Archive for the ‘EDU 6160’ Category

For EDU 6160, my classmates and I constructed a Problem-Based Learning Model based on the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

http://sites.google.com/site/pblmodelbywekidalot/

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This is a lesson plan I constructed for EDU 6160.  The main learning activity is reconstructing maps of the area around Gettyburg, Pennsylvania for a deeper understanding of the battle that took place there.  It also contains a description and discussion of the formative and summative assessments that I included in the lesson.

EDU 6160- Lesson Plan

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This my final paper for EDU 6160.  It describes and discusses several assessment methods focusing on Formative Assessment concepts.

EDU 6160- Final Methods Paper

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Advances in technology continually provide new opportunities for learning experiences in the classroom. It is an important responsibility of the teacher to be aware of new technologies and what is available for them to use. Among the new technologies available to teachers today are web-based testing, automated scoring, Google documents, survey sites, access to grades and projects online, and assessment assistance websites for rubric creation. Technological proficiency is becoming an important part of any school curriculum. As students gain access to more computers in the classroom, the dynamics of the classroom change with the integration of new technologies. Assessment is effected specifically through a change in the way information is collected. With summative assessments, student work is graded by a program and the scores are reported with suggestions for improvement. With formative assessment, teachers are given extra opportunities to check student comprehension through the use of survey programs and others that assess student understanding in a fun, engaging way. As Shermis and DiVesta (2011) write, specifically about technology’s effect on assessment, “One of the advantages of using computer-based technologies is that they, unlike large-scale standardized tests, are easily amenable to classroom adaptation. The challenge is simply trying to keep abreast of all of the innovations that can help you perform assessments” (Kindle Locations 6613-6615).

Reference:
Shermis, M. & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Academic achievement in the classroom is dependent on several factors: attainable goals and objectives clearly stated, multiple formal and informal formative assessment practices to monitor student progress, expectable summative assessments based on unit content, and multiple opportunities for self-reflection on progress. In order for these factors to mesh into successful instruction, there must be continuing student motivation for achievement. This is maintained and encouraged by the teacher through demeanor and attitude towards the students in addition to a carefully constructed formative assessment program that allows the students to be aware of their progress toward completing the objectives. As Shermis and DiVesta (2011) write, “Feedback about student performance, as an indicator of instructional effectiveness, is a critical part of formative assessment. To be optimally useful, teachers and students interact to communicate their interpretation of grades, scores, or other measures. Such conversations provide a basis for understanding what has been accomplished and how much progress has been made toward the achievement of instructional goals” (Kindle Locations 2460-2463). Continuing conversations between the teacher and students about their progress and a general attitude toward formative assessments that understands their constructive and supportive nature will be helpful in the encouragement of students toward academic success in the classroom.

Reference:
Shermis, M. & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc..
Kindle Edition.

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The flexibility of curriculum is essential to successful learning. No carefully planned unit in any subject will foresee the learning needs of each and every student. It is important that each unit be constructed with the understanding that student needs will necessitate changes.
Changes in curriculum are guided by the results of different forms of formative instruction. Each lesson should be written with several ‘checking in’ components to gauge the students learning and disposition. As Shermis and DiVesta (2011) write, “The idea is that any or all assessments provide a basis for considering retention or change in your approach. With assessments conducted with students and teachers working cooperatively, teachers retain an approach that is producing satisfactory results, revise instruction to improve its effectiveness, or, when the occasion demands it, abandon an instructional component that is ineffective. Monitoring instruction and learning in these ways is intended to have continual effects on the improvement of instruction” (2540-2543). In any unit, students’ prior understanding or lesson effectiveness may require that the teacher spend more time on one aspect of the lesson and less on another. Also, students may need individual instruction on problem areas or might be more successful with content if given an activity that plays to their strongest intelligence. Formative assessment and a detailed understanding of the students allow the teacher to understand when and where these adjustments need to take place.

Reference:
Shermis, M. & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc..
Kindle Edition.

