How will I know what students are learning and how will students?
Evidence of Learning
In chapter five of Making Classroom Assessment Work, Davies discusses how to ensure the evidence of learning we collect is valid and reliable (45). Triangulation is a model that can help teachers gather valid and reliable evidence (46). The three suggested ways of gathering evidence are: observation, conversation, and product (45-46). Gathering assessment is something that I have struggled with in the past. I associated it with assigning grades, which I don’t like doing especially when I was only teaching one class. The practice of triangulating the assessment during the learning process is helping me to see how I can assessment to improve learning rather than create a focus on grades rather than learning. In this vain, Davies says, “[c]onsider assessing more and evaluating less. We interrupt learning if we evaluate too often, whereas assessment information can guide instruction and support learning” (52). This is the exact feeling I had when I was marking students work. Triangulated assessment gives me a way to gather evidence of learning that I, and I’m sure students, feel is accurate. I am sure it will take adjusting and great effort, but it has carved a path for a destination I definitely want to reach.
I know I will have a full comprehension of what students are learning and have learned by consistently assessing over a period of time and by collecting evidence of learning in different ways.
The next natural step is outline in chapter six. The idea of involving students in the gathering of evidence and the assessing of their learning builds off of previous chapters.While I believe gathering evidence and assessing in multiple ways will provide an accurate view of student learning, involving students will make the learning process more personalized and also allow students to take “ownership” of their learning (57). I think that having students determine what success would look like and generate clear ideas of how to show their learning will help them learn. I like the idea of creating a collaborative classroom environment. I believe that giving students responsibility for their learning will motivate them to learn better than if I were to dictate what and how students will learn. Ultimately, I want students to see how their education can suit them and their needs. I want students to be comfortable and know that what matters is what they are learning, not that they get 90% on one “large-scale assessment” (51). If students are involved in assessment, then they will have a better understanding of where they are going and where they need to improve. I like this method, because it prepares them to self-evaluate and encourages life-long learning. This skill is transferable in so many ways. This practice support the idea of co-constructing knowledge, which is important because I don’t believe education revolves around me — it has to be more collaborative than that.
Davies, Anne. Making Classroom Assessment Work. 3rd ed. Courtenay, B.C.: Connections Pub., 2011. Print.