Turning Point Learning Center http://turningpointterriers.com
How should student learners be assessed?
(or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the report card)
An OverviewReport cards, as they exist in most educational settings are insufficient for showing aholistic view student growth.They merely illustrate what percentage of questions a studentgot correct over a period of time. Using the percentage system, students are expected toget A's and B's, when in actuality, on most report cards, A = Superior, B = Above Average,C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Failing. Of course, different schools use differentpercentage points for each level, but as parents and educators, we still ask students to worktoward all A's and B's.We assuming that achieving those levels indicates growth and a jobwell done.This type of reporting is static and does little to challenge the learner who comes to classwith a wealth of prior knowledge. What it does very well for these students is to teach themthat they rarely, if ever, have to work hard to get good grades; that satisfactory results ≠hard work. On the other end of the spectrum, this type of reporting also continues todowngrade the struggling student who may have learned a lot, but who doesn't score wellon assignments. This student very clearly gets the message that no matter how hard theywork, they're not one of the smart ones and will never get ahead; so why try. This systemthoroughly ingrains a lackadaisical attitude toward pride and effort in a job well done.Worst of all, this traditional approach doesn't mirror the real world of work in terms of anyactual job or career out there.
When was the last time you were evaluated in your job, itemby item, then given a performance result based on your number of errors on a sum total of your work assignments?
Heck we don't even evaluate teachers in that fashion! How do weeven hint that schools are preparing kids for their futures when they're not mirroring thereal world of work now, and keeping up with the changes happening "out there?"The LifePractice Model supports evaluating students in the following two categories:1.Students should be assessed on their knowledge gained; after all, the students' jobis to learn.2.Students should be evaluated on the development of their learning skills.If students need to learn how to learn, unlearn, relearn (Toffler) then we need to beexplicitly measuring the students' abilities to do this.
The LifePractice ModelThe following are a few benchmarks for measuring knowledge and skillsassessment.
Mastery levels of knowledge