New Ways to Help Our Kids Document Learning
Measuring Academic Progress series, Part 2 of 3
Parents can help children track their progress through alternative assessments. This is an effective way to help our children document their learning during these challenging times as well as when children do not attend a “brick and mortar” school during extended vacations. Alternative or authentic assessments rely on a foundation of learned knowledge and skills that learners integrate in their understanding and evidence of mastery. Alternative assessments ask the student to use what they have learned for a purpose rather than simply reiterating it.
Examples of Authentic Performances and Displays of Learning
PRODUCTS: Puzzles, games, timelines, simulations, primary research, experiments
WRITING/PUBLISHING: Scripts, stories, headlines, catalogs, press releases, marketing plan
ORIGINAL DESIGNS: Artwork, music, cartoons, book covers, illustrations, models, graphic designs
DEMONSTRATIONS/PRESENTATIONS: Show/explain how it works, teach another, simulation, lab experiment
PERSUASIONS: Debate, defense, advocacy, advice, editorial, soapbox, urge to action
MULTIMEDIA: Visual/auditory/digital products such as an infographic, video, storyboard, e-zine, newscast
How to Document Performance
Performances and displays require comparisons and alignment with the purposes of learning. For example, if you were learning to play tennis, the coach would watch your movements and make recommendations for improvement. If you were writing a press release or a summary, it would be fact-checked and assessed for organization and persuasiveness.
For more information, you can also order the newly released Student-Engaged Assessment book by Laura Greenstein and Mary Ann Burke with a 20% discount until 12/31/20 by using promo code RLEGEN20 from Roman and Littlefield at https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475857825/Student-Engaged-Assessment-Strategies-to-Empower-All-Learners.
May your children’s alternative assessment documentation reflect how they have accomplished progress towards specific goals or by achieving mastery of learning objectives.
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