Blogs on Assessment



Move past high-stakes testing and expand your understanding about the different types of effective assessment.

Monica BurnsJanuary 4, 2013

One-to-one technology can transform a classroom. When implemented correctly, students are engaged and excited to learn, and teachers can assess their progress in real-time. The amount of technology resources available for educators can be overwhelming.

Whether your students regularly visit a computer lab, borrow a cart of laptops, or have access to a class set of iPads, there are a variety of assessment tools that are free and customizable. These online resources can be used before, during, and after a daily lesson or semester-long unit.

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Bob LenzDecember 20, 2012

In my last post, I discussed how schools and systems can use a different and more powerful type of accountability to drive intrinsic motivation for high performance by students and teachers. (This is opposed to an accountability system of rewards and punishment.) By making student work and teacher practice public and transparent, we can improve student learning faster and with more sustainability. Also in that post, I highlighted public exhibitions of work and instructional rounds as two "accountability" tools used by Envision Schools.

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Shawn CornallyDecember 20, 2012

In a conversation with a veteran educator -- a man with years of experience teaching English and acting as a headmaster -- I was confronted with a prejudice so ingrained in my teaching that I was almost embarrassed to admit it.

He said, "You know, when I ask a student to write a paper and turn it in to me, that's ridiculous; I'm the worst audience they could have."

I was intrigued.

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Bob LenzDecember 5, 2012

How do we foster intrinsic motivation, for both teachers and students, to work towards high performance? Can we create a system of accountability that will drive this performance? At Envision Education, we answer with a resounding, yes. However, our accountability is not driven by a system of rewards and punishments; it is driven by an authentic system of accountability driven by making the work of students, teachers, and the school public.

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Will RichardsonNovember 1, 2012

With few exceptions, all the things our children are using to connect and learn outside the classroom -- social media, cell phones, Internet connections -- are banned inside classrooms. In my kids' case (and they have more access than many), school is the only place in their lives where they can't use the technology they carry around in their pockets and backpacks to answer questions.

The only place. Why is that?

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Katie PiperSeptember 18, 2012

In recent years, most students in my project-based AP Government classes have indicated, in both class discussions and anonymously on surveys, that they prefer project-based learning to a more traditional classroom experience. They find PBL more fun and believe that it leads to deeper learning. However, two types of students often resist this model. Students of the first type generally do not enjoy school at all, and are looking for the path of least resistance. Because a PBL classroom is student-centered and calls on students to produce, less-motivated students will find it more difficult to "hide" and be left alone. The second type of student has already been very successful in traditional classrooms and is deterred by the challenges of this new model. These students are often highly motivated by grades, and worry that the project cycles will detract from direct content delivery.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronJuly 31, 2012

I think meaningful assessments can come in many shapes and sizes. It fact, to be thoroughly engaging and to draw the best work out of the students, assessments should come in different formats.

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Anne OBrienJuly 30, 2012

Our national obsession with assessment continues. Despite their rhetoric expressing concern about the role that standardized tests play in our education system, politicians persist in valuing these tests almost exclusively when it comes to accountability -- not only for schools, as has been the case since the inception of No Child Left Behind, but for teachers as well, with a national push to include the results of these tests in teacher evaluations.

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Andrew MillerJune 1, 2012

It's never too late to address this subject. Yes, many of us are gearing down from the epic standardized testing season, enjoying the freedom, released from the many pressures that come with the tests. However, these tests will keep happening. Whether a yearly course assessment, a six-week benchmark exam or a state-level competency test, teachers and students are inundated with testing. Because of the way that testing permeates education culture, I often hear some "pushback" from teachers and their implementation of project-based learning. Here are some tips and responses to that tension between PBL and standardized tests.

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Lauren GriffinMay 23, 2012

I am a 24-year-old college student who sometimes just wants a grade, but most of the time wants thorough, purposeful and encouraging feedback that helps me strengthen my writing skills. As a Secondary English Education major at East Carolina University, I have been exposed to various methods of teaching literature and writing, and have archived all of my past papers in binders and file cabinets for future reference. My friends think I am in need of an intervention for being over-organized, but I think that being more aware of how my instructors teach and assess students will improve my writing and provide me the opportunity to identify assessment methods that I can make my own in when I start teaching composition.

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