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In order to have an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes where students understand the objectives and are informed of their progress toward meeting them, a teacher must integrate both formative and summative assessments into their curriculum. In order for students to understand where they are in their progress towards meeting standards, there must be informal and formal formative assessments gauging their progress for feedback. This means that the teacher is constantly checking up with their students about what they understand and don’t understand (informal formative) and is constantly assigning projects and written assessments throughout the unit which assess the understanding of the student of content covered (formal formative). These assessments and others are done in the understanding that there will be a formal test (Summative Assessment) at the end of the unit which will assess their completion of the objective and whether or not they have passed state and schools standards for the unit. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment should all be aligned with the learning objective or target for each lesson and students should be made aware what the objectives are for each lesson if they are to be formally assessed of their progress towards and completion of the learning objective. Shermis and DiVesta (2011) in their book Classroom Assessment in Action explain the use of formative and summative assessments in more detail and give extended examples of each (2434-3373).
Reference:
Shermis, M., & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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The integration of the latest technology into the classroom is central to our students’ technological proficiency in the world after high school. Our students must be informed of and familiar with the latest networking technology so that they can carry that proficiency with them into college and their careers. In addition, new technology improves the learning of individuals in the classroom and provides opportunities for deeper engagement, as well as for new assessment practices. As Shermis and DiVesta (2011) write, “The purpose of applying technology in classroom assessment is threefold: to collect information with greater reliability and validity, to collect it more efficiently, and to provide a mechanism to feed into instructional efforts resulting from the assessment” (6611-6613). A good example of technology that would improve learning in a classroom would be the use of Gmail and Google Documents. Using Google documents, students could collaborate on PowerPoint presentations or an essay and wouldn’t have to limit their collaborative work to class time. This would mean that group projects would require less allotted time in class for group work which would free up time for instruction and engaging learning activities and allow for more group projects to happen throughout the year.

References:
Shermis, M., & DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action (Kindle Locations 6611-6613). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Effective standards-based assessment will always include more forms of assessment then the unit test. All summative assessment components of a unit must be accompanied by several formative assessment practices and several self-assessment strategies. According to Shermis and DiVesta (2011), “Assessment of student progress occurs on a day-to-day, even moment-to-moment basis; it is not simply a grade assigned at the end of month or marking period; all methods of assessment provide key information about student progress” (pgs. 83-84). Formative assessments are the unofficial ‘checking up’ practices that teachers use to gauge student learning during a unit. Examples of formative assessments are asking students questions in class, listening in on small group discussions, asking your students to write down their thoughts about the lesson (this could be an entry or exit slip), giving pop quizzes, homework assignments, or communicating directly with the student to gauge how much they understand. Formative assessments improve learning because they provide teachers with a clear picture of their students’ understanding so that they can modify their lessons accordingly. Formative Assessments also help students solidify the information that they learn by providing opportunities for them to recite what they understand before they are asked to do so on the test.
References:
Shermis, M., DiVesta, F. (2011). Classroom Assessment in Action (Kindle Locations 2454-2455). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Kindle Edition.

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Reaching individual students requires planned and researched assessment practices that gauge individual student understanding and provide for further learning. Successful planning for assessments involves deciding what you will be attempting to infer from your student’s responses; how and when you will administer these assessments; and how it will change your instruction (Shermis and Divesta, 2011). In order to best infer what you can from student work, you must have a firm understanding of your students through intentional inquiry. You must make the effort to get to know your students so that you can plan your assessments appropriately. Because your students will vary in their intelligences and in their motivations, you must be prepared to assess what they know through multiple forms of assessment. Where one student may not perform well on tests but excels in projects, you may have another student who performs the opposite. This is why multiple and varying assessments are important. Your goal should be to help your students become proficient in every form of assessment you give them. By giving them multiple forms, you’re helping your students to understand that they can be successful especially if their strengths are not the typical focuses of your subject.
References:
Shermis, M. D. & DiVesta, F. J. (2011). Classroom assessment in action. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.

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