Flat Classroom #9: Assess

Challenge #9: Assess

Do after: Module 4 Contribution and Collaboration
 
Do: Using the Wiki Rubric to assess three people from another group in the wiki project you completed in challenge #8. Assess yourself.
 
Share: Compare your assessment with a partner, the self-assessment of the students who participated or with the sample completions on-line. Blog your thoughts on the assessment process on your blog or in a group. If you share with a group, record your discussions via the multi-media of your choice and post.

I have decided to use the assessment rubric for my wiki experiment. I made changes to the rubric to make it fit my project better. The link to the wiki project contains the rubric under the *Student Evaluation* page. For the assessment piece I had the students evaluate themselves prior to grading the pages myself. I also contacted some friends I have in my education networks from around the world to read through the pages to provide additional feedback.

I learned a great deal from this project. Here is a brief list of main ideas that stand out.

  • Despite the notion that we think students are tech savvy, they lack any true skills for using technology for educational purposes.
  • Students lack the skills to provide effective feedback.
  • Students need to learn to be taught how to collaborate online.
  • Teachers have to be able to let go of control.
  • Teachers need to check work daily and provide mini teaching lessons is areas of learning that are lacking
  • Overall, education standards need to be raised to a higher level.

I just read back through this list and it seems so negative. I did not intend this. Actually, I thought the project went very well. I was quite happy with the result, but there are obviously some things to address that are out of control in a three week unit.

I had all the students provide feedback several times. Earlier in the week they had to provide a 3-2-1 Soundboard feedback to two other students. I had asked them to provide feedback each day, but I then realized they did not know how to do this effectively. I put this form into place and it really helped. They need guidance. They are not comfortable providing feedback unless I made it an “assignment”. I am not sure how to change this mindset.

The last day I had the students evaluate themselves using the same rubric as I will use. This was interesting. There are some who are so off track giving themselves a perfect score while their wiki is far from perfect. I have to stop and ponder why they thought this way. Are they hoping I agree? Do they really think they did this great(even when they did not complete tasks)? Do they just not care? Have they been told that all they do is great a perfect? I don’t know.

On the flip side some students were ruthless to themselves. They scored themselves much lower than I would have scored them. I see both extremes. These are the studnets who actually did a great job on the project. They listened to all directions and helped keep things moving.

Finally, there are the ones(most of them) who are dead on target with how I would grade them. They know exactly whether or not they did a good job or not.

A few things for next year. Teachers need to begin to implement collaboration skills into the classroom. More than just putting them in a group, divide up tasks, and go. Students need to work on projects in both real world time and also when they are nto working at the same time(online when not everyone is online). I tried to teach the students basics skills and parameters to use, but three weeks is not enough time absorb this information. Also, they have no idea how to use the internet effectively. They can bypass the filters to play games like no other, but are clueless how to search properly, use web 2.0 tools, hyperlink text, etc. I was blown away by their lack of knowledge. I felt like I was teaching a computer class. The great thing is that they catch on very quickly so I could teach a concept and they got it after a few tries.

Finally, I teach in a great school and district. We have great students. However, the bar needs to be raised. Higher expectations need to be expected. I teach extensions where I pull out the top 15% of the population for certain units. It is crazy to see what they students view as great work compared to my own thoughts. Maybe I am too tough, but they are capable of so much more. It is time to raise the stakes. It is time to push these students to think more critically and at higher levels. This needs to occur throughout every class because when I forced the students to present again or do a task over they performed. They have learned through several years that they only have to push so far to earn a decent grade.

Whew! This is a long post, but these are my thoughts after evaluating my project.

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