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21st Century Classroom Assessment: Redefining Effective

21st Century Classroom Assessment: Redefining Effective

By Terra Cochrane

What does good assessment and reporting look like?

Is good reporting achieved when parents can log in and view their child’s grade at the click of a button? Some would say, yes, this immediate access to grades and percentages has removed huge barriers.

I argue that, while giving parents access to their student’s grade is important, we can and should do better, as most learning is not adequately reflected in the form of a letter grade.

In physics, we learn that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same theory can be applied to assessment—for every grade given (quantitative data), there is an equal measure of qualitative data that gives context and depth to the grade applied.

Use this theory to make your 21st century assessment more effective.

Learning Beyond the Scantron

Picture this: There’s a bustling first grade classroom, with 28 students engaging at various stations. One particular student, Josh*, has built a bridge. This bridge, by grade one standards, is impressive. This bridge, by Josh’s standards, is downright spectacular. His teacher has goose bumps.

Josh is a “troubled” student who’s still struggling to recognize the alphabet as his classmates are learning to read chapter books. He challenges even the most patient teachers to keep him focused and on-task.

“His report card would have no mention of the focused, thoughtful problem solving that was achieved through the bridge. Instead, his report card would summarize his continued failure to meet the stated outcomes.”

Before this era of immersive technology, Josh’s teacher would have verbally recognized him for his efforts and the bridge would have disappeared during cleanup time. The learning milestone that was accomplished, for Josh, would become a story, possibly recanted at the parent-teacher interview, still one month away.

His report card would have no mention of the focused, thoughtful problem solving that was achieved through the bridge. Instead, his report card would summarize his continued failure to meet the stated outcomes.

Luckily, for kids like Josh, technology allows teachers to move beyond the traditional report card. New tools help you securely document and communicate learning in ways that couldn’t be done before, providing a better classroom assessment method.

This technology allows you, as a teacher, to recognize and celebrate individuals, and give students personalized learning opportunities.

This story doesn’t end there. Josh still struggles and his teachers are still challenged, but he’s improving, and the needle on his learning progress meter is moving.

Technology, in this case FreshGrade, gave an inspired teacher and invested guardians an opportunity to make an important impact in Josh’s education. Below is a picture of Josh’s bridge, graciously provided with permission from his amazing teacher.

classroom assessment - bridge building

Involve Your Students

Assessing used to fall squarely on the shoulders of the teacher—now that’s has changed. Now, you can empower your students to document their own learning, set their own goals, and be accountable to both the teacher and their parents to show progress.

This creates a more collaborative classroom assessment process, one that relies on participation from all stakeholders (teachers, students and parents) to be successful.

Use these tech tools to empower all the stakeholders in this new 21st century assessment model.

“Now, you can empower your students to document their own learning, set their own goals, and be accountable.”

Encourage Learning at Home

While engaging parents in classroom assessment is important, many still want tools to support and empower their child’s learning at home as well. Some engaging tools that parents can turn to, include:

Whooo’s Reading

This free teacher tool allows students to earn Wisdom Coins for logging reading, commenting on their peers’ responses, and answering Common Core-aligned questions. While parents can’t use this tool on their own, they can log in and see what their students are reading if you implement it in your classroom.

Learning Bird

The Learning Bird program acts like a private tutor for that student, adapting to their specific needs. The experts at Learning Bird know that kids learn differently, and this provides a huge pool of educator-created content to address the variety of learning styles.

Every day technology is opening doors for teachers, students and parents to have more successful academic journeys together. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your classroom assessment for effective.

*Name changed to protect privacy

Empower students and your school with an online fundraiser Read-A-Thon at Learn2Earn.

WRforSchools
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  1. Pingback: 10 Best Tools for a 5-Minute Formative Assessment

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