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Assessing 21st Century Skills

The 21 Century curriculum focuses a number of skills: Creativity and Innovation, Flexibility and Adaptability, Collaboration, Communication, and so on. How might these skills be assessed in the classroom? Our group (Amanda, Andrew, Kyle, Rickesh, Sandy, Valerie) found these approaches kept coming up in our discussion: Creativity and Innovation  incorporate brainstorming tools into tasks  mind maps: use throughout a unit, add to the mind map as new concepts/material is covered; assess growth and scope of mind map  debates: use debates to explore topics  project-based learning  assess process rather than just the final product: journals, logs, reflections  ongoing assessment; student-teacher contracts, with predetermined times to meet throughout the process  observation  self-assessment (reflection)  peer assessment  ask for more than one approach or solution to problems  open-ended problems  focus on progress in creativity Social & Cross-Cultural Skills  observation  situated learning: have students present findings/products in real-life contexts outside of school  jury evaluations: have student presentations/products evaluated by (carefully vetted and primed) community members  media literacy: assess the way the media perceived cultural and social norms: stereotypes  collaborative online tasks with students from other cultures (like Microsoft Schools)  projects which focus on problems facing other cultures: global themes, compare and contrast, social justice  situated learning: authentic activities that affect the outside world
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Top Ten Assessment Strategies
1. 2. 3. No taking of tests Assessment of process as well as product Assessment by multiple stakeholders: teachers, students, peers, community members 4. Digital portfolios 5. Problem-based learning 6. Project-based learning 7. Situated Learning: assessing real-life skills in real-life contexts 8. Observation by teacher 9. Student-centered learning: students set their own goals within parameters set by teacher, and are assessed as to how they have achieved those goals 10. Reflective Practices Specific assessment strategies for the following skills included: Flexibility and Adaptability  assign roles in groups (e.g., leader, materials, etc.)  observe how students carry out roles  students self-assess: "Which roles do you feel you do best in, and why?"  peer assessment  problem-based learning: create 'messy' problems without the one solution  evaluate process rather than just product (revisions, responses to feedback from teacher and peers); compare drafts and final version  observe tone of comments in class discussions and debates