My educational experiences & reflections.

 

Analyze the assessment practices in your school

As Common Sense Education is a learning center established online to help assist Hong Kong Students & a spectrum of STEM students with L.D (Learning Difficulties in speech, reading, and also creative writing/presentation) we have a hybridization of curriculums and evaluations for our students. The phonics evaluative process is based on an in-house developed explicit “synthetic” phonics with a formative approach taken on assessment. The assessment process for phonics involves students completing a series of quizzes, gamified units, listening to sounds/words, and recording words for formative quizzes and homework.

The LMS and gamified content also incorporated “formative quizzes” to measure the students’ writing and ongoing progress. Our M.E.L (R.A.P.I.D progress phonics methodology based on the learning acquisition system of Wall Street requires the above processes to take place every 2 weeks, for the phonic students to maintain their study rhythm. Wall Street Institute Hong Kong (2022).

The majority of the evaluative measures utilized through our phonics programs are based on formative evaluations based on LM.S in class discussions, clicker discussions, low-stakes group work,  and weekly group quizzes. Our LMS system at  https://www.commonsense-edu.org/courses/ utilizes AI and bots to ensure the students’ phonics, and writing activities are on track and the results from the formative quizzes are tracked by the teachers. In this way, the educator can collaborate with the parents, and stakeholders and clearly determine what work needs to be revised, what extracurricular work can be given, and with “formative assessment” have accurate indication metrics and clarity on the student’s progress. This simplifies the weekly reports and communications between parents, teachers, and educational stakeholders.

Assessment for our STEM subjects.

Generally, the evaluative processes within our STEM program utilize a balanced appraisal framework,  (based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences) , to measure the success of the students and enhance our student’s performance. Given that STEM is relatively new in Hong Kong we have utilized a combination of STEM assessments from San Francisco U.S.A (https://kidsparkeducation.org/curriculum?check_logged_in=1) and also with a STEM program from Fort Wayne Community School, Indiana, USA. Overall the summative and formative evaluations adhere to the district, and national levels and meet the requirements for the E.D.B of Hong Kong ( Educational Department Bureau,  https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/renewal/framework.html)

 

The associated tests & gamified quizzes are structured to ensure and assess the student’s success, the curricula strength as well as the program’s efficacy as a key component of a strong educational program.

Educators are utilizing the data derived through these evaluations to determine the educational needs and goals of our students. Likewise, administrators are utilizing the data to identify areas for professional development for our STEM educators in Hong Kong & in Asia. As such the universal screener quantifies and measures the literacy success of students, and administers all strengths and areas of concern throughout the school year (and via the LMS progress tool at https://www.commonsense-edu.org/courses/)

We have utilized the appropriate universal screeners for initial student screenings including for alphabetic knowledge, decoding ability, speedy designation, and language and STEM-related coding skills. This evaluative process is determined by the developmental appropriateness of various individual students (Fort Wayne Community- School Assessment, 2019).

 

Indiana’s Alternate Measure &  ILEARN ( Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network. 

 

I.A.M in essence measures and quantifies student achievement and growth in accordance with Indiana’s Content Connectors aligned with Indiana’s academic standards. I A.M also is the summative accountability assessment process for students with significant cognitive disabilities within grades 3-8 and within grades 10. Likewise, it also assesses English / Language & Arts. ( Grades 3-8 & 10) , Mathematics (Grades 4-8 & 10), Science ( Grades 4, 6, and Biology), and Social Studies ( Grade 5).   Likewise, the use of workplace project STEM work as aligned with our partners from San Francisco, (USA,  https://kidsparkeducation.org/curriculum/archived) meets the STEM minor program established and monitored by the University of San Francisco ( https://catalog.usfca.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=35&poid=34435). In this way there is a clear path for those talented and determined STEM learners to proceed with their passion in STEM, transitioning into University studies.

 

Indiana’s Alternate Measure &  ILEARN ( Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network. 

