Monday, 16 December 2013

Changing the Assessment Format

I tend to do a wide variety of different types of work in class - from class presentations to video creation. My assessment work almost always ends up as a written piece of work, either an essay or questions and answers. Although they get to showcase a lot of the other work they have done in this, it does seem to get a bit static and seems to benefit only students with one type of preferred learning style.


For the last assessment this term I have decided to let grade 6 and 7 create videos. I gave them interview questions about their product and put them in pairs. It created a great buzz in the classroom and students were really happy about the work, even if it was an assessment piece! I  saw students who often panic about their assessments lighting up and talking excitedly about their work!
The only issue so far has been the videos being too long to upload or students not knowing how to. However I have sat with all the students who have asked for help and guided them through this process. Next time they should be able to do it easily!

For grades 8 and 9 I simple gave them a check list and told them they could either use them to write an essay or they could turn them into interview questions and interview each other. I think giving them the choice and the flexibility to write how they wanted or to ask what questions they wanted, (as long as it matched the checklist) was really crucial for engaging the older students, as it gave them a sense of ownership over their work and freedom to evaluate their work how they wanted to.

So far marking the work has been very rewarding. Often I see some students put less effort into their written evaluations, failing to promote the fantastic work they have done in class, but with my new flexible assessments I have not seen this!

For the MYP Technology course students must work on five areas their Investigation, Plan, Design, Creation and Evaluation, (and 'Attitudes to Technology' in the Next Chapter). They create folders in Google Drive for this and then pull the information into their assessment work. I thought about getting them to upload a zip of each folder, along with a short evaluation, (2/3 minute interview / page long essay) to accompany it. I will trial this with the older grades next term and will let you know how I get on!

Has anyone found any other ways to do assessed work?