Assessing Student Learning
A common question that we get with regard to technology projects is how do I grade it? The 21st-Century communication and collaboration skills which are used with most technology based projects are, in many ways, real-world problem-solving skills, so the standard, multiple-choice type tests simply are not going to be able to assess students’ learning. Instead of thinking of the assessment itself as the measurement, we are going to need to examine our students’ performances of understanding. In other words, the assessment is the tool through which we can gauge how much our students have learned.
Performance is most often seen in the form of formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment is ongoing and provides information needed to adjust teaching and learning. It not only helps to monitor student progress throughout an activity, but it can gauge student understanding and readiness to proceed to further tasks. Summative assessment focuses on a particular point in time — often at the conclusion of an activity. Both types of assessments are valuable tools when designing tasks to demonstrate mastery or understanding.