Saturday, January 22, 2011

Help Me Out

My husband and I are presenting at Educon next weekend (something that has me a bit panicked). We've never presented together before. I am actually quite excited, just equally nervous. Here's our conversation description:

Collaboration is all the rage in education teachers work together, students collaborate, and partnerships extend into communities. Collaborative assessment (including, but not limited to grades) does not receive the same attention. Who should be involved in assessing students? How can we facilitate collaboration between teachers and/or between students and teachers?
We're thinking of a few big questions beginning with 'What is assessment?' We figure it's a good idea to be on the same page about the meaning of the word, the goals of it and the basic idea behind it. Then we can move on to who should be involved and what would be gained by involving them. Hopefully we will also be able to address the various barriers (practical and theoretical) involved here. The final piece is to brainstorm how we facilitate this collaboration in light of the barriers.

Whether you are planning to attend Educon or not, I would love your thoughts on this. I'm curious to know if you think the session as I have laid it out makes sense. I'm also curious to hear folks' thoughts on these questions.

(I know throwing this out there on a Saturday night is far from ideal timing. That said, I'm still going to ask you to share your thoughts. Thanks!)


The Science Goddess said...

Whatever you do, my only advice would be to make a clear distinction between "assessment" and "evaluation." Otherwise, you're going to get really muddy waters about grading, multiple users, etc. not to mention a ton of whining about large-scale assessment. Keep your focus to just assessment as a process or event.

Steve said...

Who is the assessment for? Is it for the teacher or for the administration? It matters since the questions for each may well be different. (Is it pitiful that I'm checking email on a Saturday night?)

Dorothy Shapland said...

I think it is important to talk about assessment FOR learning and assessment OF learning. One is formative and often informal, the other is summative and usually formal. The first is for the teacher and the student to use in goal setting and adjusting teaching, the second for an "outside" audience and the goal is to quantify. The first is done before and during teaching and learning, the second is done after, but being clear about it is important so the water isn't muddied with confusion about the word "assessment."