EDG 605 Classroom Summative Assessment Analysis

Selected work from EDG 605: Reading Response 2 & Summative Assessment 

Through research taken from Dixon and Worrel, Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom:  “Formative assessments also inform students and those supporting the teacher and the students (e.g., tutors, parents) about what the learning goal is, where the students are in relation to that learning goal, and what can be done to improve subsequent performance (Black & William, 2010; Sadler, 1989) Consistent use of formative assessment to check for understanding periodically throughout a unit allows learning goals to be monitored as a community. Methods such as Exit Tickets, Call and Response and formal quizzes can be a quick method to check for content mastery at the moment.   A summative assessment that I have found successful within my own classroom is utilizing Performance-Based Assessments at the end of each unit.  The performance-based assessment usually consists of an essential question that requires research of specific content and critical thinking skills to complete.  This type of summative assessment is well supported through research as “one of the best forms of assessment because they require students to demonstrate their knowledge instead of simply parroting back memorized facts.” (McTighe & Ferrara, 1998). This is also one of several alternatives to the traditional pedagogies which require teachers to spend countless hours grading miscellaneous assignments, time that could be well spent creating engaging and innovative lesson plans that facilitate student inquiry and dialogue. Data analytics can be most useful in classrooms where lessons require multiple layers of differentiation to be made accessible to a wide scope of learning levels.  The performance-based assessments I utilize come from the New Visions Earth Science Curriculum, each PBA topic is related to the culmination of a specific unit.  To prepare students for the performance-based assessment task cards and rubrics were created as well as an introductory overview of procedures and expected outcomes. Feedback was given through rubrics, grading and post-it notes on highlighted areas of excellence on the projects. 

I selected this to focus and annotate because it is something that I keep returning to while reflecting upon my past lesson plans for improvement in the upcoming year. The goal of performance-based assessment is to encourage students to dive deeper into their inherent curiosity and become innovators through a focus on problem-solving research and dialogue. With the world shifting to a technology-based economy, giving students the content is not enough to be successful “An exclusive reliance on multiple-choice tests that primarily measure basic skills and discrete knowledge—but neglect complex thinking and problem solving—is not consistent with what practitioners in the field know about the kinds of assessments that promote student learning.” (2011). I find this an important concept to focus on because the work done in science class is relevant beyond a regents examination or class assessment. The result of a performance-based assessment is a measurable product or writing piece that is applicable to real-world problems. Although a few limitations of a PBA can be the amount of time to roll out the investigation and creating a rubric that is fair in its measurement challenging, to witness students making connections between what they have learned in class and the opportunity to use it in real life is rewarding but more importantly the empirical knowledge that a skill has been gleaned that can be utilized for future endeavors. 

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