Design Thinking as Constructionist Learning, Lessons from a Spring Hard Problem
In part one of this blog, we discussed what self-assessment is, and the relevance of using alternative assessments in your MakerEd program or school wishing to usher in more student choice into the curriculum. In this blog, we will do a shallow review of what has been written about self-assessments. This will include work being done on the frontlines by teachers (blogs and articles), as well as published studies from academia about the efficacy of self-assessment. We will focus our discussion of efficacy on two parameters, accuracy and return for time invested.
One of the most meaningful things that I get to do as a teacher is to watch my students learn. What makes it most exciting and interesting for me is observing this learning through their eyes and their contexts. I have several Flip Cameras located in the classroom long with my Point and Shoot camera and the students will ask me “where is the camera?” “can we use the camera?” “we just did something really cool, can we record it?"
The purpose of teacher driven assessment is to measure whether a student is ready to move on to the next topic in a given curriculum. Often this translates to the next chapter of a text book. If the student passes the teacher’s assessment, the next step in her education is given to her in lockstep manner. This approach to learning and assessment, while comfortably quantifiable, unfortunately fails to approach the full spectrum of learning that modern day education has to offer children and adults. Throw MakerEd spaces into the mix, and you have a recipe for a revolution in assessment, beginning with handing the right and responsibility of assessment, over to our students.
Those working in a makered program, know this kind of work/learning is good for kids, as well as communities and have the energy to fight to keep their programs alive. To support these teachers and to keep makered programs sustainable, i.e. not let them suffer the fate of previous progressive education movements labeled as lacking rigor, we need to be thinking about assessment and we need to be thinking about the following kinds of assessment: