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Talk About Assessment: Program Planning with the End in Mind. NESA Winter Training Institute New Delhi, January 30-31, 2010. Damian Cooper (905) 823-6298 firstname.lastname@example.org. Session Outcomes. Review the principles and processes of “backward planning”
Talk About Assessment: Program Planning with the End in Mind NESA Winter Training Institute New Delhi, January 30-31, 2010 Damian Cooper (905) 823-6298 email@example.com
Session Outcomes • Review the principles and processes of “backward planning” • Apply these to elements of our own programs of study
The Big Ideas of Classroom Assessment • 2. Assessment must be planned and purposeful.
Why is “Backward Planning” an essential skill for all teachers? • Time • Changing mission of schools • Curriculum overload • Differentiation • Excellence
Changing Goals Mean
Changing Goals Range of Competent Achievement
Program Planning and Unit Design • Messy learning • Inquiry • Design down • Peer review • Field test • Refinement
DesignDown Planning “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
“Backward Design” Program Planning Stage 1: Identify targeted understandings Stage 2: Determine appropriate assessment of those understandings Stage 3: Plan learning experiences and instruction that make such understanding possible Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
“Backward Design” Program Planning Stage 1: Identify targeted understandings Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
Plan Backward from What’s Essential… Worth being familiar with Important to know and do Enduring understandings Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
What is a “Big Idea/Enduring Understanding”? • Not a topic or concept e.g “conflict” BUT • A generalization that • is broad in scope • is fundamental for a deep understanding of a given subject • usually identifies a relationship between 2 or more topics or concepts e.g. “Conflict is essential to fiction because it engages the reader’s emotions.”
Big Ideas/Enduring Understandings • have lasting value/transfer • are at the heart of the discipline • require “uncoverage” (abstract or often-misunderstood ideas) • are embedded in factual knowledge, skills and activities • may be expressed as statements or as “essential questions”
Topics Compared to Essential Questions Consider how these “topics” differ from the corresponding INTU questions:
A question is essential when it: • causes genuine and relevant inquiry into the big ideas and core content; • provokes deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more questions; • requires students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support their ideas, and justify their answers; • stimulates vital, on-going rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, and prior lessons; • sparks meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences; • naturally recurs, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations and subjects. Grant Wiggins, 2008
Which of the following are Big Ideas/ EnduringUnderstandings/Essential Questions? • Where we live affects how we live. • The objective of this activity is to identify who committed a crime and provide evidence to successfully prosecute the suspect. • What are the mouth parts of a grasshopper called? • Mathematical relationships are everywhere in the real world. These relationships are represented in a variety of ways: words, equations, tables, graphs.
What is an “Essential Skill”? • A skill that is fundamental to student success in a given subject domain • May be demonstrated across a wide range of units within a year/course, throughout an entire year/course, as well as from year to year e.g. problem-solving
Which of the following are “Essential Skills?” • Draw conclusions & make judgements based on a text • Count backwards from 100,000 in tens • Use qualitative & quantitative data to understand patterns and trends in the social sciences • Identify the mouth parts of a grasshopper
Identifying Big Ideas/Enduring Understandings & Essential Skills(refer to template #2) • Select one unit • Identify 1 or 2 Big Ideas/Enduring Understandings/Essential Questions to anchor the unit • Identify 1 or 2 Essential Skills to anchor the unit
“Backward Design” Program Planning Stage 2: Determine appropriate assessment of those understandings “What evidence would show ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that students have achieved the desired understandings?” Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
Assessment of Learning “Assessment of learning includes those tasks that are designed to determine how much learning has occurred after a significant period of instruction. The data from such assessments is often used to determine report card grades.
Assessment for Learning “Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting students’ learning. It thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence.” Black, Wiliam et al. 2004
Sampling…the key to managing assessment • Teachers teach far more and students learn far more than can ever be assessed and evaluated • Good assessment of learning design involves identifying a critical sample of student work from which valid inferences can be made about all that has been learned • This critical sample becomes the body of evidence that will be graded and reported upon
How much evidence is “enough” for grading and reporting? In other words… How do we ensure that the body of evidence selected for grading and reporting in a given subject or course is a valid sample?
No diagnostic evidence Includes a variety of modes to allow for differences in learning style (write, do, say) Includes multiple (3+)pieces of evidence for each learning cluster Provides evidence of the essential learning in the subject Tasks represent polished work: Not practices or early tries Feedback has occurred previously and been implemented What are the requirements of a “valid sample”?
Triangulation of Data: Classroom Assessment Performance task Valid & Reliable Picture of Student Achievement Oral defense/ conference Written test data
Plan Backward from What’s Essential… Worth being familiar with Assessment Types Traditional quizzes & tests -paper/pencil Performance Tasks & Projects -open-ended -complex -authentic Oral Assessments -conferences -interviews -oral questionning Important to know and do Enduring understandings Adapted from Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
Identify the set of critical assessment tasks Agree upon the relative weighting of each task Establish the criteria by which each task will be assessed Develop common, high quality scoring tools that capture the essential indicators of quality performance Periodically engage in moderation of student work Collect banks of exemplars, several for each level, for each task Grade/course teams need to collaborate to…
Performance Assessment “A variety of tasks and situations in which students are given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and to thoughtfully apply knowledge, skills, and habits of mind in a variety of contexts. These assessments often occur over time and result in a tangible product or observable performance…. They sometimes involve students working with others.” Marzano, Assessing Student Outcomes, 1993
Time to Talk About Assessment • Discuss what essential learning in this economics course demand a performance assessment such as the G7 simulation.
Matching Assessments with Essential Learnings • Still using template 2, identify a possible unit culminating task that will require students to demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea(s) and Essential Skill(s) • Identify smaller assessments that prepare students for success on the culminating task
Matching Curriculum Targets with Assessment Tasks Peer Review • Use the criteria listed on “What Is an Enduring Understanding?” & “What Is an Essential Skill?” to critique the Stage 1 work of your peers • Stage 2: Examine the match between the curriculum and the assessment tasks. Will the assessment tasks provide conclusive evidence of the essential learning?
addresses essential learning presents students with an engaging challenge requiring persistence requires students to apply their learning in a new way is appropriate to all students requires students to engage in problem-solving and decision-making where possible, imitates “real-world” tasks identifies clear assessment criteria provides for individual accountability Checklist for a Well-Designed Performance Task
Designing a Culminating Task(refer to Template #3) • Using template 3, create an in-depth plan for the unit culminating task including: • a detailed description of the task • 2-3 processes & products that will provide evidence of essential learning (include assessment strategies, assessment tools, & assessment criteria)
Beware the cult of measurement! • What can be quantified? • knowledge of terms • knowledge of formulas • simple skill acquisition • What must be measured qualitatively? • complex understanding • skills of argumentative discourse • skills of problem-solving and inquiry Marking schemes Rubrics
Matching Assessment to Curriculum Targets Assessment Types Traditional quizzes & tests -paper/pencil Performance Tasks & Projects -open-ended -complex -authentic Oral Assessments -conferences -interviews -oral questionning Worth being familiar with Important to know and do Enduring understandings Rubrics Adapted from Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design
“Backward Design” Program Planning Stage 3: Plan learning experiences and instruction that make such understanding possible What learning experiences and instruction will promote understanding? What prerequisite (enabling) knowledge and skill must be learned if understanding is to occur (and the performance is to succeed)? Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design