Formative Assessment Design 2.0

After reviewing feedback and revisiting my Formative Assessment Design I realize that my original assessment was more of a summative assessment than it was formative. As I was thinking of ideas for a formative assessment design, I was thinking about my previous blog post and the topic of introductions in the Spanish language.  I was thinking of how I’d want to get an accurate sense of what my students know in a context that is similar to that of a real life or authentic scenario (such as a conversation). I thought I’d stick to the same topic and think of a different way I could assess my students’ understanding of simple introductions in the target language.

The purpose of this formative assessment is to provide students with an experience rather than a formal exam or assessment. And through this they would be able to get direct feedback so that it will allow them the opportunity to learn from that experience and to provide me with a gauge for what students are (and aren’t) understanding during this content unit.  It will also allow me to check students’ understanding of pronunciation in the target language as well.

The assessment would be called Los Introducciones Básicos en Español (Basic Introductions in Spanish) and would involve my students recording themselves using their devices on a FlipGrid I create for each class hour.  They would get an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer simple questions in the target language (prior to us re-introducing this information).

To add collaboration as part of this assessment, and for students to obtain feedback from peers, I would ask students what they think are important factors to consider in the rubric. From there, we would, together, generate a rubric as a class that students would use to assess themselves and each other. As a continuation of this assessment, I would then have students respond to each others’ flip grids and ask other questions beyond the scope of the assignment written below.

To jump start this lesson (or unit), I would show students a few short clips of native speakers introducing themselves and start a conversation (in English) to see what things students notice about the videos I show.  Ask them what they find interesting or different from the way they greet each other in their own language.  For the most part, the teaching will be more of engaging students into understanding that we are moving on to reviewing basic introductions in the target language, but my goal here is to authentically see what they remember and then afterward, continue the lesson in helping them ask and answer further questions to spark a deeper conversation aside from basic questions.

For post-assessment feedback, students will get a chance to grade themselves and grade each other based on a rubric that we create as a class (with my guidance).  As they are recording their videos, I will be circulating around the classroom offering in the moment feedback and answering questions as they work. 

The Assessment Instructions:

Los Introducciones Básicos en Español

¡Hola Estudiantes! Now that we have seen some examples of introductions done by native speakers, now I’d like to have you introduce yourself to the class.  To do this,  I want you to introduce yourself using the platform FlipGrid and submit it to me by the end of the hour.

First, go to the following FlipGrid (either by downloading the application to your device or going to the website:

https://flipgrid.com/b4lxzm

or enter the FlipCode: b3d140

Second, once you get to the FlipGrid, you are to record a short, 45 second to 1 minute video response to the board. In your video, I would like you to answer the following questions using complete thoughts in Spanish:

  1. ¿Cómo te llamas?
  2. ¿Cuántos años tienes?
  3. ¿De dónde eres?
  4. ¿Qué te gusta hacer?
  5. ¿Cómo eres?
Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.21.15 PM
Source: Personal Screenshot from https://admin.flipgrid.com/manage/grids/696894/topics/1983293

Please submit this by the end of the class today.  Because you are recording a video, it may be best for you to first plan out what you want to say and practice before recording your finalized video.

After recording your video, take a “Selfie” and post to the FlipGrid with your first and last name for feedback.

After you record your flip grid, I want you to do a self-assessment based on the rubric we created in class and tell me what you thought was difficult and what was easy about this experience.  I also want you to assess yourself and tell me how you think you did and grade yourself based on that rubric. 

Tomorrow, you will get an opportunity to look at two flip grids of other students in your class and respond back to them in the target language asking them questions to further the conversation.  

 

Assessment Design Checklist 2.0

This week in CEP 813, we were asked to revisit our Assessment Design Checklist. Looking at the different types of feedback,

  1. FT = FEEDBACK ABOUT TASK
  2. FS = FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SELF AS A PERSON
  3. FP = FEEDBACK ABOUT THE PROCESSING OF THE TASK
  4. FR = FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SELF-REGULATION

and through this week’s readings on effective feedback in the classroom, I came up with some additional questions to add to my checklist for assessment design.  Check out my updated vision checklist HERE.

Assessment Genre: A Critical Review

For this week’s assignment, I was asked to critically review a type of assessment that is commonly used within my profession of teaching a secondary language (ie. Spanish).  I was thinking of all of the types of assessments that are used both in my classroom and in other foreign language classrooms — such as the dialogue assessment (or oral assessments), proficiency assessments, written assessments and placement assessments. For this entry, I wanted to review the dialogue assessment often used in foreign language classrooms.

A dialogue assessment is when a learner is asked to perform an oral presentation through conversation to show their understanding of the language both as a cognitive representation of content knowledge but also as an interpretation of their understanding of the language’s pronuncation and phonetics. Dialogue assessments tend to be used because it helps the learners become comfortable with speaking the target language as well as provides instructors with an opportunity to give in-the-moment feedback and interpret how well the students interpret conversation and how they speak in the target language.  It also provides the instructor with a context for understanding a learner’s thought process through dialogue and conversation in the target language.   For the purpose of using the dialogue assessment, it provides a guide for what content may need to be rexplained (gone over) and provide a context for how an instructor helps students with their pronunciation of the target language (to help them sound more authentic).

