Assessment Toolkit Updates

I recently had a workshop on the Assessment Toolkit that was built last summer (http://uashome.alaska.edu/~sitka_media/training/assessment/story_html5.html) and I was given some great information by participants of the class. I wanted to share two items that they brought up that are now going to be added into the toolkit. Yes, as a FLC reader, you get a sneak peak!

Main Page of the Assessment Toolkit

The two items that will be added are a rubric tool, and also information on “Understanding by Design.”

Both of these tools are being used by faculty here at UAS, so if you haven’t seen them, this is a great opportunity to “kick the tires.”

The rubric tool is called RubiStar, and it allows you to build a rubric for your assignments using a template provided. RubiStar is funded through the U.S. Department of Education, and is free to use. Just click on the image below to access it:

The second item to be added to the Assessment Toolkit is information about “Understanding by Design.” UbD is a framework for building courses and is based on the concept of Backwards Design.

Seven tenets of UbD are:

  1. Learning is enhanced when teachers think purposefully about curricular planning. The UbD framework helps this process without offering a rigid process or prescriptive recipe.
  2. The UbD framework helps focus curriculum and teaching on the development and deepening of student understanding and transfer of learning (i.e., the ability to effectively use content knowledge and skill).
  3. Understanding is revealed when students autonomously make sense of and transfer their learning through authentic performance. Six facets of understanding—the capacity to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess—can serve as indicators of understanding.
  4. Effective curriculum is planned backward from long-term, desired results through a three-stage design process (Desired Results, Evidence, and Learning Plan). This process helps avoid the common problems of treating the textbook as the curriculum rather than a resource, and activity-oriented teaching in which no clear priorities and purposes are apparent.
  5. Teachers are coaches of understanding, not mere purveyors of content knowledge, skill, or activity. They focus on ensuring that learning happens, not just teaching (and assuming that what was taught was learned); they always aim and check for successful meaning making and transfer by the learner.
  6. Regularly reviewing units and curriculum against design standards enhances curricular quality and effectiveness, and provides engaging and professional discussions.
  7. The UbD framework reflects a continual improvement approach to student achievement and teacher craft. The results of our designs—student performance—inform needed adjustments in curriculum as well as instruction so that student learning is maximized.

If you have other suggestions for items that you don’t see in the Assessment Toolkit, but think they should be included – just leave your suggestions in the “comments” and I’ll take a look! Thanks for reading the FLC today and have a great weekend!