Below is the “Grading” section from my in-progress syllabus for a course I am teaching this Fall called Learning and Assessment. I would love suggestions and comments. My goal is to model authentic assessment for these future teachers so that they might begin to rethink how they will assess their own students someday. Let me know what you think:
This course is designed to help you gain useful knowledge of how people learn and how to assess whether your students learn what you intend for them to learn. Throughout the course we will discuss how to best encourage meaningful learning based on contemporary learning theory and how to authentically gauge, track, and report student learning. The assessment/grading for this course will reflect an attempt to authentically and meaningfully assess what you know about the topics covered.
To help you practice assessment you will be asked to assess your own understanding of course content. Assessing yourself requires deep reflection, high levels of thinking, as well as deep understanding of content. You will not simply assign your own grade. You must be able to provide evidence and rationale to support your level of understanding.
To help you generate evidence of your understanding you will create an online portfolio for this class. The portfolio may include reflective writings, video journals, course assignments, etc. I will provide feedback on assignments throughout the course so to guide your continued self-assessment. At the end of the course you will use your portfolio, my feedback and course expectations to defend a final grade.
Take this self-assessment seriously. Research shows that individuals who do not understand something have difficulty assessing their own understanding. My suggestion is to regularly spend time reflecting and self-assessing and coming to see me when you are unsure or have questions.
My goal for you is to accurately self-assess your own understanding. Both over and under assessing are equally problematic. Soon you will be assessing your students. Being able to accurately assess yourself will be an important step in being able to accurately assess those whom you teach.