Assessing Creativity

Galang, Johnny

CA

Brookhart, S.M. (2013, February). Assessing Creativity. Educational Leadership 70(5), 28-34. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

This article presents a clear definition of “creativity” and presents ideas for stimulating and assessing creativity. There is a creativity rubric, written with the caveat that the goal is not to grade creativity but rather to help define creative and to promote thinking about concrete strategies for teaching and promoting creativity.

This article present great information in an easily understood format. Furthermore, it includes examples from real classrooms, which helps to envision how this information can be applied.

Harvard’s Project Zero

Galang, Johnny

CA, ET

Harvard Graduate School of Education (2018). Homepage. Retrieved from http://www.pz.harvard.edu/

Project Zero is a comprehensive website with many resources for curriculum development, assessment, and a wealth of other topics. There are free tools and education around topics such as essential questions, deep learning, and developing a culture of thinking.

It may be overwhelming to someone who is new to educational theory, but can provide useful tools to push your practice further.

Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards

Clem, Katy

CA

Calfee, R., Wilson, K. M., Flannery, B., & Kapinus, B. (2014). Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards. Teachers College Record, 116(11), 1-32. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/library/content.asp?contentid=17649

“Assessment for learning rather than testing of achievement”…yes! Outlines common core standards clearly; provides insight into formative assessment method for evaluating learning in a meaningful way.

The team of authors succeeded at clearly laying out and explaining what is actually written in the Common Core standards, weeding through varied and expansive opinion on the issue to get to their express purpose and core. The approach to assessment outlined in this article focuses on the process of gathering feedback on student learning with a goal of adjusting ongoing teaching, linking closely to the connected goals and approaches found in inquiry-based learning. I still wonder how this approach can be scaled to evaluate efficacy across a state or nation; can the original goal of national standards, reducing discrepancies in educational opportunity based on socioeconomic or geographical factors and ensuring that all schools provide equal educational opportunity, be achieved without the norm of standardized testing? I am deeply encouraged by what I’m reading regarding the direction in which assessment is headed, but I am still stuck on what that looks like when scaled to a national level or tied to federal funding.

 

Defining Learner Success in the Digital Age

Thompson, Ayana
CA-Formative and Summative Assessments
Broekhuizen, L.V. (2013)Defining Learner Success in the Digital Age. AdvancED. Retrieved from http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/defining-learner-success-digital-age
Summary: Findings suggest that assessment mirror the innovative thought process that we are seeking to instill in our children, that the learning process should guide educators in finding new ways to assess students.
Rating: Article provides possible areas of research for interested MLIS students.


The Challenge and an Invitation – Kohn – 2009

Jeselyn Templin

CA

Kohn, A. (2009). The challenge and an invitation. Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 12-13.

Summary: Kohn likens the techniques of standardized testing to the concept of reading being “more than decoding.” The article explains that many school programs decontextualize their materials and only teach to the test, instead of putting curriculum into a real-world context that students will be able to retain and use later in life.

Evaluation: I would have liked this article to be longer than two pages because I feel Kohn has a lot of valuable insight on the subject. Well-researched and interesting. The article explains why standardized testing is not effective as a basis for widespread education in a succinct way that anyone can understand.

New Assessments Help Teachers Innovate in Classrooms

Eric Sanderson

CA / IL

Jayson, S. (2016, October 13). New assessments help teachers innovate in classrooms [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.hewlett.org/new-assessments-help-teachers-innovate-in-classrooms/

Summary. In this post on the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation education website, Jayson reports on contemporary models of formative assessment associated with emerging best practices of 21st century learning and teaching. First, Jayson provides a snapshot of formative assessment using digital badges at Del Lago Academy in Escondido, California. Second, Jayson sketches out the development and introduction of periodic “performance-based tasks that can be done in an hour or less” at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Finally, Jayson summarizes the efforts of Henry County Schools outside Atlanta, Georgia, to follow a “personalized learning model” in which “feedback is the focus.”

Evaluation. While this post does not provide detailed information about any of the formative assessment concepts described above, it is a useful introduction to 21st century curriculum and assessment models and to the variety of schools and districts implementing them. This post also provides a generalized overview of the need for reevaluating formative and summative assessment models during this time of transition in primary and secondary education.

How do we do PBL – Project Based Learning?

