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Module 3: Assessment. Adolescent Literacy – Professional Development. Unit 2, Session 1 . Session 1 Questions & Objectives. Session 1 Key Questions In what ways do we need to shift our thinking about the purpose of assessment?

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Module 3: Assessment

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Module 3 assessment

Module 3: Assessment

Adolescent Literacy – Professional Development

Unit 2, Session 1

Session 1 questions objectives

Session 1 Questions & Objectives

  • Session 1 Key Questions

    • In what ways do we need to shift our thinking about the purpose of assessment?

    • How can we design assessments that better measure disciplinary literacy?

    • What steps can we take to include our students in the assessment process?

  • Session 1 Objectives

    • Participants will understand the foundational concepts related to formative assessment in the classroom.

    • Participants will generate and try out teaching ideas related to incorporating formative assessment in classroom teaching.

Opening activity

Opening Activity

Thinking about school

Thinking About School

Thinking about assessment

Thinking About Assessment

Thinking about testing

Thinking About Testing

Balancing assessment

Balancing Assessment



  • Review the reading, “Assessment Manifesto: A Call for the Development of Balanced Assessment Systems.”

  • Engage in the Text Rendering Experience to address important ideas in Stiggins’ work.

Knowledge and skills

Knowledge AND Skills

  • We must distinguish between knowledge and skill:

    • Disciplinary Knowledge

      • Essential information and ideas from the discipline that are being taught

    • Disciplinary Skill

      • The use of disciplinary knowledge in listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities



  • Work with a partner and exchange the sample assessments you brought with you to the session.

  • What is it measuring?

    a. Content area knowledge

    b. Content area skill

    c. Both content knowledge AND skill

  • Discuss ways in which the assessments might be enhanced to provide clearer data about student strengths and needs in the subject.

Three literacy goals

Three Literacy Goals

  • Increase overall language proficiency to prepare students for the high-level literacy skills expected in college and the workplace.

  • Challenge students who are already language-proficient to meet increasingly difficult standards.

  • Assist students who are not language-proficient to acquire necessary skills and knowledge.

Understand the elements of literacy

Understand the Elements of Literacy

Executive Function (Regulates Input and Output)

Language based goals listening

Language-Based Goals: Listening

  • Overall Listening Goal

    • Students will comprehend vocabulary, semantics, and syntax within oral discourse, as well as pragmatic language skills such as tone-of-voice and other non-verbal communication that inflects listening comprehension.

  • Example Disciplinary Literacy Listening Skill

    • Students will comprehend the vocabulary, main ideas, and supporting points or examples from a lecture or other oral presentation.

Language based goals speaking

Language-Based Goals: Speaking

  • Overall Speaking Goal

    • Students will express their knowledge and ideas in discourse that uses specific vocabulary, correct syntax, discipline specific modes of discourse, and appropriate pragmatic language skills.

  • Example of Disciplinary Literacy Speaking Skill

    • Students will structure an oral presentation that reflects the habits of thinking of a given discipline (e.g., scientific method; mathematical question and explanation of approach to solving it; comparison of interpretations of an historical event).

Language based goals reading

Language-Based Goals: Reading

  • Overall Reading Goal

    • Students will fluently read and comprehend texts of many types with complexity appropriate to their age/grade level.

  • Example of Disciplinary Literacy Reading Skill

    • Students will comprehend the main ideas and supporting points or examples from a text at their reading level.

Language based goals writing

Language-Based Goals: Writing

  • Overall Writing Goal

    • Students will write clearly about what they know using specific vocabulary, correct syntax, and following accepted conventions for grammar, mechanics, and spelling, as well as for specific modes of discourse.

  • Example of Disciplinary Literacy Writing Skill

    • Students will produce a piece of writing that reflects both the habits of thinking and the writing conventions of a given discipline (e.g., argument about a literary character with a quotation supporting the point, an explication of the quote, and commentary about how this interpretation affects understanding of the text as a whole).

How goals lead to assessment

How Goals Lead to Assessment

Grading vs assessment of learning

Grading vs. Assessment of Learning



  • Examine the sample assessments in the Participant’s Resource Packet.

  • Work with a partner to:

    • Identify what proficiency standards the sample assessments/questions are assessing. (Keep in mind the ideas from the reading “Grading vs. Assessment of Learning Outcomes: What’s the Difference?”).

    • Identify some of the pre-requisite sub-skills required to perform successfully on the assessment.

  • Discuss:

    • How could this assessment be used to guide future instruction:

      • For students who performed poorly?

      • For students who performed proficiently?

Including students in the process

Including Students in the Process

“Assessments must move beyond merely informing the instructional decisions of teachers and school leaders to informing decisions made by students too.”

--Stiggins, 2008

If assessments guide instruction then

If Assessments Guide Instruction Then

Goal setting with students

Goal Setting with Students

  • Include students in the conversation about disciplinary literacy goals for knowledge and skills.

    • What the goals are

    • Why the goals are important

    • How students will be taught to reach them

    • How students will be assessed along the way (formatively) and at the end (summatively)



  • Think about what you currently do AND what you could do in your class to include students in the assessment process.

    • At the goal setting level

    • During instruction (formative assessment)

    • After summative assessment

For next time

For Next Time

  • Try redesigning one of your current assessments following the ideas discussed in the Carnegie Mellon resource “Grading vs. Assessment of Learning Outcomes: What’s the Difference?”, and come to the next session prepared to talk about what you did and how it went.

  • Take some time to write down your goals for one of your classes in terms of the knowledge and skills you expect students to achieve by the end of the year.

  • Take 10 minutes in one of your classes to ask your students to brainstorm what they think are the goals they are expected to achieve in your class. Collect the brainstorms and read them over.

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