PREFACE: BEST PRACTICES FOR ASSESSMENT
Context - Virtual/hybrid environments challenge a teacher’s ability to capture evidence of learning and require us to rethink traditional assessment. The role of formative assessment in the virtual/hybrid environment is critical as it can be used to check for understanding as well as to provide feedback. Challenging students to apply knowledge/skills/competencies through meaningful, performance-based assessments in novel settings will advance student learning.
- Tacoma, WA Public School
Purpose of ALL Assessment -
“The primary purpose...is to advance learning.”
- Jay McTighe
Assessments in online learning environments work best when students operate on the higher tiers of Bloom’s taxonomy to do something with content they have access to. Use these three questions to help guide you in your design of assessments:
Moss, Connie, and Brookhart, Susan. Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom, Alexandria, VA, 2009.
Moss, Connie, and Brookhart, Susan. Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom, Alexandria, VA, 2009
GO BEYOND TESTS AND QUIZZES:
In an online classroom, students can access all information in seconds. While this may tempt us to brainstorm ways to offer traditional assessments with little to no room for cheating, we instead want to think about this context as an opportunity. Instead of restricting learners from working within this environment, we encourage designing assessments that encourage learners to take advantage of this access to information, navigate the material, and apply it in new ways.
STICK TO THE CRITERIA:
Unlike assessments with right and wrong answers, performance-based assessments allow for a lot of student choice. Set parameters around feedback by creating and sharing criteria before, during, and after the assessment. Clear, consistent guidelines and benchmarks offer learners and educators a shared understanding of desired learning outcomes.
LEVERAGE PROTOCOLS FOR SELF- ASSESSMENT:
Metacognition is an essential element of learning. Protocols offer a structured way for students to assess their own learning. Use protocols to design exit tickets or other activities where students can articulate where they are and where they need to go. 10 Assessments You Can Perform in 90 Seconds, 40 Reflection Questions from Edutopia, and School Reform Initiative’s Reflective Protocols
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE STUDENTS TO PUT FORTH THEIR BEST EFFORT:
Ensure task and goal clarity by setting expectations, sharing models, and providing rubrics. Tasks that are relevant to the student’s life are ones they are more likely to engage in. The student’s PERCEIVED ability to be successful in the assessment or with the learning is KEY, so the role in supporting students in their learning is important to clarify and demonstrate.
THE most important factor for student success. Feedback must be specific using language that the LEARNER easily understands. It must be timely and provide a built-in opportunity for students to make use of the feedback - revise or apply it. Feedback that isn’t used is like eating without digesting. Online learning also creates space for teacher-student, student-student, and student-teacher feedback in interesting, valuable, and varied ways. Ultimately, you can build and sustain relationships with your students through highly personalized and elevated conversations about their learning. Dylan Wiliam suggests that the most important thing about feedback is what students do with it.
SEVEN KEYS TO EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK -GRANT WIGGINS
USE A COACHING APPROACH:
• Think of yourself as an athletic coach. Frame curriculum and assessment around PERFOR- MANCE - what do we want students to DO with their learning?
• To develop long-term transfer, students need to APPLY their learning to new situations within and outside school - what is the game they are playing? Life? College? Work?
• Coaches want/need to know what their play- ers know and can do - PRE ASSESS knowl- edge/skills/competencies.
• Ongoing, formative assessment with FEED- BACK (geared to the task/game).
• Provide DIRECT INSTRUCTION for basic skills and rules of the game/strategies.
• DIFFERENTIATE as different players need to improve in different areas.
• By having students/players self-assess and set goals, they will ENGAGE.
Six Key Components of Assessment:
Projects with Assessment Components - focused on important skills that are truly challenging
Group work (collaboration)
Real audience (authentic)
Criteria known in advance
Self assessment - as individuals and as teams
Rich assessments - with measurements known
ahead of time
Information pulled from Global Online Academy’s Designing for Online Instruction: Assessment Course.
In Agreement with:
Circular #25, November 13th, 2020, Secretaría de Educación Distrital, Bogota.
Circular # 002, January 14th, 2021, Secretaría de Educación Distrital, Bogota.
CNG ASSESSMENT MODEL & PROTOCOL
The evaluation of learning is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. The school has taken into consideration the requirements of Colombian educational law (Decree 1290, April 16, 2009), U.S. accreditation requirements, and the professional knowledge of the teaching staff at CNG in the development of our assessment practices.
The CNG plan for assessing student performance has been specifically designed to meet the individual needs of all students while maintaining high standards for learning. Rubrics, exemplars, and other descriptive feedback tools are used to provide students and teachers a clear understanding of expectations for basic, proficient, and advanced performance.
