But here is where I begin to jump onto my soap box. Apologies in advance (or simply stop reading and move on to something else).
To start, here are my biggest issues with the way assessments currently operate in the majority of classrooms:
1. A number can not possibly provide a complete picture of a person's entire body of work. It can provide one data point as a predictor so let's change the conversation about standardized tests.
2. Professionals are rarely, if ever, placed in a single "do or die" situation, expected to perform on a test that alone holds their entire future in the balance (O.K., maybe some surgeons, but they work with a team, not solo). So why do we do this to our students?
3. Professionals generally get "do-overs" in the form of revisions, or a Q and A so why, again, are students not provided the same opportunities?
So let me dive in a bit more...
1. A number can not possibly provide a complete picture of a person's entire body of
This leads to:
3. Professionals generally get "do-overs" in the form of revisions, or a Q and A so why,
But I would be remiss if I just ranted and didn't also suggest a solution so here you go...
One possible solution: ePortfolios.
Portfolios, in my opinion, make so much sense. In fact, the weekly KQED Learning newsletter just included THREE separate articles about digital portfolios. You can read them all here (written by my good friend and colleague @TeckBioBek), here, and here. Portfolios, starting at the Pre-K/TK level that can follow students throughout their learning are (in my opinion) a great way to allow students to engage in the learning process, identify what they know and don't know, reflect, set goals, and reach (and exceed) their potential. I know that this would require a HUGE shift in how we approach learning, how teachers are trained, and what diplomas and degrees would mean. I also recognize that our country is pretty big with lots of players in the education arena. But ultimately, don't we want an intelligent populace that can solve problems by creating solutions? To me, that means the end of the one-size-fits -all, single-time exam and instead, we need to allow our students to show us what they know in the way that makes the most sense to them. While I realize that I am not proposing a simple solution, I also know that there are lots of people already doing their part to change what education looks like. The more of us working towards this goal of creating a learning environment that mirrors the "real world", the easier it will become.
So those are my current thoughts on assessment. What are yours?