Looking back on my drafted assessment design checklist, the two questions that I would use to assses an assessment were:

  1. Does the assessment provide for an opportunity for students to transfer previous knowledge to current content?
  2. Does the assessment provide students with effective feedback for learning?

With a dialogue assessment, I feel that it does, indeed, provide an opportunity for students to transfer their prior knowledge while also showing their current understanding of content knowledge.  The benefit to providing dialogue assessments is that if a learner does not understand or cannot provide immediate response to the dialogue’s questions in the target language, the instructor knows immediately that there is a lack of understanding (and knowledge) in the moment.  It is also obvious to the instructor that the learner does not understand pronunciation cues when the dialogue/conversation does not flow or does not sound natural.

As for the second question on my checklist, I do think that depending on the way that the instructor checks for understanding will provide students with effective feedback for learning.  If done in the moment, the instructor can give learners feedback as to whether or not they are providing the proper responses to the dialogue questions and at the same time, in a rubric format, the instructor can provide more specific, detailed feedback on things that the learner(s) can improve on.

I think that it’s possible to use dialogue assessment as a form of formative assessment in that it would allow the learner to obtain specific feedback that could then be transfered almost immediately to the current dialogue to allow the student to interpret and make changes in the moment.

Based on my understanding and usage of dialogue assessment and my analysis of it in the context of my assessment design checklist, I feel that it dialogue assessment is an important genre of assessment for foreign language instructors. I think it is imperative that we continue to use and assess the way we use dialogue assessments in our classrooms so that we can help our learners understand the importance of oral presentation, cognitition and pronunciation in the target language. As we develop our understanding and use of dialogue assessments, it is important to remember to continue to provide formative feedback so that learners can build upon that knowledge and apply it their foreign language academics in future years to come.

Considering that most dialogue assessments are done in person through conversation, I think that it would be fun to allow students an opportunity to do dialogue assessments using digital technology and tools.  For example, learners could do a Skype or FaceTime conversation and have it screenrecorded and submitted for feedback.  Or if the dialogue assessment is done with the instructor, there could be a skype session setup between instructor and learner outside of class hours.  I think that in the case of dialogue assessments, it’s possible to use other video technology tools or even Google Voice applications where the student is required to call and leave a voicemail with answers to scecific questions/prompts.  (Although I feel that students wouldn’t give on-the-fly responses in this case, as they would’ve been given the questions ahead of time and could spend time writing out their answers first, prior to leaving the message).

With that in mind, overall, I think dialogue assessments are a good tool and opportunity for instructors to gauge their students’ understanding of prior knowledge and current content knowledge, while also giving them the opportunity to hear in the moment feedback for learning.

Assessment Design Checklist

In this week’s module for CEP 813, I was asked to create an Assessment Design Checklist. This checklist is setup as a beginning foundation for what I would need to setup an impactful formative assessment in my content area (as a Spanish, level 2 instructor).

These first few modules have really opened my eyes to a better understanding of what formative assessment is and have helped me realize how much more I need to understand.  I’m wishing that I was given the opportunity to take this course as part of my undergraduate College of Education courses, because this is already forcing me to question my method of assessment in my classes.

Just yesterday, I used a pretty strict, summative assessment with my students to check their understanding of level one material, but when we went over the answers today in class, I asked students to orally give me an explanation as to how they got to their answers.

To check out the draft of my Assessment Design Checklist, Click Here.

Formative Assessment Design 1.0

As I was thinking of ideas for a formative assessment design, I was thinking about my previous blog post and the topic of introductions in the Spanish language.  Since this week’s assignment is to design a rough draft of a lesson plan for formative assessment, I thought I’d stick to the same topic and think of a different way I could assess my students’ understanding of simple introductions in the target language.

The purpose of this formative assessment is to provide students with direct feedback so that it will allow them the opportunity to learn from that experience and to provide me with a guage for what students are (and aren’t) understanding during this content unit.  It will also allow me to check students’ understanding of pronunciation in the target language as well.

The assessment would be called Los Introducciones Básicos en Español (Basic Introductions in Spanish) and would involve my students recording themselves using their devices on a FlipGrid I create for each class hour.  They would get an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer simple questions in the target language (prior to us re-introducing this information)

The Assessment Instructions:

Los Introducciones Básicos en Español

¡Hola Estudiantes! In order to find out what you introductions you remember from Spanish 100, I want you to introduce yourself on a FlipGrid and submit it to me by the end of the hour.