We believe in a balanced approach to assessment including pretests and multiple ways for students to demonstrate proficiency including,but not limited to: conferring,informal observations, performance assessments, and authentic transfer tasks. Assessments may include portfolios of individual assignments, projects, verbal presentations, and other forms of non- traditional assessment such as self-assessments. Assessments should be differentiated based on student readiness, interest, or special need. In particular, students with special academic needs who are served through the Learning Center may be given alternative assessments for measuring how much they have learned.
Evaluation policies and procedures for students to demonstrate proficiency of standards are set forth in this CNG Assessment Model and Protocol.
CNG Assessment Belief Statement:
Student learning and growth signify our greatest priorities at CNG. We use assessments to determine and communicate what students know and are able to do as well as to improve teaching and learning for all students.
CNG Essential Agreements About Assessment:
As a faculty and staff, we are committed to the following agreements:
1. Formative/Summative Assessments:
Over the past few years CNG has been using best-practice research and working to ensure formative assessments are frequent and provide students opportunities to try and show their learning. As a result, we have K4-12 alignment regarding the following for formative/summative assessments.
a. Teachers will use a range and balance of quality formative and summative assessments. Within the range of assessments, exemplars are used as a guide for consistent grading of student work. These exemplars offer a model for teachers and students of the type of performance measure that clearly meets the standards.
b. Teachers will provide meaningful and timely descriptive feedback to learners on all assignments. Results of formative assessments should guide teacher planning and instruction, and these should be tightly linked to
what will be assessed on summatives in order for students to have ample opportunities for feedback and time to reach expectations by the time summative assessments are given.
c. Formative assessments have a no- count value, weighted at 0%, to provide opportunity for low-risk feedback as well as to provide a snapshot during a unit of study and indicate students’ level of proficiency as well as to prepare students for summative assessments.
d. Formative assessments are well- aligned with benchmarks of focus; namely, the content and skills that will be assessed on summative assessments.
e. At CNG the trimester/semester grade is determined by the teacher and may not necessarily be the average of assessments. We want to ensure grades represent the student’s best, most recent evidence.
f. All summative assessments will be weighted at 100% - resubmission will be allowed for all summative assessments within two weeks of the the class receiving their summative feedback. Please note, that for final summatives at the end of each semester, there is no guarantee of a resubmission opportunity due to time constraints.
g. For students in grades 7-12, resubmission will be allowed for only one summative assessment per semester.
2. Grades will be based on academic achievement aligned with our four-point grading scale.
3. Grades will be based on what students know and are able to do relative to the benchmarks under consideration. Teachers should consider the entire body of assessment evidence, and final semester/trimester grades should reflect the best and most recent evidence.
4. Grades will be determined using appropriate and clear performance standards. This will include clear descriptions of expectations through the use of rubrics/scoring guides, and these will be communicated in advance to students. Three to five pieces of recent evidence should be used to determine final grades (These can include observational records).
5. Student behavior/core values will be graded under Core Values separately from academic achievement with the exception of academic dishonesty at Middle and High School.
6. Within a grading period, students will be provided with additional opportunities to improve learning and reassess after having engaged in extra practice/help from the teacher.
7. The grade of “4” should be achievable on all assessments. Teachers will ensure that students understand what is expected to achieve a “4” and are provided opportunities to demonstrate learning at the highest level.
8. Teachers will not give extra credit or bonus points, factor attendance into grades, or grade on a curve.
9. Students with an excused absence get one day for everyday missed to make up missing work. Students will be given individual grades on group projects. Teachers will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning.
10. In MS/HS, grades will be updated electronically every two weeks, on average. In PS/ES, grades will be inputted at the end of the trimester. Community members are expected to keep track of student data through the school systems on a regular basis. Teachers are expected to alert parents as soon as learning difficulties are detected, consult with the intervention coach in PS, and begin Tier 1 interventions with regular and consistent progress monitoring.
11. In general, homework should be considered informal formative assessment and be aligned with the CNG Homework Philosophy & Practices.
12. Students are expected to complete and turn in all assignments on time. In Middle School, students will be provided the opportunity to remediate missed assignments within two weeks while in High School they will have only 5 calendar days. After this time they will receive a “0” in the gradebook reflecting work never submitted. In addition, students in Middle and High School may not be eligible to receive course credit/pass the course if they do not complete and turn in all summative assignments.
13. Across all divisions students with Learning Center Services may receive accommodations on summative and/or formative assessments as stated on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP).
14. English Language Learners may receive accommodations as stated in their Language Enhancement Plan (LEP) according to their level of proficiency
Use Of Assessment Data
CNG engages in a comprehensive and systematic process of thoroughly evaluating student performance results in order to assess the effectiveness of our programs and accurately determine the impact of our improvement efforts.
