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Examining Student Work

Examining Student Work

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Published by: neilstephenson on Mar 25, 2010
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03/25/2010

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Guiding Questions
– Looking at Student Work (A Collaborative Inquiry into Teaching andLearning for Deep Understanding)
 
Goal:
 
This year, the focus of our PD retreat is on the collection and analysis of student learning asevidenced in samples of their work. This process will provide time for teachers, working insubject partners, to collect artifacts of student work, and then to reflect and critique the design of the learning task, the effectiveness of the assessment, and the connection between the desiredlearning outcomes and the evidence of student learning.Teachers should have four things gathered and ready (in a folder or a word document or a PPT)for the Retreat:(1) have the outcomes for the project stated (Content, skills, attitudes, etc) This might bedirect curriculum outcomes, or your own goals for the project, or a mix of both.(2) have the steps for the project stated (brief, not in depth explanations)(3) have assessment practices (rubrics, quizzes, tests, etc) gathered and ready(4) have three student examples (high, medium, low)
3 Elements of the Reflection:
 
After teachers collect student exemplars they will work through a process examining threedifferent elements of the project/assignment: a critical examination of (1) the task, (2) theassessment practices and (3) the student work.
Part 1: Reflecting on the Task 
 
The goal of part 1 is to examine the task that students were asked to complete in theproject/inquiry. The goal is to have a critical look at the intended learning outcomes of the project.
 
1. Stating and Analyzing the key learning objectives
 
 
What did you want students to understand and/or be able to do through thistask/project/assignment
 
o
 
I want students to understand ..... (Content)
 
o
 
I want students to be able to do.....(Skills and Attitudes, ways of thinking)
 
 
To what extent do these learning objectives mirror the understandings from within adiscipline or field in the real world? Are the objectives authentic? Worthwhile?
 
2. Critiquing the task 
 
What did students have to do or produce/perform to demonstrate their understanding?
 
 
 
What did you collect and/or observe as evidence of student understanding
?
 
To what extent was student understanding built through sequenced activities and guidedinquiries?
 
As part of "Critiquing the task" teachers should also assess the design of the project using theAUTHENTICITY and ACADEMIC RIGOUR categories from the Inquiry Rubric.
 
 
Part 2: Reflecting on the Assessments
 
The goal of part 2 is to examine the assessment practices that were used in theproject/assignment. The focus for this section of the process is on: How will we know whatstudents understand? What will we accept as evidence of understanding? After gathering theassessment rubrics used, reflect on the following:
 
 
Are there clear and direct connections between the intended understandings and theassessments used?
 
Are there places where the rubrics might be improved to get a closer connection to thebig understandings of the project?
 
 
What scaffolds have been put in place to assist students in identifying areas for improvement and next learning steps?
 
How does the design of the study intervene to increase student understanding(assessment for learning, feedback loops, etc)?As part of "Reflecting on the Assessments" teachers should also assess the design of the projectusing the ASSESSMENT category from the Inquiry Rubric.
 
Part 3: Collecting and Examining Student Work 
 
Teachers should gather and analyze a number of examples of student work. The purpose of thisfinal stage is to gather evidence of and examine the degree to which the intended learningoutcomes of the project were met by students. Teachers should gather work samplesrepresenting beginning, novice and mastery responses.When examining student work samples, consider the following:
 
What evidence of understanding can be gleaned from each of these work samples?
 
 
What are the strengths of the each exemplar? What are the missing components of thebeginning and novice?
 
 
How satisfied are you with the level of understanding that students demonstrated? Towhat degree do you believe the investment of time and resources was worthwhile inrelation to the learning results that were achieved?
 
 
What was the range of student performance? How many students demonstrated
 
acceptable or higher on the project? (averagemarks of 3 or 4) Please provide the number of students at the different grade levels.
 
Are there places in the design of the project that you think could be improved to increasestudent understanding?
One additional idea (admittedly a vulnerable one) is to interview a few students, or have studentsrecord a short podcast about the project. You might ask them: what they thought the intended outcomes of the project were, what level of understanding they felt they developed, and how their  piece of work demonstrates that understanding.
 
 
All these reflections, rubrics and exemplars should be pulled together into a short 10minute presentation. Teachers can decide how they wish to share the material, and willpresent their responses to their subject partner and facilitator on February 11th.
 
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