I chose to look at Lori’s resource, ePortfolio rubric. I followed the URL and played around on the site a bit. I found that you can’t edit criteria directly on their site, BUT, I also found you can copy, paste, and edit their rubrics freely. That makes it a valuable resource in and of itself because 1) you have a time considered, developed rubric resource that could conceivably help you plan a learning experience, but also because 2) it’s a big timesaver. It takes a considerable amount of time to make a high quality, effective and meaningful rubric! I agree with Lori completely, the rubric is clear and concise and could be adapted pretty easily for any age group. I also agree with Lori that the criteria should start with Exemplary, then work down the scale to the right. The highest level of achievement should be at the top left – that’s where start reading, we want to be as positive as we can. We want our students to assume we anticipate they’ll do well and anything we can do to contribute to that support and encouragement we should absolutely be doing on a regular basis! I do think that there is a flaw on the rubric and that’s in the points available. This rubric has no inclusion of how many points each criterion offers, so students don’t have the full picture of expectations. We want our students to understand the aspects of any learning experience that we feel are most important and so forth. For example, if I’m asking students to review a performance, I will ask technical questions like was there blocking, did they utilize voice & diction well and the like. But I would also ask how do YOU feel the performance was, what worked for YOU, what would YOU change, if anything. Those questions always carry the most weight. I would recommend this rubric, or some variation thereof, because I am very fond of the idea or portfolios. I’ve often employed them and careful, meaningful assessment of them is critical to their value as a learning experience! But even more so, I’d recommend this rubric to someone outside of our class who is seeking greater understanding of rubrics because it makes very clear, very digestibly what a rubric does for both the learner and the assessor.
I liked the design of this assessment quite a bit. Not only did it mandate expression of our mastery because it put us in Dorothy Heathcote’s “Mantle of the Expert” but it gave us an artifact that who knows, just might come in handy one day! Once my colleagues and I complete this program, why wouldn’t our districts lean on us to share the wealth? Why wouldn’t they ask us to do PD’s etc. If I were a superintendent and I knew that several teachers within my district were in this program, I’d absolutely want them to share the wealth to all the others within the district who did not have the same opportunities as the teachers in question. This assessment actually inspired me to experiment with an alternative assessment in my own class. Instead of giving a quiz to check for understanding that students paid attention to the movie I showed in class “Beetlejuice,” I’m going to ask them to conceive and bring to life a “Cutting Room Floor Scene.” That is, a scene that was cut from the final edit of the film. I’m providing specific criteria that they have to plug in to 3 Google Slides. In the first slide they must identify where their scene happens and how it fits into the flow as well as what part of dramatic structure their scene falls into (exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution) and they have to give accurate examples directly from the film. In the second slide they have to describe the setting (time & place) and describe the things in that setting as they’ve witnessed them from the movie in a way that meets provided criteria. The third slide they will produce simply has an active URL link to a Google document with a properly formatted (example provided) script of the edited out scene they’ve conceived. I’m thinking I’ll have students put their slides into a collaborative slide deck as we do for Fallen Stars (like Sir Sean Connery) and present. I’m thinking I’m also going to ask students to chime in and give feedback, based on criteria I provide, to at least 2 student’s Cutting Room Floor Scene. In their critique they need to address at least 1 direct, accurate reference from the movie probably in a threaded conversation format. I’m only asking for 1 this time because it’s the first we’re doing things this way. This assessment will become available later when they take on their final which has everything to do with self-assessment and self-grading with SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF LEARNING. I had to do this when I was at NYU in one class, and it was a pivotal experience for me! As for this assessment being “built in a fashion that supported academic integrity” I’m not so sure I agree that this assessment was cut and dry doing that. I feel like I could have plagiarized the words of others pretty easily actually. Since we had to write the bullet points for 5 slides, I could have pasted the words of others then changed a few words around, aligned formatting and probably would have been good to go. I spent WAY more than 4 hours doing this midterm assignment and plagiarizing might have taken less time. I’m good enough with academic language that I could have pulled that off had I wanted to. Just being real. I don’t think there is any way to always prevent all plagiarism all the time. I just don’t think that is, for the most part, doable especially in the times we’re currently living and teaching in. Though, I do think that the assessment strategy I’m testing out right now comes pretty close to doing that – I’m looking forward to facilitating that assessment! As for do I have any suggestions or not, no, I don’t. I think the activity and assessment we took on was a powerful experience and I liked it. I think it’s as plagiarism proof as can be, but again, not sure assessments can be totally squeaky clean when it comes to academic integrity and plagiarism prevention, again, especially in the times we’re currently in.
625 - Week #3 - UDL & ADA
I had the pleasure of reteaming with Teresa and Jefferey for this project and as I had anticipated, our three very different perspectives brought about some great conversation! For me the revamping of the lesson actually produced some unanticipated but quite wonderful changes to the learning experience I was working with. I had done the lesson multiple times for multiple years, but I hadn’t done it this year because I couldn’t figure out quite how to adapt it. But, when I actually sat down to work on I found that ideas came very naturally and pretty quickly. The lessons I’ve learned between 624 and so far in 625, I was able to adapt a performance based lesson to be meaningful and enriching in a virtual learning environment. Perhaps ironically, the bulk of the changes happened in the assessment phase. Rather than just me assessing the activity as I’ve always done in the past, I incorporated peer feedback and self-analysis. One of the changes that adaptation to a virtual setting uniquely brought about was the recording of each student’s tableau performance. This adaptation affords students the rare opportunity to see their own performance! This is a hugely powerful element that was absent previously and improved the activity very significantly. It’s funny, I’m sort of becoming a 21st Century Learner by osmosis. I hadn’t anticipated that and recall how frustrated I was at the onset of this Brandman program. But, with support from Dr. K and my fellow COP partners, I stuck with it and it seems to sinking in! I really can’t see myself going forward without using technology is a vastly different way than I have before. So many of the unforeseen takeaway and A HA moments that have happened for me will (and have) become an indelible part of my practice.