ILEARN is in fact Indiana’s latest online adaptive machine educational evaluation tool. It’s in fact designed to test the skill level and expertise of students from grades 3-8  (STEM, USA & Biology). As far as an Indiana student accountability assessment, ILEARN meets the national, and federal statutory criteria and also is utilized as the summative Indiana student accountability assessment tool. It is usually undertaken in Spring, and also assesses English / Language Arts (Grades 3-8), Mathematics (Grades 3-8), Science (Grades 4 & 6) , Social Studies (Grade 5) & STEM / Biology ECA (Highschool). Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019).

 

WIDA ACCESS  ( World Class Instructional Design & Assessment, Assessing Comprehension & Communications in English State-to-State). 

Overall this comprehensive English test evaluates the yearly development of students in the academic fields of listening, speaking, reading & writing, within the English language sector. The purpose of this test is to review & assess the improvements from the previous levels of competence of all of the students.

This will help to classify those who qualify for the formal exit and graduation to the next level. Essentially it is administered once a year, to ELL students (including in Hong Kong, & Asia) for grades K ( test is completed with paper & pencil) & grades 1-12 ( are online). Once students have gained a Level (5-fluent) they are no longer required to the WIDA Access assessment.  Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019).

Examine whether assessment in your school is used FOR learning, AS learning, or OF learning :

By its nature assessment as learning and assessment of learning, all serve valuable and different purposes. It’s sometimes difficult getting the balance right. If our goal is to enhance learning for all students then, then the role of assessment for learning and assessment as learning takes on a more intrinsic value, than the assessment of learning.

Traditionally teachers have been utilizing assessment for learning, when formative diagnostic processes/tests have been built in , ranges of formative assessment and feedback at various stages, in the teaching and learning process. Even though it can often be informal and implicit, and designated viable. In this spectrum, systematic assessment as learning, – whereby the students transform into critical analysts and are responsible for their own learning, is still quite rare.

Although some educators have incorporated aspects of self-assessment into their programs, very few have explicitly or systematically utilized such assessment so as to develop the student’s capacity in evaluating and adapting their own learning. Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019).

 

Assessment for learning:  is designed to facilitate students & allow students information to modify, and allow them to differentiate teaching and associated learning activities. The process acknowledges the fact that individual students learn in idiosyncratic and unusual ways. However overall it still recognizes that there are predictable “patterns” and “chunks” of learning pathways that many students follow. Generally, it requires astute and careful design, on the part of those responsible teachers, so that they can best utilize the final data to determine “deeper insights” and pass what the student knows, gaining insights into the how, when, what, and why?  It can also determine whether students are applying what they know (experientially). Teachers can also utilize this information to streamline and target instruction and those applicable resources. The process/procedures can also provide feedback to the students to help them enhance their learning further.  Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019).

 

Assessment as Learning: is the process of supporting and developing metacognition, for all the respective students. In this process Assessment as learning focuses more specifically on the role of the student as it is the critical connector between a “bigger” assessment and learning. When students are actively participating and are engaged,  within their roles of critical assessors they can have the capability to determine and make sense of information related to their prior knowledge. This puts them in good stead to better assimilate newer learning knowledge too.

This is essentially the regulatory process within metacognition, allowing students to make their own adjustments, adaptations, and pivots within their comprehension. The process itself requires educators to help students to “better” develop, practice, and become more comfortable in their reflection allowing them to critically review and analyze their own learning. Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019).

 

Assessment of learning: Generally refers to that evaluating assessment which is summative by nature, and is used to confirm what students actually know. Through this we  (as educators) can determine their capabilities and what they can do, and whether they have achieved the specific curriculum outcomes.

The evaluation can also be used as a non-norm piece of assessment to show how students are placed in relation to one another (and illustrate the graded spread of a class). Overall the process allows teachers to guarantee that they have “best utilized” the assessment to provide accurate, reflective, and sound statements on a student’s proficiency. In that case, the recipients of data/metrics and information are empowered so as to best utilize the information to make reasonable and accurately defensible decisions.

