[I’m participating in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for language teachers worldwide that focuses on blended learning in the World Language classroom. This blog post is an assignment for that course.]
Effective Assessment Tools and Methods
Assessment was the topic for Week 4 at the LTMOOC. I listened to Kathryn Murphy-Judy of Virginia Commonwealth University and read four articles: Assessment (Flinders University), Assessment of Collaborative Learning Project Outcomes (EDUCAUSE), Conduct Assessments of Learning and Teaching (Carnegie Mellon University), and Classroom Assessment Techniques, CATs (Carnegie Mellon University).
What a rewarding week it was! — So many good ideas and concepts. Here’s a recap:
Dr. Murphy-Judy – 3 big take-aways:
1) Technology strengthens the possibilities of language and teaching.
> The ability to slow down TL audio allows students to focus on listening to and listening for common word groupings and phrases.
> Anonymous error correction activities promote greater risk-taking by students.
2) Recycle a written or audio piece for different purposes.
> Possible ways to recycle: Listen to sounds, later listen to vocab, focus on nouns or verbs, look for/listen for cognates, look for/listen for cultural aspects.
> Choose authentic samples with this “recycling” purpose in mind.
3) Online learners need to learn the skills needed for autonomously learning online.
Flinders University – A well-designed assessment is:
- Authentic and realistic for the learner group
- Relevant to classroom activities
- A productive use of student and teacher time
- A learning experience in its own right
- Flexible enough to allow degree of student choice and differentiation
EDUCAUSE – Recommendation for collaborative projects with collective outcomes
Establish an accountability contract which spells out specific roles and areas of responsibility for students and teachers; protocols regarding communication, documentation, and technology; timelines; quality standards (rubrics); and accountability checkpoints.
Carnegie Mellon University – Two tools for assessing learning and promoting self-assessment
CATs: Formative assessments that make visible the learning that has occurred during the class period, solicit lingering doubts, encourage student-involved assessment, and uncover relevant prior knowledge.
Exam wrappers: To encourage students to process their graded exams more deeply, faculty members devised exam wrappers, short handouts that students complete when an exam is turned back to them. These exam wrappers direct students to review their performance (and the instructor’s feedback) with an eye toward adapting their future learning for better assessment results and overall study skills.