Thursday, July 30, 2015

How does access to a variety of information and computer technology tools and resources allow teachers to foster a culture of fair and equitable assessment and evaluation practices?

Similarly to my previous post, having access to many different tools can benefit both the students and the teachers for an equitable practice.  I don't tend to use the same tool twice which is beneficial for many reasons. I find that rubrics or checklists are always missing elements and that a piece of work that I think deserves a level 4 sometimes gets a 3 and vice versa.  It is extremely hard especially when you are teaching in a subject/grade that you have never taught before.  Having had 5 years with each different subjects or grades, I have NEVER been able to reuse my rubrics and therefore never have been able to tweet them to my liking.  I am frustrated that even though the essence of a rubric is equitable, it doesn't always work out that way. When using different forms of assessment and evaluation tools, it does make it equitable to a certain degree because each tool is different and caters to different areas of assessment.
Another reason I like to switch it up with assessment is to give students choice.  If they grow up not having to choose or know what they are good at, they won't have the skills when they are asked to choose.  My assessments tend to have to be generic as I want students to exhibit their creativity in any format they choose (as long as they meet specified expectations). Students tend to be more engaged and therefore will do well.
Lastly, I like students to see more than just one type of rubric or assessment.  In life, things come randomly and you need to be prepared.  The way I see it, if they are accustomed to getting very different types of evaluations, they will always want to try their best because they do not know what to expect. If you get the same evaluation time after time, you know what the teacher looks for and how to "get an A." Sure you might be thinking that that is the point, but does that really mean that this student is learning or just trying to get an A because they know what format works with their teacher? I like routine to a certain extent but I think its important that students be prepared for change as you never know what to expect in the future.