Posts Tagged ‘assessment’

April 12 Webinar: Art Assessment with MLTI tools

April 11th, 2012 2 comments

Learn to use the tools available on your MLTI MacBook to aid in documenting the learning in your classroom.

Create digital records of student work. Capture formative learning. Organize digital files to aid in assessment and more.


Specific examples will be demonstrated. Use Photo Booth to record images and video. Use QuickTime Player to record audio, video and even Screen Recording. Use Preview to annotate and resize images.  Then utilize NoteShare to not only manage and collect data but also to critique art works.

There are lots of wonderful resources on your MLTI Device.

Bring your questions and your MLTI MacBook. While discussing the why we will demonstrate the how.

Check out this recorded webinar by clicking here.

Please see the MLTI Minutes for even more examples.


Dec. 1 Webinar – Assessment 2: Using Assessment to Further Learning

November 28th, 2011 1 comment

Stiggins quoteThanks to everyone who attended the first MLTI assessment webinar on November 17. In that webinar, we discussed summative and formative assessment and how they differ. We took a close look at a definition of formative assessment from Black and Wiliam and then examined their framework for formative assessment. We then turned our attention to collecting evidence of learning. We looked at Anne Davies‘ model for the triangulation of evidence and talked about ways the software on our MLTI devices as well as some web tools can help us collect observations, conversations and products. The discussion was lively with participants adding their experiences and ideas for improving assessment practice. If you missed it, you can find links to the recordings on our Archives page.

In this week’s webinar we will continue our assessment conversation as we discuss how we can use the evidence we collect to help learners make more progress. We will explore ways to clarify learning goals and targets and to establish criteria for success, including a demonstration of some tools for creating conventional matrix-style rubrics and branching rubrics. We will end with a discussion of evaluative and descriptive feedback as we explore ways to use digital tools for giving and receiving feedback and how students can become resources for each other.

Please join us this Thursday, December 1 at 3:15 or 7:15. Click on the Webcast tab above for more information about registering and accessing this webinar.


Nov. 17 Webinar – Assessment 1: What Do They Really Know and What Can They Really Do?

November 14th, 2011 Comments off
Students taking test

CC BY 2.0 ccarlstead

When we think of assessment, often the first thing that comes to mind is a high-stakes test. Although the MEAs, the NECAPs, and the SATs play a part in determining how our students are doing, a balanced assessment plan has many other components. Effective teachers ask themselves, “What do they really know and what can they really do?” as they question, observe, and conference with students about their work every day. They also involve students in the assessment process by asking them to reflect on their own work and the work of their peers and to become resources for each other.

This week’s webinar is the first of two sessions in which we will explore summative and formative assessments and the role they play in a balanced assessment plan. In this first session, we will discuss the differences between summative and formative assessments and consider ideas from Ann Davies, Rick Stiggins, Dylan Wiliam and others. We will then take a close look at how we can use technology to gather evidence of learning and capture the learner’s thinking. On December 1, we will continue the conversation as we discuss how we can use this evidence to help learners make more progress.

Please join us this Thursday at 3:15 pm. or 7:15 pm. For more information about accessing our MLTI webinars or to register, please click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.

September 7 – Maine Arts Assessment Initiative webinar

August 31st, 2011 Comments off

The MLTI and Department of Education will be hosting 5 webinars throughout the 2011-2012 school year on the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and how it impacts teaching and learning in our schools.  Please join Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg and guests for the first webinar, a conversation around Why Arts Assessment? An Introduction to the Maine Arts Education Assessment Initiative on Wednesday, September 7th, from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Instructions for joining the webinar can be found below.

Subsequent webinars will be held November 2, December 7, January 4, and February 1.  Mark your calendars now!  Each webinar will be recorded and added to the MLTI Archives for future viewing. Attendees will be eligible for two contact hours for their participation in the live webinar, just follow the feedback link at the end of the webinar and you’ll be prompted for your contact information to receive your contact hour certificate.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has been designed to create an environment in Maine where assessment in Arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to deepen student learning in the arts. MAAI includes professional development opportunities, regionally and statewide, to share and expand on arts educators knowledge and skills. Teachers will be invited to contribute tools, resources, and examples of quality assessments and supportive standards based curriculum documents for all to access.

