In our last assignment in Electronic Assessment, we were asked to modify our formative assessment design for a third time. Even though the semester is coming to an end, this does not mean that we should stop tweaking it. We should improve our design each time we go through the unit. I have learned a lot about the design of assessments over the past fifteen weeks. Assessments come in all forms and they each have their own benefits. For example, in my Right Triangle Unit, students were asked to keep a journal, produce a screencast, work with their peers and share their work via a electronic portfolio. All of these assessments were unique in their own way. To read more about my design, please click on the link below.
Write a blog post in which you identify your best piece of work for CEP 813. Reflect on the ways that it was assessed and the extent to which this assessment supported your learning, if at all. What lessons can you take from this experience?
In CEP 813, we explored several digital tools that will help us keep students engaged when learning online. The tool that I was most intrigued by and was my best piece of work was the Piktochart. I created a Piktochart that weighed the pros and cons of using Google Drive. I broke my chart into three areas: 1) a fancy header to catch students' attention and let them know what the graphic was about 2) pros & cons on why students should use Google Drive and 3) an area for key statistics and practical uses for using Google Drive for assessments.
The infographic was broken down into four areas to be assessed:
(a) Content Focus:The core content/idea is easy to understand and clearly influenced by learning in CEP813
(b) Value to Audience:The audience is clear & content is of value to the intended audience.
(c) Organization: The organizational structure of the information supports understanding.
(d) Design Aesthetics:The design aesthetic is appealing and supportive of the core ideas.
These areas directed me on how to present the information in the infographic. We had to present an issue that was important to electronic assessment. Using Google Drive allows teachers to store everything in a cloud, making collecting assignments and delivering feedback easy for both them and the students. The information had to be meaningful to the readers and contain content that was relevant to what they wanted to learn. Lastly, it had to be organized in an appealing way that the information that was being presented had a good flow and was easy to read.
I've always seen sports teams use infographics to display recaps of recent games but did not know how they were created. They are great for visual learners who might have trouble picking up key points in a black and white textbook. Using this module to explore on my own and to create a graphic, I now feel comfortable using Piktochart in my repertoire for digital tools. I know that I will be using these charts in the future.
In Module 7, we were asked to revise our Content Management System screencast on assessments. In this screencast, we cover why I decided to stick with Schoology as my CMS, the important interaction between Schoology & the learning I hope the students would do and most importantly the assessment itself.
The reason why I decided to stick with Schoology was because students can upload assignments into a drop box which makes it easy to turn in and everything is in one area for the teacher. I added a second part to my previous assessment in which students record a video of themselves performing CPR. I added this to the assessment because I wanted more than just the facts of how to perform CPR. This assessment will now give students the chance to practice CPR before performing their final practical. A lot of CMS sites have drop boxes but Schoology has the option of downloading of them all into one place. Schoology can host a lot of videos. This is important in physical education because it allows teachers to post videos of specific movements and break skills into a series of steps. This will benefit visual learners because they can actually see what the teacher is trying to explain.
I want the students to know the facts about CPR and learn how to perform CPR under pressure. Hopefully, they'll never have to perform CPR. No training will ever compare to performing CPR in a life saving situation where students are asked to make split second decisions. Students will practice CPR in front of classmates, in making screencasts and during their final practical. Our goal is that students will feel more comfortable performing CPR with these reenactments in case they do need to perform CPR. Knowing the facts, proper order and the latest techniques are important things that the students should know.
Lastly, this assessment is designed for physical education students who want to be CPR certified. A recent trend in Massachusetts is having students be CPR certified as a graduation requirement. Students will learn the proper technique and skills during physical education classes as part of a First Aid unit. In the future, it could be taught during a Junior/Senior class. This assessment satisfies Massachusetts Health Framework 9.19 which states that “through the study of Emergency intervention students will be able to demonstrate appropriate first aid for stings,bites, broken bones, bleeding, chocking, shock, poisoning, burns and cardiac arrest.”
In conclusion, Schoology offers a lot to both students and teachers to make learning online easy and effective. Displaying videos, receiving/giving feedback instantly and having a clear grade book gives the learners a clearer picture on what is expected from them and where they are currently in the class. I would recommend Schoology to any of my colleagues who are looking to integrate a CMS into their classroom.
This assessment was designed to be used as a preview for the Chapter 9 test on Right Triangle Trigonometry. Students were given clear instructions so that the teacher could give specific feedback on areas that the students were having difficulty with. This assessment is a work in progress and will be revised and turned in a third time in Module 7.
