Effective Assessment

According to the resources provided this week, effective Project Based Learning assessments are considered “progressive,  rigorous, and accountable”.   Meaning that there is no final test for a few small lessons within a project based lesson, where knowledge gained by the student is lost after an exam, but where each activity builds upon the previous, leading to more in-depth knowledge that will not easily be forgotten.  Additionally, as an educator, you should ask yourself, “How will I know?”.  How will I know the students understand and can apply what they have learned to real life scenarios and what can I do to make that happen.

During my project based lesson, I will be focusing on the How-To of Community Garden Plots with 3rd grade Math students, resulting in professional presentations provided by each group to the class and also a new school garden, that is created, managed and shared with the community.  This lesson is progressive in nature, where each activity builds upon the previous.  It is rigorous in nature, including cross curriculum subjects like Math, Science, ELA, ISTE & 21st Century life skills.  Also, students will follow a specific timeline for the lesson, completing activities and assessments throughout, which are relevant to real-life scenarios.

References:

  • Markham, thom. (2011). Education trends: Strategies for embedding project-based learning into STEM education. San Rafael, CA: Edutopia.
  • School of the Future. (2011). Schools that work: What is authentic assesment? San Rafael, CA: Edutopia.
  • 4teachers. (2009). Project based learning: Involving students in checklist creation. University of Kansas: ALTEC.
  • PBL in the Elementary Grades: Developing a Balanced Assessment Plan pp. 47-52; Using Formative Assessment & Setting Checkpoints pp. 104-107; Rubrics for Assessing Presentations & Collaboration pp. 132-135.
  • PBL Starter Kit: Summative Assessment: Culminating Projects pp. 46-49; Formative Assessment pp. 59-60; Rubrics pp. 60-62; Collaboration & Presentation Rubrics pp. 124-125

Obstacles & Related Solutions of Technology Integration in 3rd Grade Mathematics

     According to Roblyer, there are 3 phases of technology integration for educators, The 1st phase includes step 1 and 2. The 2nd phase includes steps 3 – 5 and the 3rd phase concludes with steps 6 and 7, Analyze Results and Make Revisions (2016).  Each step can provide educators with ideas on possible obstacles they could encounter and assist them with creating solutions to those obstacles.

     The 1st step is to determine its relative advantage or how the technology integration would provide a better outcome for the students.  If it would be appropriate and fun for the students, motivating them to learn, then it would have a positive outcome.  Even more so if students can access the lesson at home or on their own devices for more practice.  If the students have to wait a few minutes between each question, then it would not be worth it, as students would quickly lose interest and wander to different sites.

     The 2nd step is to assess the skills and resources the lesson would require to be completed by each student.  Students should be able to log in to their own account, and understand how to operate the site and the computer they are using, at a minimum, prior to beginning the lesson.  Additionally, the network administrator should be sought for assistance prior to, ensuring the network could support the technology integrated lesson and that there are enough devices available for use, such as reserving the computer lab.

     The 3rd step includes deciding on lesson objectives and assessments.  Concrete objectives and viable assessments must be available so students are held accountable for their own learning and the teacher can address any learning deficiencies to improve their education.  If a site is accessed that provides advertising pop-ups, then students could become distracted and select other content, possibly leading to virus downloads, viewing inappropriate material, therefore not completing the lesson’s objectives.

     The 4th step includes designing integration strategies.  Technology integration could include student’s working in groups, due to limited bandwidth and devices available.  Students could also complete activities afterwards to reiterate what they completed online, lessening the time spent on the network.  Webquests and research could be completed by students and compiled into one large class presentation.  Additionally, students could use Apps on their own devices to complete lessons at home or in school.

     The 5th step is preparing the instructional environment.  After the relative advantage, skills and resources, objectives and assessments, and integration strategies are prepared for the lesson, the teacher should present her technology integration lesson to her peers for feedback and any improvements.  Next, notify the student’s parents via a class newsletter or during conferences that their children will be completing lessons that include the use of technology, and that they would benefit from accessing the course at home or on their own devices. Then, students should receive an introduction about using technology, including details of the school’s AUP, so they have basic skills and understand or acknowledge appropriate technology use.

     Integrating technology into a 3rd grade Math class can be done, but there are some obstacles that could be encountered, such as wifi that is either non-existant or has little bandwidth available to support technology integration, using sites that are beneficial but could lead to inappropriate material, setting up individual accounts and taking the extra time needed to prepare students, and possibly downloading network security threats, which could shut down the school network. Yet, technology use is required and beneficial for our students to succeed in this day and age of smartphones, tablets and online education courses.

References

Clark R.C., Mayer, R.E. (2011). E-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. (3rd ed). San Fransisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (7th ed.). Nova Southeastern University: Pearson.