625 - Week #2
So the influx of data into a drama classroom is limited. The standardized quantitative tests don’t include us and the qualitative research tends to favor students and their experience with STEM and other core subject areas. Drama is generally an elective albeit successful of drama (and or other VAPA) courses are required for entry into the Cal State and UC university systems. On the other hand acquisition of drama sensibilities and capabilities is difficult if not impossible to truly assess in a standardized way as you would math, history or science etc. courses. Eric Brooks in the video that was embedded in the LearningForward.Org assigned article emphasized how data can be useful institutionally when reflecting upon how effective the teaching methods currently in practice are in leading students to learn the a common curriculum. With that in mind, data that could conceivably be useful could come from a school with multiple drama 1 and drama 2 sections where student assessment results could be examined among all the teachers of a like subject in a PLC (professional learning community) type of setting. But in my world, I’m the only drama teacher at the only high school in our district. While I could certainly reach out beyond my district to find other teachers of drama 1 and drama 2, their curriculum and teaching modalities would be different than mine so doing a large scale analysis of assessment data wouldn’t be too enlightening I think. Other conversations within a drama PLC could, no would be useful, such as things that have been tried and have wither worked or not worked, material that was particularly good to work with, etc. However, a data driven assessment conversation not be particularly valuable, as far as I can tell based on my experience. I’d be happy to revisit that were the right impetus to come along, but for now that’s how I’m feeling about it. That all said, I have always been into collecting my own data directly from students both through formative and summative assessments, but also through student self-reflection and self-assessment. I also take in casual whether solicited or unsolicited and I’m big on asking students to grade themselves. As part of grading themselves, they have to provide specific examples of learning to justify the grade they’ve assigned themselves. More than once a student has shared and documented learning that I hadn’t even been aware they had! It happens like that sometimes! I also do end of the year surveys so students have an opportunity to share their feelings about specific class activities and the class as a whole. Most importantly, I very seriously consider all those data and many, many times have I changed my practice based on feedback and data received.
Brooks,Eric, (no date), Data Standard, [Website] LearningForward.org: https://learningforward.org/standards/data#.UoQfAo0bDzc
No Name, (no date) Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning. [Website] LearningForward.org: https://learningforward.org/standards/data#.UoQfAo0bDzc
625 - Week #1
Ok, well, I had a super hard time dealing with this blog entry! I was clear on the prompt but there are some extenuating circumstances so I’m just going to compose a direct response to the prompt from the class, and touch on my experience as best I can.
The first part of the prompt is “How does thinking about feedback as a component of assessment related to/important for 21st-century learners and educators?” For me, that is clear. Yet again I get to refer back to the GREAT John Seely Brown’s video on Motivating Learners (2013). He talks about now 21st century learners have a gaming mentality and want feedback right away. They want to advance to the next level, so they have a good understanding of where they’re at, and where they’re falling short. This characteristic is something that has evolved in today’s learners and we’ve gotta be ready to keep them up to speed on their development/progress. Larry Rosenstock, CEO and Principal of High Tech High (2008) explains how assessment happens incrementally throughout the learning experiences that happen in his program. That exemplifies how we need to approach assessment with 21st Century Learners! They want to know quickly and thoroughly how they are performing. My partner back in 624 who’s MUVE entries I assessed said some great things about what she wanted to do in her classroom, but it wasn’t a MUVE; there was no mention of any sort of virtual environment. She has since re-written the entry but at the time there was no MUVE, so I felt very uncomfortable giving her that feedback when I’m a peer student in this class. But Dr. K coached me and I was able to pull it off in a way that was helpful and not insulting or arrogant. On a side note, had she gotten feedback on her MUVE entries closer to when she had written them, she might have been better off as she moved through the rest of the work for that week. She may have missed a level of understanding that might have hindered here elsewhere. It also made things a little tricky for me.
The second part of the prompt is “What are your feelings about the differences between assessment in a traditional classroom versus one that serves our 21st-century learners? I feel like I’m glad the times, they are a changing! Frankly, the change is long overdue and is not just essential for 21st century learners, but it’s better across the board! Assessment that is formative in nature is so much more effective and valuable because when it’s good, it’s comprehensive, it seeks to ensure student is learning, it aids in engagement, it reduces chances of student frustration and it’s give a teacher much insight into the learner in question. And even summative assessment becomes more valuable when it’s given after several formative assessments along the way. I try in my practice to do as much formative assessment into play as much as possible and will continue that pursuit.
Seely Brown, John (2013 March 6) John Seely Brown on Motivating Learners (Big Thinkers Series), [Website] Edutopia
No name, (2008 December 3) Transformed by Technology at High Tech High [Video] Edutopia