The question that I would like to focus on this week is:
Are there other methods that are equally as economical, particularly in terms of instructor time, that are more suitable for assessment in a digital age?
where the “other methods” the list included were:
multiple choice tests, written essays, project work, e-portfolios, simulations and educational games
For me, this is the Holy Grail of teaching pedagogy– how to be effective as an educator and effective as an assessor. Unless you are married to a teacher, or you are a teacher, it is likely that you have no idea how much time is consumed assessing student work. It is the biggest time consumer of my week, now that most of my lessons are fairly under control.
Having observed my fellow Physics and Math colleagues assess, we all do not put in the same amount of time and feedback into our assessments. It can take me over 2 hours, sometimes 3 hours, to mark 30 Physics 12 labs. It is so time consuming that I have allowed students to hand in one copy between two lab partners, whenever I can. When I employ a rubric, I definitely cut my marking time down, and it seems as though student satisfaction with the feedback has not been comprised.
Recently, as a GAFE adopter, I tried using Alice Keeler’s Google Sheet Rubric which allows you to adjust and weight each outcome, it totals the score, and then emails the rubric back to the student. It also provides a space to enter additional comments. As the students completed the entire lab on a Google Doc, I also provided comments on their labs directly. Because I work in a high school in a district that allows students to self-consent for their FIOPPA permissions, Google Apps are at my finger tips– I recognize, however, that this is not necessarily the case across the board.
If anyone is interested in seeing an e-rubric in action, I just made a screencast of a lab I just assessed for my Physics class.
Since this was my first time using an e-rubric, the learning curve sucked up some of the saved time, however, now that I have tried it once, I know that it will be smoother in the future.
Ironically, one of the best forms of assessment that I have introduced this year is not very high tech at all. I bought 18 individual white boards (on Clearance at London Drugs for $1 each!) and I will start most classes with collaborative warm up questions. If a pair of students seem stuck, I send other students to peer instruct them. It is non-threatening, very efficient and NO MARKING. I love it!
I”ve dabbled a bit with Google Forms this year, putting a “check in” on the Google Classroom. Students receive 2 marks for participating. Using the Add-on called Flubaroo, I can run the add-on in Sheets and immediately email students their results. Although it is pretty cool to do, I honestly think that the whiteboards are better use of class time– collaboration via peer instruction is pure magic! The one advantage to the GF is that since I have it as an “assignment” on the GC, students who were away are still responsible for completing the check-in. Perhaps I should have both!!! 🙂