Thursday 14 June 2012

Creative Assessments

I am the type of person that does not like a count down.  I find that if I am aware there are 'only' 8 classes left I tend to slide in my focus and energy.  As a result I challenged myself and the students with something new.  With my focus this year on assessment I figured that would be a good starting point.  I took the ideas of student choice, movement, social media, creativity and put them in a blender.  What resulted were tests that challenge and excite the students rather than bore them and strike fear in them. 

Scissors and glue section of the SS 10 test

For my 10s I decided to give them some scissors and glue while writing their test.  Normally I have a multiple choice question which asks them to link a major company to a region.  Here I gave them five and asked them to glue them to the correct region.  In a post test survey of my students they all said the liked this section as it gave them an opportunity to 'move'.  JS: "It gave me a chance take a break during the exam.  I didn't feel like I was writing an exam, rather doing a worksheet."  CS "Having to connect them without the answer in front of me made me think."  These were among my favourite comments.

T-Shirt Question
Another question I used on my Geography 12 and Socials 10 class.  Here I employed choice and creativity.  The idea was to use text and images to create an advertisement which explains two of four resource ethics (12s) or two of three types of unemployment (10s).  Students appreciated the options and the mental challenge. 

Twitter /Facebook Conversation/Play Dialogue 

Another one I used was referencing a cartoon (deforestation) and having two of the earth's four spheres engaged in a dialogue discussing the impacts deforestation has on them.  

Here are few things I learned from this process.  I need to expose students to this type of testing earlier (I did this last minute and didn't quite prepare my students and as a result I spent a fair bit of time clarifying what was asked of them).  While I use non-traditional teaching methods I need to give students an opportunity to practice making slogans or developing a dialogue.  

Another observations was that I loved marking these exams.  I will say it again, I loved marking.  I normally loathe it.  This time I was excited to see how students had responded, what ideas they had created, connections they made etc.  Both tests were marked in a night and I am notorious for taking a number of days to return tests.

From the students perspective they liked the options, appreciated the challenge, believed it was like writing a work sheet and felt relaxed.  All aspects of test taking I value.

Moving forward - I am going to look into using more diverse and non-traditional means to test students.  While it is important to clearly link them to learning outcomes; the students responses to them should be personalized and diverse. 

No comments:

Post a Comment