Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Time To Get Practical

Even if you find new ways of looking at assessment as a way to help students as they learn interesting, or even exciting, you may still be left with questions about exactly how to do this. Previous posts ( and I admit my posts have been few and far between lately) have been focused on assessment theory along with some stories about experiences with traditional assessment. Now it's time to provide you with some practical resources that show and describe how it's done.
A personal favourite is Ruth Sutton's archived presentation at Ruth has a practical way of putting things that makes sense and makes you wonder why you would do things any other way. In terms of local talent, the bcelc webcast series features Caren Cameron, Faye Brownlie, Linda Kaiser, Yrsa Jenson, Judy Halbert and others in the entire series at

I've posted a short video by Damian Cooper called Does the Drive to Quantify Learning Get in the Way of Learning? This clip poses some provocative questions about our "normal" assessment practices . This might be a good conversation starter for small and large groups, and it's short enough that it leaves you wanting more. The question it begs is whether the classroom environment actually gets in the way of learning. It just might, according to Cooper.

If traditional media is more your cup of tea, try these books on for size:

Creating Independent Student Learners: a practical guide to assessment for learning
Clarke, Owens and Sutton
Portage and Main Press (2006)

Making Classroom Assessment Work
Leading the Way to Making Classroom Assessment
Transforming Barrriers to Assessment for Learning
Anne Davies
Connections Publishing (2008)

The Anne Davies books are the focus for this year's assessment study group for adminstrators and are getting rave reviews from tht group, as they are a good blend of theory and practice, with the emphasis on the practical.

Check any or all of these out. Some just make you think, and others may make you change how you do things in the classroom.