There are two pieces of work I have particularly enjoyed completing lately; the Formative Assessment task and the Infographic. The Formative Assessment task has been a productive in encourage me to develop my existing assessment practices, however I have chosen the Infographic as my “best work”. Infographics are a beneficial tool within teaching because they are easy to understand, structured, concise and portray the main ideas within a topic. The graphic presentation provides a large amount of information but just enough to become interested and aware of key concepts.
This task within a recent course with Michigan State University, (CEP 813) was to look at assessment FOR, AS and OF learning. This setup meant assessment aimed to “play a more useful role in helping students learn” as the process was “moved into the middle of the teaching and learning process instead of being postponed as only the end-point of instruction”, (Shepard, 2000, p.10). Firstly, we had access to well-defined guidelines stating a number of topics that we could use for inspiration, as well as the assessment criteria. This meant I had a clear focus and direction before beginning the creative process, as I thought over my ideas. This can be classed as assessment AS learning as we were able to monitor our progress in relation to the expectations provided. This supported my learning, as I like to have a defined idea of the intention and goal of the task. I found this helpful, and this task was a meaningful opportunity to produce something specific to the audience, introducing more technology staff members. I produced a piece of work that can immediately be used to benefit others in the department.
The infographic was shared with a peer within the course and evaluated based on the criteria. This part of the process was peer assessment FOR learning. It was “designed or used specifically to boost student learning” (Noyce, 2011, p. 1). Unfortunately I did not find the peer assessment useful, as they were able to give me significant points for consideration. The next step was a review by course organizers who gave my one point to work on. This means “students and teachers look to assessment as a source of insight and help instead of an occasion for meting out rewards and punishments” (Shepard, 2000, p. 10). Personally, when I put my mind to a task, I do it to the best of my ability, therefor have some trouble when asked to review and resubmit as I aim to have nothing to improve on after the first attempt! This task reinforced what a perfectionist I am, and let me consider the process of second submission with my students. I wonder whether for some, this process accepts that students can do a halfhearted attempt first time round, as they know they get a second chance. Otherwise if done well this assessment AS learning can and should also be assessment OF learning depending on the student, the task difficult and whether additions are to be made in subsequent versions.
Noyce, P. (2011). Introduction and overview: The elusive promise of formative assessment. In P.E. Noyce & D.T. Hickey (Eds.) New frontiers in formative assessment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4-14.