Gabrielle Thormann 

CO, ET, CU

Weyers, M. (2014). PBL Project Planning: Matching Projects to Standards.  Edutopia, retrieved from:  http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-pilot-project-planning-standards-matt-weyers-jen-dole

This article is the third article of a series of articles about how to implement project-based learning (PBL) in a middle school.  Before discussing this article, it’s useful to mention the two previous articles and beyond:  a stream of articles comprises a journal of implementing PBL.  In Minnesota a group of educators started with a reflection on current teaching practices that developed into a District Strategic Plan.  The teachers took the plan to their administrator with their mission statements with one being: “Byron Public Schools will leverage real-world tools and skills to develop in students a passion for learning.”  This particular public school is its own small district, and thus as part of a state mandate this public school partnered/”integrated” with other public schools.  It took time and steps to create the Project Based Learning program.  When they were ready, teachers introduced the program to parents and students.  Key points of the philosophy behind the program were presented.
This third article is useful in that failures are pointed to and rethinking begins. The success of a project based on kiva.org is noted, as two PBL sites and resources were used, and parent involvement and collaboration is spoken of.  Taking a glance at the next article, the focus is primarily on the development of real-world projects:  one again based on The Kiva Project, one on a local environmental nature center, and one entrepreneurial project based on a TV show format. 

By following the next arrows on the bottom of this article, one can continue seeing the development of their program.  I appreciate this series of articles as a journal and reflection of how teachers created and implemented a program they had never done before.

A look at the new SAT

Bradshaw, Trina


CA
IL


Summary:
Long describes the recent changes to the SAT test, an important assessment tool for students that are planning on going to college. The first observation is that the SAT has adopted some of the popular feature of the ACT test, the SAT competitor for measuring student readiness for college. The first is that test takers are not penalized for wrong answers as they were previously, making it less likely that students will leave answers blank. Additionally, they reduced the number of answer choices from five to four. To accommodate for these changes, the testing time has also been reduced, with an optional essay question making up the change in time. The material being tested has been adjusted so that it focuses on real knowledge that connects to learning in school and the real world, rather than on a student’s mastery of test-taking tricks. There has also been an increase in the use of vocabulary in context rather than in isolation. The writing section has been shifted so that students are asked to analyze a provided text rather than write on a self-selected topic. In addition, the scale has been minimized, with a report being provided on subcategories as well as an overall score. The article ends by giving valuable resources that have been updated to address the changes in the SAT including practice exams, databases of college admission requirements, financial aid support, career exploration tools, and resources for students with special needs.     


Review:
Knowledge of the new SAT is essential for educators and librarians since it is the primary tool used to measure college readiness. With the impending announcement of how the state will calculate the Academic Performance Index (API), and the suggestion that SAT scores will be an important qualifier, we want to prepare our students to be able to meet these new demands and succeed. As a classroom teacher, I have yet to receive any training or information on the new SAT. Thus, the resources mentioned at the end will be invaluable for my own edification and for sharing with colleagues.   

CA-Formative and Summative Assessments

Rebecca Robinowitz

CA

Marsha Lovette PhD, director of Carnegie Mellon University and Psychology professor (2009) What is the difference between formative and summative assessment? Retrieved from: http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/formative-summative.html

Summary

According to Marsha Lovette PhD, director of Carnegie Mellon University and Psychology professor (2009), summative assessment appears to be in contrast with formative assessment. Formative assessment evaluates student development and progress and summative assessment evaluates a learner’s knowledge of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Examples of summative assessments include a midterm exam, final project, paper, or standardized tests. Summative assessments provide education stakeholders tangible information about future curriculum needs. However, summative needs can be used in a formative way if it is used to guide educator efforts and activities in subsequent course.

Calling for a United Front on Assessment FOR Learning

Maricar Laudato

CA-Formative and Summative Assessments

Dixon, M. (2009). Formative assessment practice, formative leadership practice, formative teaching practice, assessment of learning, assessment for learning, assessment as learning. New Zealand Principals’ Federation Magazine, 15-17.

Summary:
In this article, Malcolm Dixon makes the case for the important distinction between Assessment of Learning and Assessment for Learning. In Assessment of Learning, administrative and governmental entities call for the collection of information that assess and compare the performance of students against a set of academic standards. Examples of Assessment of Learning would be the annual standardized tests that students would be required to take under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (2015). Dixon argues that the nature of Assessment of Learning does not enhance student understanding or improve the quality of learning. This is when Dixon proposes a simple switch in words from “of” to “for” causes a revolution when educators start moving towards Assessment for Learning. In this situation, teachers put the focus on asking students questions about what and how they learn and supports the developmental needs of a more Constructivist learning approach.

Evaluation:
I really liked reading Dixon’s article; so much so that I searched Twitter to see if he had an account so that I could follow him but I couldn’t find any (I try and follow library professionals that I admire and other organizations that align with my professional goals). His theories on formative assessment is probably the one I read that come closest to The Big Think theories. I liked how he was able to pack in some large theoretical ideas in relatively easy to understand language that was engaging. Plus, he used bullet-points throughout his article to underline major points and to visually break up the article in discernible chunks, which I thought was another great strategy to make his article more accessible to readers.