Friday, August 05, 2016

Classroom Assessment Chapter 8

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.

Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at:

Chapter 8 - Personal Communication

Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 8.2 Personal Communication OptionsClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 266.

* individual students' personalities, comfort level, language background, etc can influence the effectiveness of this assessment option

Sampling - Gathering Enough Evidence

- how complex/broad is the learning target?
- is the purpose of the assessment formative or summative?
- there are no rules on how many questions to ask; use your professional judgement

Sampling - Hearing from Students

- it is not often that students will participate equally in a group setting
- call on all students (not just those who raise their hand), use clickers, personal whiteboards, etc

Wait Time

- allow students time to think before demanding answers
- reflection allows for more engagement

Instructional Q's & A's

- commonly used during lessons; formative purpose
- be sure to plan questions ahead of time
- be specific if looking for reasoning targets
- encourage more detail, ask for elaboration, build off of other responses
     - just keep the conversation flowing!
- Questions for learning
     1 ) ask Qs specifically about key points of the target
     2 ) students should respond to each other
     3 ) model types of responses for students (speculate, reflect, admit you don't know)
     4 ) show how different verbs get different answers
* this is not recommended for summative assessment

Class Discussions

- structured conversations; formative or summative purpose
- be sure to plan questions ahead of time
- develop quality checklists or rubrics (see Ch. 7)
- don't rely on your memory; make sure you are recording student responses
- Discussions for learning
     * use the 7 strategies for formative assessment

Conferences & Interviews

- often used informally while circulating around the room; formative
- don't need to be used with every students, just those we need more evidence from; use your professional judgement
- be sure to plan questions ahead of time
- avoid "yes & no" questions
- have samples available to clarify
- give students time to prepare
- provide time to review what was shared before concluding the discussion

Oral Exams

- use low level vocabulary
- use 1 set of questions with all students
- develop quality checklists or rubrics
- record and reassess if needed

Journals & Logs
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 8.4 Written Forms of Personal CommunicationClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 282.

Biases & Problems

- not enough time
- language barriers
- teacher's personal filters/stereotypes
- unclear task
- trying to remember student responses without written records


How do you build in personal communication assessment into your classroom?

I often arrange enters or stations for my students to circulate through during a class period where one stop is a conference with me; I find it very beneficial!

Please leave your thoughts below :)

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