Those #pegeeks out there that know my style know that I hold inquiry and student driven learning in very high regard in my program. I have received a few emails asking me to better define how I involve students in assessment design in PE, so I decided to visually lay it out. Doing so really helps me to think, on a deeper level, of how I involve students in assessment design. I always felt that I did well at it, but actually explaining it in visual form assists me in getting a better grasp of it. The 7-Step Model that I created is for my own purposes, but I felt as though it would be good to share. If any of you would like to use the model, please feel free. You may have to tweak or modify it in order to fit the needs of your program, but if you do use it, please give me some feedback as to whether or not you find in useful. I have a few workshops that I will be leading over the next several months, so would like to include this 7-Step Model in my presentations. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Here it is below. Any questions? Just ask!
Important Considerations in the Process
Time Management: I can pull this whole cycle off in a 40-minute lesson provided I am very prepared and organized. My teaching space needs to be set up and ready to go otherwise there will be too many obstacles. However, using this approach can be spread out over a number of classes for larger scale assessment tasks such as a summative final task in movement composition. The whole point is that you need to be flexible when using this approach.
Using Selected Criteria to Create Formative or Summative Assessment Sheets: For larger scale formative tasks, I will take away the selected assessment criteria and create assessment sheets to be handed out to students at the very start of the following class.
Write It All Down and Keep it Visible: Record the students ideas and leave them posted on the wall for the duration of the unit. These posters will inevitably serve to initiate further discussion later in the unit. I have had great success doing this in my classes.
A Description of Each Step
Breaking it down is a second important step in the process. After showing the visual(s), I have the students breakdown the essential skills, task, or performance that they have seen. I have usually planned a number of provocative questions that helps them to focus on the reasons why what they have seen is either good, bad, or excellent.
Think, Pair, and Share is a chance for the students in pairs (and sometimes in threes) to have break away discussions regarding what they had seen in step one. I give them further questions to consider and their main task, at this point, is to discuss what they feel is important in regards to what they had seen.
This is where it really starts to get exciting! After think, pair, and share, we get together as a whole group and begin to share some of the great ideas that the students have come up with. I record as many of these ideas as possible in bright colors on large poster sized paper taped to the wall or pinned up on a display board. There are no wrong answers as this is kind of a brainstorming activity.
Once the brainstorming is done, I let the students know what the upcoming task is that they will be required to do either on their own, in pairs, or on teams. We then discuss what is important in order to be successful and the students themselves vote on and select the assessment criteria to be used in the task. Every time we get to this stage, I record the selected assessment criteria. They are aware that failure is never a bad thing because when used wisely great learning can take place.
Now that the students are fully aware of the assessment criteria, they set off to begin planning for and practicing the tasks that they will engage in. These tasks could be, for example, individual skills work in a net games unit, a mini-routine in movement composition, an adventure challenge task, or practicing skills in athletics.
In this last stage, the students come together in small groups or in one large group to perform or demonstrate their learning. Teacher and peer specific criteria-related feedback is an absolute necessity at this point. I always encourage my students to use specific vocabulary when giving feedback. It is a excellent time for me to sit back and closely observe the conversations taking place as these discussions are a perfect way to assess if a student has grasped an understanding of the selected assessment criteria.