Monday, 2 February 2015

A - Assessments, Authentic & Australia #28daysofwriting Day 2


A is for...............Assessment, Authentic & Australia

So when I had the thought of doing the alphabet as part of my #28daysofwriting project/challenge I thought this would be easy, but I do believe as I make my way through the letters I might run into a few obstacles. 

Assessments are so intrinsically linked to education. We all use them; we do assessment of learning, assessment as learning and assessment for learning. We report on them to parents, to students, to education bodies and many more. We are told to backward map from the assessment, teach towards an assessment and make sure students are prepared for assessments. 
Should they really be the driving force of reporting (or learning), is there a better way to showcase learning? I'm constantly grappling with this as to whether we are creating students that play the system and end up with no independent thinkers. It is so crucial that assessments do not get in the way of learning...

This leads me to my second 'A' - Authentic (Authenticity) of learning. Creation of tasks that offer authentic experiences, situations and applications is paramount for learning. A definition for authentic assessments from Grant Wiggins:
"...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229).

Authentic assessments is my aim, even with the overwhelming presence of senior school curriculum constraints. Changing tasks, making them applicable to students lives, how they can impact others and a diversity of learning opportunities will enrich their educational journey. I want to be able to create assessments that allow students to be independent, take up social causes and be creative.

Already this #28daysofwriting is making me reflect on my own thoughts and giving me ideas for future blogposts. Authentic assessments is definitely bookmarked to be explored further.

Australia -  Why put Australia in this post? We have been living here for 6 years and we are extremely grateful to be part of the 'Lucky Country'. It is an amazing place to live, filled with a diversity of people and natural beauty. We have been blessed with our daughter while living here, and many opportunities/experiences along the way.

Bonus: My Twitter Recommendations- Letter A
These educators have been part of my PLN for some time and it is fantastic to be able to connect with them, share ideas, be challenged and learn from one another.
Andrea Stringer @stringer_andrea
Aaron Davis @mrkrndvs
Anne Gripton @gripgirl
Alycia @aly_ciab9


Time is up, tomorrow the letter B......