This week I’ve chosen to reflect on both the class and the assigned reading for this week. After completing the reading for dhapter 1,2, and 11 of Making Classroom Assessment Work by Anne Davies I found some connections between our conversations in class and what was read in the text.
The conversation that stuck out most to me was whether or not students should continue to have grades in the form of percents, numbers, and letters, or whether students report cards should move towards outcome based measures i.e. progressing, meeting, exceeding. The topic came up after reading an article about local schools who had chosen to move away from the “grade” system. While many different perspectives were discussed in the class, I found that I favored the outcome based measures most. I say this because as I reflect on my school experience, I believed that my intellegiance was rated by high grades. I remember forever wanting to be a 90’s student and anytime I got a grade lower than 80 it resulted in a mental breakdown. I understood intellegiance this way because that was my perception of the world around me. The students who got high grades were acknowledged and praised. As many students do, I craved that praise and acknowldgement.
When I dug into the text, I found that my favour of outcome based measures was backed up through research and the authors written words. For example, on pg.5 of the text:
When we involve students in shaping their learning, they are more likely to:
- understand what is expected of them
- access to prior knowledge
- have some ownership over making it happen
- be able to give themselves descriptive feedback as they are learning
- give information that teachers need to adjust their teaching
When I connect the outcome based meausures approach and allowing students to shape their learning, I see more involvement and opportunity for the student is what drives success.
Another note I reflected on is the idea that students will do better when given descriptive feedback as opposed to just a grade. The text also speaks to the difference between evlauation and assessment. Evlauation is seen as the WHAT of student work. When you get a grade you know what you did; good work (high grades) or bad work (low grades). When you are given evidence of assessment and feedback, you come to understand HOW you got to where you are; understanding the assignment or not understanding the assignment.
When I think of my own school experiences, I remember appreciating the in depth comments teachers made on report cards and handed in assignments. It made me feel like I was more than just a number to them, that they had taken the time to really look at my work and tell me where I had gone right, or wrong.
As we dig deeper into the text and move along in the class, I look forward to learning more about assessment in the classroom and ways in which I can use it effectively.