Planning for the Collection of Evidence

  1. As you think about learning activities (the middle column in the planning guide shown here) you should also be thinking concurrently about assessment activities (the right hand column). Assessment activities provide some kind of evidence or "proof" of what has been learned. The proof may be some kind of teacher or peer observation. These may be unstructured, as in the case of a teacher simply jotting down notes; a bit more structured, as in the case of group of learners devising a simple handwritten checklist; or even more structured, as in the case of the use of a carefully developed rubric, a learning portfolio, or a written quiz. In order to be counted as evidence an observation needs to be documented in some way. For example, in the planning guide for writing an accident report the first activity requires the teacher to observe student participation informally and write notes about what is observed. For the second activity students will review each other's work using a checklist the teacher will develop.

  2. A last but equally important part of the assessment process involves deciding on how you will interpret the evidence. This means using specific criteria to evaluate how well the student can perform the activity. For example, when your students use a checklist to review their draft accident reports, they will be looking at how proficiently they have mastered certain skills that go into writing an accident report. Each item on the checklist will refer to one or more of those skills, so that a "check" is evidence of proficient use of that skill. You will be looking to see whether or not students are becoming proficient in conveying their ideas in writing according to the definition of the standard at the performance level you have selected. You many assign students a score or use a rubric based on the level description to see if they are at the beginning, proficient or advanced level with respect to those skills. In this case your rating constitutes your interpretation of observed evidence of performance. The collection and interpretation of evidence may be more or less formal at different stages of the teaching and learning process. For example, as you observe students' discussion of sample accident reports, you will be informally looking for evidence of student understanding and then documenting and interpreting that evidence.

If you would like to learn more about collecting and interpreting evidence of learning, go to Section 1 of the EFF Assessment Handbook in the EFF Assessment Resource Collection. For more examples of different kinds of classroom-based assessments. go to the General Assessment Resources section.

How will we show we know it? What evidence will we have? How will we interpret the evidence?
Teacher will observe individual students

Students will review each other's draft accident reports
Teacher rating form

Revision checklist
Teacher will interpret ratings to determine proficiency

Students will score the number of items correct using a scoring guide to decide if the report is acceptable or needs more work

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