“As one of the key research-based strategies for school improvement, robust data-driven decision-making helps propel all program improvement efforts at CNG. Our school collects, analyzes, and uses multiple data sets and measures to evaluate student learning, program quality, and organizational effectiveness. Given the breadth and depth of data utilized for school improvement purposes at CNG, the school uses a highly specialized data management system, Spotfire, which more effectively and efficiently provides data to teachers and administrators for the improvement of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The extensive evaluation of these data also provides us with valuable input to help us align our professional development investment and use of financial resources for school improvement efforts.” 1
In addition to school-wide analysis of student performance data, teacher teams and individual teachers use assessment data in systematic ways to improve teaching and learning. Educators at CNG use formative and summative assessment information in many ways, including:
RATIONALE BEHIND ASSESSMENT AND 4-POINT GRADING PRACTICES
Ongoing reflection, review of past information, and synthesis of the key points:
Improve consistency and validity in grading
• “Research shows that 100-point scale grades tend to reduce students’ interest in learning it- self, reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks, and reduce the quality of students’ thinking” (Marzano, 2000, p. 24).
• “Research indicates that a score a student receives on a test (on a 100 point scale) is more dependent on who scores the test and how they score it than it is on what the student knows and understands” (Marzano, 2006, p.30).
• In addition, according to Marzano, “studies have shown that the reliability of a score obtained by a single teacher using a 4 point scale is .719, whereas the reliability of a score obtained using a 100 point system is .294” (2006, p. 118) A 100-point scale increases error between various classrooms because of the range of possible scores and subjectivity in grading. It is both cumbersome and probably not accurate, then to use so many degrees, 10 - 100, to describe performance to a standard, so a 4 or 5 scale is generally recommended.The 4 pt. scale tends to separate the 1-2 performance being below the standard from the 3-4 performances from being above or well-above the standard performance. A 5 pt. scale sometimes allows for the “fence- sitting” score of a 3.
• As part of the school’s ongoing process of reviewing and refining our assessment protocols, CNG conducted an analysis in 2014 of student GPAs from Grades 1 through 12 and found that the majority of students were achieving performance averages between 3.2 - 3.4 on a majority of their grade-level assessments. As a result, the school determined the need to realign grade-level/course expectations with actual performance levels being achieved by students. In an effort to set these appropriate target levels aligned with established performance, CNG revised its protocols by setting a 3.25 as our expected grade-level proficiency and a 3.0 as the minimum grade-level expectation.
• Additionally, the school upgraded the assessment protocol by .25 increments to the scale in order to provide teachers with increased specificity and greater precision in their grading practices and application of their professional judgment. Finally, the expanded protocol continuum with .25 / .50 / .75 increments also ensured that the transfer grades of departing students more accurately reflected their true achievement level when translated into grading scales back in their own national systems or at other international schools.
Creation of a common language for assessment
• Students and teachers both understand what the performance level descriptors indicate about student mastery of the material.
• An assessment grade of 4 indicates that a student has an advanced, superior level of performance and they can demonstrate an understanding that exceeds expectations. According to Marzano, an advanced score of 4 indicates that a student can show “in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught” (2006, p. 58).
• “Classroom teachers, who are the subject and grade-level specialists evaluate students, determine ‘what a 4 looks like’ first when they write or revise the benchmarks, and secondly when they draft rubrics to show the descriptions of the benchmark at each of the levels identified in the grading scale. A 4 characterizes a student demonstrating an understanding of a benchmark that exceeds expectations” (Comment from Dr. Jane E. Pollock).
Well-written and developed scales or rubrics assist students in their learning
A well-written scale can be thought of as an applied version of a learning progression. A scale should make it easy for teachers to design and score assessments. To be most useful, scales should be written in student-friendly language. The teachers should introduce each scale to the students and explain what is meant by the content with each score value. http://www.marzanoresearch.com/resources/tips/fasbg_tips_archive
Value and Importance of Formative Feedback & Assessment for Learning
The 4-point scale places an emphasis on formative assessments, the ongoing feedback process, and the actual growth and learning in terms of the learning target, rather than on just on the “grades.”
• The purpose of moving to standards for scoring was to improve student performance by improving the quality of the feedback to students. By indicating how well they perform on the standard itself, and not just on the tasks related to standards (that often address more than one standard), the student would be able to see where he and she could improve.
• According to J. Hattie and H. Timperley, “Feedback reduces the gap between what is known [and done] and what is aimed to be known [and done]” Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).
• Popham, Transforming Assessment (2008), offers these insights: Formative assessment is not a test but a process—a planned process involving a number of different activities.
• In addition, one can infer from research stated in Classroom Instruction that Works (Marzano, Pickering, Pollock, 2001) that an individual teacher who uses formative assessment practices can show student achievement gains equivalent to a percentile gain of about 23 points (pg.7).
