Engaged Student Assessments
This post is fifth of a series based on excepts from my book on Student-Engaged Assessment: Strategies to Empower All Learners by Laura Greenstein and Mary Ann Burke (2020). You can purchase the book from Roman and Littlefield for charts, examples, and worksheets on how to engage students to become owners of their learning successes.
What Do Engaged Students Look Like?
Teachers have observed that engaged learners:
- Find motivation and personal meaning in learning and assessing.
- Rely on verified practices and routines for practical and participatory assessment.
- Display indicators of engagement including interest, purpose, and resolve.
Engagement is at the heart of motivation. This applies to preschoolers playing tee ball as well as to adults in the workplace and teachers in the classroom. When 3rd grader Torrance says he is not interested in playing ball but wants to ride a horse, his father says they can’t afford riding so he has to play ball. As a result, he’s disengaged and wanders around the outfield without purpose.
After reading about “boring” poets and traditional poetry forms in English class, Keenan hastily decides he loathes poetry, so he writes an original rap to describe DNA. When his teacher returns his “poem,” the note says that it doesn’t align with the school’s writing standards for supporting claims with evidence. Here’s a small segment of Keenan’s poem in which he explains deoxyribonucleic acid, it’s structure, and purpose.
Listen to a story that I’m going to tell.
How DNA is found inside all your cells.
In your hair, blood, skin, and lungs as well;
Even got some DNA to help me smell.
My DNA is not for your replication.
Use your own nucleic a’ for your mutation.
Keenan’s wants no part of your creation.
I need my DNA for life’s duration.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.