Tag Archives: Assessment

Portfolios as classroom-embedded assessment systems for the NGSS

This weekend at the NSTA national meeting in Chicago I’ll be hosting a discussion about the use of portfolios as the keystone of new NGSS-centered district and state science assessments. Here are the slides I’ll use to start the discussion: NSTA15: Performance-Based Portfolio Assessment of the NGSS from Chris Ludwig Exemplar portfolios can be found here Please join the discussion if you can make it to Read More →

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Accountability without measurement

What if the next generation of teacher accountability systems simply relied upon assessment of student performances?  You’re thinking: don’t we do that now? No, we don’t. In most cases, our current accountability systems of standardized tests are supposed to measure student learning, which is not the same as assessment.  Attempting to measure learning often leads to limiting ourselves to finding the best statistical models, crafting the best distractors, Read More →

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Skills-Based Portfolios Meet All Three Requirements for an Assessment System for the NGSS

Introduction (or Why Should I Care About the NGSS?) As you could guess, one of the major themes at the recent Denver Regional NSTA meeting was how to begin to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in our science teaching. I started off the conference by attending a talk by Brett Moulding, who is described as being the “writing team leader” for the NGSS, Read More →

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Zero Points Were Given

This post is about the “points” game that schools play and how to avoid it. By points I mean those numbers we award to students for performances of learning in our classes. Such numbers must have something to do with measuring student learning, but how points-based grading is being used and abused is worth a deeper look. Why do teachers use points to quantify student Read More →

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Student Achievement as Visualized by Portfolios in High School Science

This quote from Dean Shareski came across my Twitter feed yesterday just as I was archiving some of my favorite examples of student portfolios: Challenge accepted. First off, I’ll state that even portfolios are a weak form of proving “achievement.” The real kind of achievement that we should be aiming for as teachers will be only evident in the lives of our students once they’ve left Read More →

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Standards-Based Grading in the land of portfolios, blogs, and other time-sucking grumkins: a how-to guide

This post is an update to my older year end wrap up that seems to get a lot of traffic from people searching for “standards-based grades” and similar terms. I can only assume that there are lots of folks out there trying to get their heads around what SBG is about and how to do it. What follows will be a (hopefully) concise discussion of Read More →

Student ePortfolios in the High School Science Classroom: Q & A

Q: What’s an ePortfolio? A: Let me start by saying that, like most of what I use in my teaching, I didn’t invent ePortfolios and I can’t answer for everyone since ePortfolios mean different things to different people. But I will define an ePortfolio as an online space that gets used to collect and showcase evidence of individual student learning. Q: You mean its like Read More →

Blogs, portfolios, and feedback (oh my!)

This is a work in progress, as most of my stuff is, but here is my Assessment Philosophy for the 2011-2012 school year that I’ll be sharing with students and their parents. Some key new features I’m trying: student blog posts will receive only feedback, not grades the spreadsheets I used last year will be editable by both myself and the student for each to Read More →

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Blogging in the Science Classroom: The Worksheet is Dead

One of the major changes that I made this year was to switch to using individual student blogs as the centerpiece of student assessment (the other major change was to implement standards-based grading). I started using student blogs for a number of reasons including: I was tired of grading worksheets with the same copied answers on them. I realized that these worksheets weren’t always helpful Read More →

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2010-2011: My Standards-Based Grading Year in Review

As I’ve written elsewhere, my focus this year has shifted from tinkering with educational technology to tinkering with, well, most everything else about my classroom. The main focus has been about changing how I grade students. When I started teaching I used the typical points-based grading structure where 10 or 100 point assignments are given and students rack up points towards a total. From there, Read More →

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