A few months ago, when I started on this assessment journey, I identified a need for a new assessment in my Advanced Baking class. If you want to go back and read the original post you can find it here. The reason I feel that I need a new assessment in this area is because when the students are creating new recipes they go through many iterations of the recipe before they get it perfect for the bake shop. As part of each step along the way they taste the product and form opinions about the taste, texture, and appearance. Then they make plans for the next iteration. Currently the process is verbal which means that some ideas can be forgotten from one day to the next.
Creating new formative assessment would be the perfect way to solve this problem. As I have been exploring assessment my thoughts on the importance of feedback in the form of formative assessment have been reinforced. In one video I watched, Rick Wormelli says that “students can learn without grades but they can’t learn without feedback” (Stenhouse Publishers, 2010). In an article I read the authors stated that “feedback is among the most critical influences on student learning” (Hattie & Timperly, 2007, p. 81). Both of those statements are strongly worded to drive home the importance of feedback on student learning. It relates to the assessment I am contemplating because the students can’t improve their products, which are examples of their understandings of how baking works, without the constant use of feedback.
My original thoughts on the new assessment – Version 1.0:
Some additional thoughts on the new assessment – Version 2.0:
The instruction that will take place before the assessment is used will be specific to each lab group. Since each group is creating a unique dessert I will provide instruction that is unique to their needs. For example, if the group is creating a cookie as part of their product I will provide instruction on the science behind creating the best cookie. I will also provide instruction on technical parts of their recipe as needed. The assessment will be applied when the group has created their product and also each time they make changes to the recipe and make it again. After the group analyzes the data from their “Product Feedback” assessment they will create a new plan for the recipe and I will provide more instruction if it is needed. It will be a cycle of baking, assessment, new plan, baking, assessment, new plan until the product is exactly what they are looking for. This assessment plan, in my opinion, touches upon several of the 7 Principles of Good Feedback as defined by Nicol & McFarlane (2006, p. 205). It facilitates the development of self-assessment in learning, encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning, and it provides information to teachers that can be used to shape teaching (Nicol & McFarlane, 2006, p. 205).
Some basic instruction will be provided to the students along with their assessment, as I explained in the past blog post. The instructions will look something like this:
My newest thoughts- Version 3.0:
After looking back over my previous plans I’m pretty happy with them. I do have some things to add however. From the perspective of UDL or Universal Design for Learning an assessment should be designed to meet the needs of ALL learners. Experts on UDL say that an effective assessment “is ongoing and focused on learner progress” and that “it informs and involves the learners” (Meyer, et.al, 2014, pg. 74). I took some time to look at this evaluation through a UDL lense and I think it does exactly that. This evaluation gives students feedback about their performance in relation to their goal and is used multiple times as they make progress towards that goal.
My planned assessment should utilize digital technology so that the students can all access the feedback when they need to, inside and outside of the classroom. The technology that comes to mind first is Google Forms. I have used it before for similar purposes and it can be set up in a varying array of formats. The questions can be typical multiple choice, short answer, or essay or they can be rating scales and drop down lists. The accompanying digital technology of Google Sheets gives students a way to analyze the feedback. The data can be sorted by product, by group, by respondent, etc. Using Google Sheets the students can look at the information from a variety of angles and come up with a game plan for their next iteration of the recipe.
A look at the product: Product Feedback Form
I‘m pleased with this version of the formative assessment and I look forward to using it with my Advanced Baking students. Thanks for following along on this adventure! I hope it has been as helpful to you as it has to me.
Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST.
Nicol, D., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199–218
Stenhouse Publishers. (2010, November 13). Rick Wormeli: Formative and Summative Assessment [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJxFXjfB_B4