they understand it? This begins with defining what we will mean by "mastery."
|This may be my favorite slide in this whole presentation.|
The trouble is, different teachers will have different definitions of what constitutes mastery, what constitutes meeting the standard. We will need to have conversations amongst educators to determine what evidences would be acceptable. Here is another slide he shared to further unpack what this conversation might look like:
|Carrying the "mastery" definition a bit further...|
I am thinking about having this kind of meeting with my colleagues to develop some communal clarity; I hope you will do the same! What other questions should we be asking as we have these conversations with colleagues?