Remember that assessment design checklist I’ve been working on for the past month or so? It is finally complete. In this checklist I have identified 5 questions that I should ask when creating an assessment. In honesty the questions themselves were not that hard to narrow down but explaining why each one was important took a bit of time.
Without further delay, here is the final assessment design checklist…
To see the full checklist with the supporting explanations and evidence follow the link to Assessment Design checklist 3.0.
The exploration that I did about assessment was immensely helpful in solidifying my ideas. If I were to choose the most thought provoking ideas that I encountered during this process the first would be from Rick Wormeli. In his video he said, ” Students can learn without grades but they can’t learn without feedback!” (Stenhouse, 2010). After years and years of thinking about grades and feedback as one and the same this took some time to rectify in my brain. He is so right!
The second really eye opening idea that I encountered was about using assessment to learn rather than using it to punish. “We have to help students (and teachers) look to assessment as a source of insight and help rather than as a rewards and punishment system” (Shepard, 2005, p. 10). Again, this took some time for me to come to terms with. The description of assessment and grades as a reward and punishment system rather than a display of what students know made me think deeply about how assessments are used in my classroom. There is a lot of room for improvement!
Thank you for patiently following along as I worked my way through the creation of this checklist. I hope it has been as educational for you as it has been for me. Hmmm, I wonder what I can explore next in the assessment realm…
Update: Addition of Question #6
After a lot of reading and thought I decided recently that something was missing from my final checklist. While it may seem like common sense that assessments should be unbiased it has recently become glaringly obvious that just assuming a lack of bias is not good enough. Our students need us to be vividly aware of our cultural competency, which “is the ability to use critical-thinking skills to interpret how cultural values and beliefs influence conscious and unconscious behavior” (Mayfield, 2020). We should be using that awareness to identify and remove bias in all parts of education. Assessments should never be biased based on student personal characteristics like race, culture, gender, age, background, language, etc.
The new Assessment Design Checklist, with question number 6 added can be found at the following link:
Popham, J. (2012). Assessment bias: How to banish it. Pearson. http://iarss.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Popham_Bias_BK04.pdf
Shepard, L. (2005). Linking formative assessment to scaffolding. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 66-70.
Stenhouse Publishers. (2010, November 13). Rick Wormeli: Formative and Summative Assessment [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJxFXjfB_B4