First, go to the following FlipGrid (either by downloading the application to your device or going to the website:

https://flipgrid.com/b4lxzm

or enter the FlipCode: b3d140

Second, once you get to the FlipGrid, you are to record a short, 45 second to 1 minute video response to the board. In your video, I would like you to answer the following questions using complete thoughts in Spanish:

  1. ¿Cómo te llamas?
  2. ¿Cuántos años tienes?
  3. ¿De dónde eres?
  4. ¿Qué te gusta hacer?
  5. ¿Cómo eres?
Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.21.15 PM
Source: Personal Screenshot from https://admin.flipgrid.com/manage/grids/696894/topics/1983293

Please submit this by the end of the class today.  Because you are recording a video, it may be best for you to first plan out what you want to say and practice before recording your finalized video.

After recording your video, take a “Selfie” and post to the FlipGrid with your first and last name for feedback.

 

 

Annotated Assessment Exemplar

For this week’s Module, I am taking a look at an assessment I have created and used with my Spanish students to introduce themselves.  Instead of assessing what they know through a multiple choice exam, I have my students create a presentation about themselves in Spanish.  It’s a solo-project, where students have the opportunity to examine what they already know from Spanish level 1 and write out their answers in the target language. Upon doing so, they partner with another student to swap their writing samples and get peer feedback on their work.  Their final assessment is to take the final written work and turn it into an oral presentation with a visual aide and introduce themselves to the class.

The following, on the left, are the written directions given to the students. On the right is the questionnaire that students fill out completely in Spanish and then get revised by a peer.  And the last photograph is the template I use for grading the presentation.

 

The purpose of this assessment is to find out what students understand from their previous level one Spanish class, as well as see how well they can communicate in both written and oral formal.

The assumptions I have made about this assessment are that I thought, upon creating it, that it would be a different way to test students’ understanding of previous material (assessing prior knowledge).  I also thought it’d be more interactive than doing a written examination and by allowing students an opportunity to get feedback from a peer, it would show students that they all make mistakes and allow them to practice their understanding by being the “teacher.”

Comparing this assessment to my previous post and what I believe in assessment, I think that this assessment goes along with the ideas that assessments should be:

  1. Relevant and engaging
  2. Provide feedback to get better.
  3. And that there is no “perfect” way to assess understanding.

I thought this form of assessment engaged my students and gave them a platform to share what they learned by presenting information about themselves to the class. It was laid out formally, but students had an opportunity to create a visual aide in a way that they wanted to and express themselves in the target language.  Giving students the opportunity to give each other feedback and in a timely manner was also addressed in this assessment.  And ultimately, I would’ve done another form of assessment, but this option allowed me to hear their oral skills as a Spanish speaker and see their written work as well — which shows a multifaceted learning approach.

Lorrie A. Shepard, in her article, “The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture,” explained that historically assessment follows a behaviorist approach that teaching and testing and thus the learning behind it is sequenced and hierarchical, transfer is limited and motivation is external (Shepard, 2000. p. 5).  She also explained that “tests should be used frequently to ensure mastery before proceeding to the next objective.”

I think that my assessment has some limitations in that it specifically guided my students to answer specific questions that I was looking for, but I feel that the format was not necessarily strictly repetitive or hierarchical because it gave students an opportunity to answer in their own format. Also, as a part of this assessment, their visual aide was differentiated and students were allowed to create a poster board or a Powerpoint presentation/google slide show to go along with their oral presentation.  I also believe that this assessment gave students a “real world” scenario to work from where they had to orally introduce themselves to the class in the target language.

Overall, I think that this assessment was a good introduction to my current ability to create assessment, but I think that with taking CEP 813, I will have the opportunity to explore new options and make my assessments more engaging, creative and learning focused.

Source:

Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4-14.

Beliefs on Assessment

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve updated my blog.  I am currently enrolled in an Online Assessment course toward earning my Certificate in Online Teaching and my Master’s of Arts in Educational Technology.

To begin, three things that I believe about assessment are that:

  1. Assessment should be relevant and engaging. Learners who are being assessed should not feel “surprised” or that they were misguided.  This reflects on the idea that the learner should not only understand content and expectations, but also that the assessment provides a clear understanding of those set learning expectations and assesses them accordingly.
  2. Assessment should provide learners with the necessary feedback to help them understand the material better and to give them a better scope on their learning outcome.  Through assessment, does the learner need to revise their understanding or thought process? Or do they have a good grasp of the content and are they able to show that understanding?
  3. Finally, I believe that there is no one “perfect” way to assess a learner’s understanding of content knowledge.  When you think of all of the types of assessments (formative, summative, work-integrated, dyanmic, diagnostic, synoptic, etc.) that can help assess a learner’s understanding, it is important to think about which type would provide you (the educator/teacher) with the most relevant results (going back to belief number one).

Finally, I believe that most learners think of assessments in a negatively — and oftentime that negativity can manipulate the way they respond or answer an assessment.  Through the process of understanding learning and assessment, as educators, we can help change the way we develop great assessment and ultimately change the way learners view assessments in the future.