Matching assessment and instructional objectives
In successful projects teachers teach what they plan to assess and then assess what they teach. Steps to help ensure this process are to:
In the Bridges Project, learn how students at Louisville High School in Kentucky explored principles of physics and math, and honed English skills through the development of bridge proposals and models. Students were held to professional standards for their individual efforts and teamwork.
- Articulate assessment purpose, scope, and types.
- Establish project components to reflect learning objectives.
- Identify the ways that the core learning objectives are demonstrated through the project components and are reflected in assessment.
- Define levels of performance (quality and content) and standards of measurement to reflect the academic, technical, and process objectives established for the project.
Successful projects rely on students having complete information on project process, expected outcomes, and evaluation standards. Such information includes:
In Kalo Inc., learn how students at the Kanu o ka 'Aina New Century Public Charter School launched a multimedia business. The process of working with production deadlines and marketing a saleable product provide numerous opportunities to assess project process and management.
- Calendars, assigned content requirements, project "product" requirements and supporting information.
- Rubrics and exemplars.
- Extended lessons and assignments with opportunities and/or resources for enrichment and support.
Evaluating progress regularly
Ongoing assessment is essential to identify growth and support learning needs. Successful projects provide students with clear and immediate feedback whenever possible, and create regular means for students to measure accomplishment and refine process by:
In Community Connections, see how at-risk students in Corvallis, Oregon participated in a series of projects featuring mental health, alcohol and drug counseling, communication, anger management, team building, art, music, writing, applied technology, field biology, movement, and school-to-career opportunities. Regular and integrated feedback from a team of teachers and counselors helped student internalize content and important personal lessons.
- Providing learning-demonstration opportunities in which accomplishment is self-evident.
- Incorporating practical objective benchmarks including formal and informal testing processes.
- Displaying student work.
- Considering self and peer assessment opportunities.
- Providing opportunities for mentor, advisor, and instructor conferences.
Culminating products provide both evidence and demonstration of students' academic, process, and technical skills, as well as the
integration of academic content with practical applications. In successful projects:
In the Tropical Rainforest Interactive Presentations, learn how students in the Environmental Science Academy (ESA) at the GASC Technology Center in Flint, Michigan converted an unused greenhouse into a living rainforest environment, which they use to teach local elementary school children about rainforest ecosystems.
- Components should be carefully aligned to assessment objectives.
- Students should be able to identify the learning demonstrated by and intrinsic in their work.
- Final products should provide value to the student beyond the scope of the assignment as a personal demonstration of achievement.