Please follow these steps to connect to the webinar:

  1. Click on the link
  2. Enter your name in the Guest box when prompted.
  3. In order to listen and speak during the meeting, you will need to be connected by telephone as well as the Internet. To help you connect by phone, a box will appear asking for your phone number so the Connect conference room can call you back. If you have a telephone with a direct-dial phone number, please accept this option, enter your phone number, and we will call you right back.
  4. If you have a telephone with no direct-line phone number (if your phone is only reached by a switchboard), please click on CANCEL when the call-back box appears, then dial-in to the meeting using this access combination:
    1. Dial-In: 1-866-910-4857
    2. Pass-Code: 140893
  5. To participate in the webinar, you will need:
    1. a computer with a broadband connection to the internet (Cable, DSL, or WiFi); Dial-Up will not work!
    2. Adobe Flash Player 10 installed on your computer; most computers already have the Flash Player installed – however, if yours does not, or if your Flash Player is in need of updating (version 6 or older), you can download the player for free from Adobe by clicking on this link; this is a safe and quick download.
    3. An open phone line; we recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone.

Illustrated instructions for logging in to the meeting can be downloaded here.

Making Meaning – Critiquing Reality Using Web 2.0 to Foster Critical Thinking

June 17th, 2010 Comments off

This webinar explored the underpinnings of critical thinking, asking three questions:

Is it developmental?
How do we know when we see it?
Can it be measured?

A website that provides perspective about the developmental aspect is Kids on the Net: Critical Thinking Skills for Web Literacy – An Analysis of What Kids Should Know about Cyberspace. This site explains the development of cognitive, emotional, moral, and psychological issues of different children’s age groups. Their resources show that learning critical thinking should address these issues in a developmental way, building skills step by step.

There are quite a few different models/definitions/attributes of critical thinking that attempt to make it possible to observe it in action. Every description depended on the discipline it came from, i.e. psychology, philosophy, educational theory, etc. Here are some of the exemplary websites:

Discussion and Model of Critical Thinking from Ed Psyc Interactive
Model of Information Seeking and Critical Thinking from Baltimore County Public Schools
Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Critical Thinking

How are we to deal with the issue of standardized testing and the teaching of critical thinking? In an ERIC abstract (ED312622) of “Literacy and Critical Thinking: The NAEP Literacy Studies and What We Are Not Teaching about ‘Higher Reasoning Skills,” by Craig Walton (1989,) the author states that the elements of synthesis or summary, analysis or problem solving, argumentation, and experimentation are skills that seem to be lacking in students. He sees a correlation of that lack with educators’ ignorance of those higher skills and how to teach them. That was quite an indictment, and worth challenging.

Socratic questioning is a way of helping students face the issue of critical thinking. The questioning can be used first by the teacher, and as the students start to become more aware of  how the questions help their thinking, the students can begin questioning each other and themselves. This website from Northern Illinois University Consortium for Problem-Based Learning provides the foundational precepts and a matrix of exemplary questions.

Web 2.0 has been called the Read/Write Web. That is because you become an active participant, not just a passive viewer – You interact with the information. How does this help critical thinking? By the fact that people make comments. All of the following websites provide examples of ways that teachers can provide students examples of commenting that they can see, critique and respond to.

Comments about places to stay:

A “safe” current event website that kids can practice making comments:

International Movie DataBase – using movie reviews and forums as examples of critique:

Going beyond the Wikipedia articles and looking at the discussion and history of the content:

Responding to visual examples:

Commenting both textually and visually:

Finally, any blog or wiki could be used to help kids learn and practice discourse and critique, as well as the Gallery, Discussion and Chat in Studywiz.

Measuring critical thinking can be a wicked problem, depending on what you are looking for. Perhaps you can develop small rubrics based on your deconstruction of pertinent elements of critical thinking. In that manner students could review or make comments based on individual aspects of critical thinking skills on which they are focused. Here is a higher education rubric for critical thinking that can be used as a reference for ideal goals. And here is another that has been used for higher education and business with a rationale as well. An accompanying document from Insight Assessment proposes that there are dispositions as well as skills involved in critical thinking and provides self-reflective questions.

Just to be provocative, here is a quote from a recent article to think about:


Much as Darwin’s theory of natural selection depends on genetic variation, any
theory of democracy depends on a multiplicity of ideas. It is the responsibility of
the citizenry, the media, and the schools to safeguard the expression of those
ideas. Schools have particular responsibilities in this regard. Healthy critical
analysis is one hallmark of a mature democracy, and educators have a responsi-
bility to create learning environments that help to realize these ideals. There are
many varied and powerful ways to teach children and young adults to engage
critically – to think about social policy issues, participate in authentic debate
over matters of importance, and understand that intelligent adults can have
different opinions. Indeed, democratic progress depends on these differences.”