 

Examine whether there is a need for change in the assessment practices in your school.

No, not as yet although we are looking to standardize summative evaluation on group STEM peer work correlative with the STEM curriculum from San Francisco, USA ( https://kidsparkeducation.org/curriculum/archived)  We are also keen to look at an evaluative curriculum with a range of formative STEM portfolio that is assessable work indicating the immeasurable progress our students have made in being able to work in the real World World of STEM. The current STEM Drone education and constructive learning outside of class is something we are looking to further integrate into our STEM curriculum (  https://www.dji.com/uk/products/steam)

 

Otherwise, most of the evaluations/assessment is handled topically within our school. This is vital as it indicates the percentage of students who have comprehended certain topics & those who haven’t. This assessment is important as it’s a key identifier of the student’s strengths and weaknesses allowing them to inherently focus and improve on their grades.

At the moment our school is also focused on the best assessment of STEM practices, as our phonics is well established. We are working hard to make the processes of summative assessment have added clarity and relevance. (and graded competencies more easily understood). However, mostly the questions are clear and the processes are user-friendly. We are keen to collect more data metrics, (through assessments/evaluation)  Allowing real scenarios or placing students into contests with DJI and educational programs would also boost “STEM learning confidence”.

 

Summary:

As indicated above there are many ways that assessment can be thought of and engaged within a learning environment, both inside and outside of the classroom. With the advent of 21CS and utilization of gamification within LMS and systems assessment can take place in formative means, such as formative assessment through quizzes, game play, solving puzzles, and online group activities.

Assessment for learning essentially is designed to facilitate students and to allow those students’ information to modify, and allow them to differentiate teaching and associated learning activities. Assessment as Learning entails the process of supporting and developing metacognition, for all the respective students. In this process Assessment as learning focuses more specifically on the role of the student and their specific outcomes. Assessment of learning itself generally refers to that evaluating assessment which is summative by nature and is used to confirm what students actually know. As educators we can determine the student’s capabilities and what they can do, and whether they have achieved the specific curriculum outcomes. In recognizing the different purposes and facets of assessment we can ensure we are able to design the correct type of tests of assessment for each different purpose and or occasion for the learner.

 

References :

 

Butler, Suan M. (2006). A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Assessment: Understanding and Using Assessment to Improve Student Learning. Retrieved: 19th June 2022. From  https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED493644

 

Common Sense Education (2022)  About our Courses & Curriculum. Retrieved: 19th June 2022. From https://www.commonsense-edu.org/courses/

 

DJI Drone Tech (2022). Steam Education & Drone Technologies.  Retrieved: 19th June 2022 From:  https://www.dji.com/uk/products/steam

 

Education Bureau of Hong Kong (2022). Ongoing Renewal of the School Curriculum. Retrieved: 19th June 2022.  From:  https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/renewal/framework.html

 

Kid’s Spark Education STEM Curriculum (2022). Archived Curriculum Retrieved: 19th June 2022. From.  https://kidsparkeducation.org/curriculum/archived

 

Fort Wayne Community School Assessment (2019). FWCS. Retrieved: 19th, June 2022 From: https://fortwayneschools.org/assessment

 

University of San Francisco (2022). Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM).Education Minor.

Retrieved: 19th June 2022.  From:  https://catalog.usfca.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=35&poid=34435

 

Wall Street Institute Hong Kong (2022).  Learn English Naturally & Effectively.  Retrieved: 19th June 2022. Retrieved From.  https://www.wallstreet.edu.hk/web/learningmethod/?lang=en

 

Wall Street Institute Thailand (2022).  Beginner’s English Level Test.  Retrieved: 19th June 2022. Retrieved from.  https://www.wallstreetenglish.in.th/en/learn-english-online/english-test/.

 

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol For Collaboration in Education. (2006). Rethinking Classroom Assessment with purpose in mind. Retrieved: 19th, June 2022 From: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/assess/wncp/full_doc.pdf

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