This class, electronic assessment, has been a “digital sandbox” when it comes to exploring new ideas. It gave us a chance to discover new tools and create several new projects that before this class, I do not believe I would have ever used. We learned the differences between formative and summative assessments and how they each had their own benefits. If we made a mistake, and trust me... I made a few, we could take a break from the project and start over with a clear mind. Giving me this opportunity to create and not achieve success at first, allowed me to grow professionally. In this blog, I want to talk about the assignment that I had the most professional growth in: Minecraft.
Minecraft was a formative assessment that is different than a chapter test, where students are graded based on how many answers they answered correctly. It was an assessment that had no right or wrong answers and let us explore as learners. Giving us control of our own learning is a very powerful feeling for students. We were given basic guidelines to follow but were also given the freedom to decide where we wanted to go. We were allowed a week to roam around in a world created for beginners to train ourselves. I used this time and felt comfortable with how to move and gather information. However, after the week was over, we started fresh and had a freshly raked sandbox. All of the things that I felt comfortable doing in the training mode, I could not do in this new world. I was trapped in a barn and couldn't seem to jump or fly out of it. I felt totally discouraged because I did not know how to do anything any more. I explored and saw that my classmates were building hospitals and pyramids and the only thing I could do was destroy dirt and start to build my Pilgrim Monument out of dirt. I started to compare how I felt to my students when they do not understand a concept in math. After researching on the web, I found that I could give myself any element that I wanted. I then started to build Provincetown Harbor and a vegetable garden in Plymouth. I stayed up from 1am to 7am building my assessment and it was a powerful moment when I finally finished. It was something that I was proud to accomplish because at midnight I felt deflated and wanted to give up on the project. I am not the only person who has felt this way when dealing with video games and education. When Constance Steinkuehler was interviewed for an online article, she said that students were able to conquer games like Minecraft because “It wasn't just that the students knew the domain well; there were plenty of unfamiliar words. But they persisted more because they cared about the task” (Thompson, 2014).
In conclusion, because this assessment was not “high risk” it gave us the chance to make mistakes and start over if we were not successful the first time. Having assessments such as digital portfolios allow us to show growth over time by documenting our work each step of the way. There might be a few detours to the final product but when we finish, it allows us to look at what we were able to accomplish.
Thompson, C. (2014, October 9). How Videogames Like Minecraft Actually Help Kids Learn to Read. Retrieved August 8, 2015. from http://www.wired.com/2014/10/video-game-literacy/
When deciding which graduate certificates I should pursue with my Masters of Education, I was intrigued with the concentration of Online Teaching & Learning. One of the areas that was of focus was electronic assessment. I've learned through CEP 813 that there are many different ways that students can be assessed. Besides the teacher, students can be tested by peer and self-assessments. Using all three can provide a balance approach when trying to understand what a student has learned.
Before this program, I've created several portfolios for student teaching and to market myself for employment but I have never created a digital portfolio. Through CEP 813, I was able to learn about the history of assessment, explore online tools to help students learn, create a digital portfolio and share my work with my classmates and colleagues via twitter. Having students display their work online can help spread their work beyond the walls of a local school. David Niguidula states that “digital portfolios can serve many purposes: showcasing students' best products; proving that students have mastered expectations required for graduation; and communicating with parents and other audiences about what students are learning” (2005, p. 45).
One issue with digital portfolios is with student privacy. Students will sometimes feel vulnerable with putting their incomplete work online while they are working on an assignment. Students should know that their rough drafts are works in progress and one of the main concepts of putting everything online is to show their growth. Having a talk with students about the process behind creating a digital portfolio will hopefully relieve some of their concerns. In fact, having everything posted online will give them an idea of what is being asked of them. According to Kevin Fahey “students have a clearer understanding of the standards by which they are evaluated. Because students have seen many examples of student work and have publicly evaluated the work many times, there is little mystery left in the evaluation process” (2011, p. 467). Having the teacher and students on the same page will help increase their quality of work.
When exploring through content management systems this past semester, I decided to use Schoology because of its mobile app, easy Facebook layout and the ability to collaborate with the school community. Through its email, groups and sharing, Schoology makes displaying work online easy. This upcoming year, I plan on integrating digital portfolios into my lessons by having the students post their homework assignment links onto their time lines. This will allow myself and other students to click on the links and view their work. Once posted online, I can comment on the work and give students feedback almost immediately.
