One of the assessments for the completed
model bridges was the load test. Could each
structure support 1 kilogram for 10 minutes?
A variety of assessment and evaluation tools were used for the Bridge Project.
Students kept a working portfolio that included daily assignments, group journals
and logs, research they had gathered, and any other pertinent information. Ms.
Texas periodically reviewed the portfolios with students. Once a week, she met
with student groups to discuss progress toward their goals. This time was spent
working with students on issues related to group dynamics, time management,
and conceptual understanding of the content. Several times throughout the project
students had the opportunity to reflect on the process and provide feedback
and/or suggestions for improvement. These opportunities occurred at regular
intervals: after writing the research article, at the end of the first bridge
construction (before load testing), and at the conclusion of the project. Students
had two opportunities to provide feedback to each other: through peer editing
during the professional journal writing and then through a post-it session before
the bridges were load tested. At the conclusion of the project, students reflected
on the process by participating in a fishbowl discussion/Socratic seminar, did
a self-assessment, assessed each member of their group, and reflected on group
dynamics. Asking for and respecting student feedback resulted in students behaving
more like adults and gaining greater respect for themselves and each other.
Finally, more traditional assessments were also used during the project including
tests, quizzes, and open-response questions to assess understanding of the academic
Rules for Fishbowl/Socratic Seminar
Group Member Evaluation
Bridge Project Evaluation
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