• Using that research in the Improving Student Learning Series (2007, 2009), Pollock shows teachers how to use formative assessment as integral to both planned instruction and planned assessment, and, importantly, in tracking student progress by the curriculum objectives.
• “One of the most powerful and straightforward ways a teacher can provide feedback that encourages learning is to have students keep track of their own progress on topics.” (Marzano 2006, p.89)
• Classroom formative assessment strategies emphasize the powerful effect that frequent and specific feedback can have on student learning relative to the curriculum targets at the grade level.
• R.J. Marzano states that “formative assessment can and should begin immediately within a learning episode and span its entire duration. Additionally, formative classroom assessment can take a wide variety of formats, both formal (e.g., paper-and-pencil quiz) and informal (e.g., a discussion, with a student)” (Marzano, 2006).
• W. James Popham, conceptualizes formative assessment as a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to ad- just what they’re currently doing. Formative assessment involves a series of carefully considered, distinguishable acts on the part of teachers or students or both. Some of those acts involve educational assessments, but the assessments play a role in the process—they are not the process itself.
Encourage assessment of student learning in multiple ways (more than just tests or papers)
One of those activities is the use of assessments, both formal and informal, to elicit evidence regarding students’ status: the degree to which a particular student has mastered a particular skill or body of knowledge. Based on this evidence, teachers adjust their ongoing instructional activities or students adjust the procedures they’re currently using to try to learn whatever they’re trying to learn.
• “We sacrifice our aims and our children’s intellectual needs when we test what is easy to test rather than the complex and rich tasks that we value in our classrooms and that are at the heart of our curriculum” (Wiggins, 1998, p.7).
A change in Colombian Law (Decree 1290, April 16, 2009)
The CNG comparative grading scale is provided, along with the current CNG School Profile, when transcripts are requested for student transfer to another school. Schools where our students transfer in then use this to help find the appropriate equivalent for the CNG grade to their system as a 3.0 on the CNG scale is not 75% but in the range of 80-85%. This comparative grading scale should be used only for the purpose of finding equivalent grades for students who transfer in or out of CNG.
DEFINITIONS FOR ASSESSMENT MODEL (DECREE 1290, APRIL 16, 2009)
▶ Formative Assessment
▶ Formative feedback should drive instruction and modification to lesson planning based on the results of the student(s).
There should be on-going, multiple, formative assessment. Students should receive feedback on formal formative assessments before summative assessments.
▶ Summative Assessment
Assessments and evaluations that are carried out at the end of a learning interval (unit, chapter,section, etc.) In advance, students and parents are made aware of when summative assessments will occur and what they will cover. Multiple summative assessments are expected for each learning interval. Examples include: tests, essays, labs, presentations, debates, projects, etc.
▶ Student Self-Evaluation
Students are provided self-assessment opportunities on academic benchmarks as well as on core values. This enables students to develop skills in self-reflection and the ability to determine next steps for improvement. Some self-assessment strategies are portfolios, self- evaluation rubrics, and checklists.
▶ Student Feedback
▶ Learning Evidence
Information from formative and summative assessments of student learning that will help the teacher to direct and modify instruction.
▶ Learning Goal
A part of or an entire benchmark, what students will be able to know/understand/do at the end of the instruction.
A K-12 statement of what students will understand and be able to do within a specific subject area.
▶ Standardized Assessments
Are used to reflect on student learning and our program; however, these results are not reflected in subject grades. Examples are MAP, STAR Reading in Spanish, CogAT, CELF, Saber, Pre-Saber, psycho-ed evaluations, etc.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY & PLAGIARISM
In cases of academic dishonesty, there will be systematic follow up and developmentally appropriate consequences to reinforce the importance of academic honesty as outlined in our CNG Code of Honor and Disciplinary Policy. CNG believes in the importance of teachers ensuring that students receive direct instruction and guidance to understand plagiarism and the correct use of citations acknowledging the use of the direct words of other authors. The school provides various resources including Turnitin. com for student and faculty use in order to check for correct citation as well as to take proactive steps to identify inadvertent “cut-and-paste” plagiarism.
1. The teacher takes steps following the protocol stated in the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism document on page 16 of the CNG Code of Honor and Disciplinary Policy.
2.The teacher informs parents via email, copying Office, as well as refers the student to the Office through a referral process.
3. The teacher may require the student to re do the work.
4. The student’s behavior/conduct grade for the assessment should be a 1.0.
5. Please note that students may be placed on Behavior Advisement, Probation, or Matriculation Hold due to Academic Dis- honesty.
Colegio NUEVA GRANADA | www.cng.edu | Cra 2E No. 70-20 | Phone: (571)212 3511
Bogotá - Colombia