Fahey, K., Lawrence, J.F., & Paratore, J. R. (2007). Using electronic portfolios to make learning public. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(6), 460-471. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/New%20User/Downloads/eScholarship%20UC%20item%207653s2n7.pdf
Niguidula, D. (2005). Documenting learning with digital portfolios. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 44-47. Retrieved from http://tccl.rit.albany.edu/knilt/images/d/d8/Niguidula.pdf
This assessment is designed for physical education students who currently want to be CPR certified. A recent trend in Massachusetts is having students be CPR certified as a graduation requirement. Students will learn the proper technique and skills during physical education classes as part of a First Aid unit. In the future, it could be taught during a Junior/Senior class.
This assessment focuses on the facts around first aid and CPR. Students will demonstrate their knowledge by answering questions in a variety of forms (true/false, fill in the blank, multiple choice, open response and a case study). This assessment satisfies Massachusetts Health Framework 9.19 which states that “through the study of Emergency intervention students will be able to demonstrate appropriate first aid for stings,bites, broken bones, bleeding, chocking, shock, poisoning, burns and cardiac arrest.”
Even though Schoology has a lot of the same great tools as Haiku, Google Classroom and Desire to Learn, it goes above and beyond making online learning easy for students. Students are already used to its Facebook style allowing them to dive right into the Content Management System. Teachers and students can log in to their accounts through multiple electronic devices making learning happen everywhere they can get internet connection.
I believe that Schoology's assessment is the perfect system to handle this assessment because of it's flexible options. For example, because the students are taking this assessment prior to their final, I will allow the students to take the assessment five times so that they can retake the quiz. However, the program, will take the average of all the quizzes and give it a final score. This allows students to retake the quiz and hopefully help them learn from their wrong answers. Although the questions will not change, the order of the questions and answers can be customized so that way students do not copy or share answers. I can break down the stats and see how each student answered each question. If a majority of the students got question #4 wrong, I can take a look to see if it is a fair question and either throw out the question or spend more time on the topic in class.
While assessing the three CMS tools this week, one stood out as a tool that students could easily relate to: Schoology. Schoology gives instructors the complete package that makes it easy for students to learn online. Schoology has a facebook feel to the program and allows students to post updates and assignments that are similar to a timeline. When reading through reviews of teachers who used both Haiku and Schoology, a lot of the teachers were moving towards Schoology because they believed it was cutting edge and really engaged the students in the material. They thought that programs like Haiku were outdated and needed a make over.
When it comes to grading, Schoology has a user friendly gradebook that is available for students to access their grades. The program has a variety of tools such as randomizing, giving instant feed back and types of questions, that allows making quizzes and tests unique to each student. Teachers who like to use rubrics can create their own to communicate to the students what is expected when completing an assignment.
As far as for using Schoology in physical education, there are several advantages. First, all assignments can be linked to the state standard by using the target button when setting up an assignment. This is a great tool because it allows teachers to keep an accurate record of each standard that they cover. It also makes sure that the students receive a comprehensive education. Secondly, Schoology is supported on mobile phones and tablets allowing teachers to grade students on the fly. One difficulty that phys ed teachers have is submitting their attendance right away. Having a CMS that is compatible with iPads will help solve this problem. Lastly, having the calendar on the main timeline is a great tool. It allows students to see important dates in a list form on the right hand side of the main page. Students do not need to click additional links and will have the assignment that is due at the top of the list.
In conclusion, having a successful online class has three important ingredients: an active learner, engaging materials and a regular routine. Schoology, blends these together by having an interface that is similar to facebook and being able to host a wide variety of assignments. I would recommend Schoology to any of my colleagues who were looking into creating an online class.
This week in #CEP813, we were asked to build an assessment in Minecraft! I was stumped, I did not know what to build or even how to build it. I explored the new Minecraft world and was only able to make my monument out of dirt! I then figured out that teachers can give materials to students to help them build. After I discovered that, I built Provincetown Harbor and Beach. This was an eye opening experience for me. I did not know anything about Minecraft and felt really helpless. I can imagine how some students might feel when learning new material. Check out my video and let me know how I did.
Below are pictures that I took when visiting the Monument last week!
I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July with great food, company and fireworks! This week in Electronic Assessment we were asked to play with Minecraft and get familiar with the game. We watched videos on how gaming is becoming an important part of learning in the 21st century. I know that many of my students use Minecraft in CAD class with Mr. Blessington but I had no previous experience with this particular game. I'm looking forward to exploring more this week so I can build something creative for next week's screen cast.