“No Child Left Thinking: Democracy at Risk in Canadian Schools,” Joel Westheimer; CANADIAN EDUC ATION , Spring 2010; Canada Education Association; p 5-8

May 13 Webinar Notes – Publishing and Assessing

May 15th, 2010 Comments off

Thanks to everyone who attended this webinar, the last in the Writing Process Lens for this school year. In this session we talked about the last stage of the writing process, publishing. We discussed why we must give students a purpose for writing other than to complete an assignment and an audience for their writing other than the teacher.Friedman quote In our MLTI classrooms, with 1-to-1 computing, students have a vast array of choices of ways to display their work and share it with the public. I demonstrated some examples of ways students can use the software on their MLTI MacBooks for publishing and suggested some online opportunities as well. Click on the Webcasts – Archives tab at the top of this page to find the links for the recordings to review the discussion of Pages, Keynote, iPhoto, and ComicLife. Here are links to  web resources mentioned in the webinar:

Web Publishing

Print Publications

Fan Fiction

Jim Moulton’s blog post on Publishing Student Writing

Some resources contributed by participants:

Thoughts about assessment:

  • Establish criteria before starting the writing project
  • Checklists and rubrics
  • Writing portfolios – look for evidence of improvement and growth
  • Self-assessments and peer assessments – to self-assess effectively students must care about their work

Thanks once again to all the participants in this series of webinars. I know I have learned a lot from the participants and I hope we will continue to learn from each other.

May 13 Webinar – Publishing and Assessing

May 11th, 2010 Comments off
Thinking about publishing

Made on an iPad by Ann Marie Quirion Hutton

One of the most exciting changes brought about by the advent of technology in our classrooms is the abundance of tools for publishing student writing. As a veteran teacher, I remember the days (and it doesn’t seem so long ago) when I struggled to find ways students could share their writing with someone other than me. Publishing gives students a purpose and a real audience for their writing and when students write for a reason other than to get a grade, they write better.

This week’s webinar, Publishing and Assessing, will take a look through the writing process lens at how to help students finalize their work and share it. Our MLTI MacBooks have many applications that can help students illustrate and display their writing in professional-looking products that can be printed or shared digitally. We’ll begin by exploring the many templates available in Pages and then move on to look at other iWork and iLife applications students can use to turn their writing into multimedia products.

Of course, the internet offers many opportunities for student publishing and we’ll discuss how teachers can help students publish for a real-world audience using the many web tools that are available. We’ll also take a look at sites that accept student writing for publication.

We began a discussion a few months ago about how to assess student writing. We’ve talked about formative assessment and how feedback can help students with revision and we will expand that topic this week to include some assessments that look at a writing piece as a whole. As always, your ideas, experiences, and resources will be an important part of this webinar so please come prepared to share.

Please join us this Thursday at 3:15 or 7:15 pm. Click on the WebCasts tab at the top of this page for information about accessing this webinar and for a link to the registration page.

Jan. 14 Writing Process Webinar Notes

January 18th, 2010 Comments off

Thanks to everyone who attended Thursday’s webinars and special thanks to Julie Canniff, Sara Needleman, and Lisa Hogan for their contributions to the conversation about giving and getting feedback. Below are some links and notes related to topics we discussed.

The Effect of Feedback on LearningOptimism exam

Evaluative vs. Descriptive Feedback

  • Product descriptors and rubrics (highlight for descriptive feedback)
  • For copies of documents that Julie and Sara shared, contact me and I will forward your request to them.
  • Anne Davies – Assessment for Learning

Establish Criteria

  • 6+1 Traits of Writing
  • Look at examplars
  • Have students contribute to building a rubric (Jill Spencer says, “Also, I’ve found that taking time to reflect with questions like…Why is it important to use criteria? Why is quality work important? These questions begin to help students see the purpose for their efforts.”
  • Rubistar

Teaching students to give feedback

  • Laurie Walsh’s document, How do you comment on a classmate’s writing? (Thanks, Laurie!)
  • Give kids sentence starters based on your criteria or model like 6+1 Traits
  • Create a culture where kids care about their work and agree on criteria that is not personal but that really describes high-quality work.

Ways to give feedback digitally

  • NoteShare – Voice Memo
  • Pages (and other word processing programs) – use callouts in different colors
  • Use markup and annotation tools in Preview for PDFs.
  • Some Studywiz activities are good for feedback.
  • Lisa Hogan suggests using callouts to have students self-assess. They use callouts to point to evidence that they have met the criteria for high-quality work.

Online programs that give students feedback

Recordings of the webinar will be available in a few days on the Webcasts Archive page of this blog. Please join me again on February 25 when we will talk about drafting, revising and editing.

Image by Terry Hart licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.