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  • Writer's pictureJames Kerr

Assessment: A Sample

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

This assessment sample fits into a research/ presentation format. As students are assigned a specific portion of the entire group project,.each student will research a chemical element, Students will then personalize a presentation plan to share required information. As each individual shares information, patterns and relationships between topics will become evident as the structure of the Periodic Table of Elements is revealed.

The purpose of the assignment is to learn about the characteristics of a specific element, including atomic number, average atomic mass, family and period where the element is located on the Periodic Table, common oxidation numbers, common compounds formed that include the element, and uses for the pure element, or compounds formed that include the element, and the status of an element as a metal, nonmetal or metalloid. Students also researched the history of the element including important historical figures. Students used online sources for information, they and determined if the information was provided by a reliable source. Students could choose a variety of methods to present the researched information.

Some assumptions that I made about this assessment were: 1) Students would have access to a Periodic Table, 2) Students would be able to determine if an online site was reliable based on the source, 3) Students would choose a presentation format that felt comfortable, 4) Students had adequate time to perform the research, 5) Students had adequate reading skills to locate the information, 6) Students would include all of the required information in the presentation, 7) Students would know how to use available technologies to support their presentation choices.

Comparing this assessment to the three “I believe” statements in an earlier blog post reveals both consistency and inconsistency with the statements. There is no pre-assessment in this assignment. Also, there is no evidence of any attempt to discern student prior knowledge. However, the assessment is clearly tied to the content standards for the class. The presentations provide an avenue for diverse expression of the learning goals. The final presentation serves as a vehicle to reveal mastery of the content. The goals for the assignment are clearly defined, However, there is no evidence of formative assessments and ongoing support or scaffolding. Additionally, there is no evidence of feedback for students as they are in the process of developing their presentations. Feedback appears only in the summative assessment.

The assessment that I chose for this assignment is constructivist in nature. Unlike the Behaviorist learning theory of B.F. Skinner or R.L. Thorndike, learning in this assessment is an active process of knowledge construction. In the chosen assessment, students individually and corporately gain understanding incrementally. The organization of periodic properties that define the organization of the table are synthesized as individual aspects of unique elements are compared to the same attributes in other elements. The structure for the presentation format melds individual and group learning. The presentation format and the use of appropriate technology are consistent with 21st Century learning goals.

This assessment is clearly “for learning", designed to boost student learning. The presentation affords an assessment “of learning” However, more development of the assessment “as learning” is required.

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