Chat

Letting Students Take Ownership of Their Assessments

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 2 to 3 p.m. ET


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 Chat: Letting Students Take Ownership of Their Assessments(06/15/2017) 
3:01
Shannon King: 
It was our pleasure! Thanks for having us, and thanks to EdLeader21 for their support!
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:01 Shannon King
3:01
Shannon King: 
What Katie said.
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:01 Shannon King
3:01
Madeline Will: 
I wish we had more time to keep talking about this. But thank you so much, Shannon and Katie, for joining us.
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:01 Madeline Will
3:00
Katherine Hovanec: 
Try it! Be messy. Learn. Model how to learn from a mistake!
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:00 Katherine Hovanec
3:00
Shannon King: 
PS ...those standardized test scores have not been hurt one bit!
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:00 Shannon King
2:59
Katherine Hovanec: 
There was a question about what is the teacher doing during the unit if the students are driving the assessment... The teacher is meeting with students doing formative assessments, using traditional assessment (grammar, vocabulary, etc.), modeling skills, helping students brainstorm solutions to problems that crop up, etc.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:59 Katherine Hovanec
2:59
Shannon King: 
...every teacher we've been working with has been so grateful they've taken the risk. The level of student engagement increases and those relationships with students get stronger!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:59 Shannon King
2:58
Shannon King: 
My first piece of advice--don't wait for permission! If your school/district is not willing to change their culture just yet, you can still make a major difference in your classroom! Our students need this now...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:58 Shannon King
2:57
Madeline Will: 
Unfortunately, we're almost out of time, but Shannon and Katie, could you share any closing thoughts or advice to people interested in this work?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:57 Madeline Will
2:56
[Comment From LaurenLauren: ] 
I found, as a social studies teacher, that my sixth grade class was capable of creating the their country project requirement list based on the enduring concepts studied during both fifth and sixth grade. These include; rights, diversity, change, balance, government, geography, economy, religious beliefs, technology and comparing and contrasting ideas with our country. Students who are interested in doing more for the same number of points, went beyond the requirement that we agreed to by incorporating research of a second country and comparing the two for each enduring concept. They were very successful and excited as the process developed. A visual product of their choice was included in each project. Some students created teams and did multiple visuals to support their research.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:56 Lauren
2:56
[Comment From SherriSherri: ] 
Shannon, I guess I was a little more open ended when I was in Middle School. I would provide ideas of projects, then allow them to choose; or I had also had where they chose ideas and then we voted on the most successful ones to show learning, then I wrote up rubrics also based upon what they chose.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:56 Sherri
2:55
Madeline Will: 
I wanted to share a couple of reader examples of this work:
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:55 Madeline Will
2:54
Shannon King: 
SLA can help us make those invisible assessment visible, and they can help students become more empowered because it communicates that they have some control in the assessment process.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:54 Shannon King
2:53
Shannon King: 
...and I'd argue that those matter more than some of the other assessments we place so much value on because those are the ones that determine if kids keep trying or if they give up.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:53 Shannon King
2:53
Shannon King: 
Ron Berger mentions that there are thousands of "invisible" assessments happening in school every day--the ones inside students' heads...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:53 Shannon King
2:52
Shannon King: 
So SLA is a practice that requires a transformation in school culture...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:52 Shannon King
2:51
Shannon King: 
...if I'm a "master of my content" I may not see value in this type of assessment. It is further hindered by most districts' grading and reporting systems.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:51 Shannon King
2:51
Shannon King: 
Teacher mindset/fear was a challenge most of our schools have faced, as well as teachers' sense of identity...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:51 Shannon King
2:50
Shannon King: 
...and there is fear that if you do SLA, students won't be prepared for those.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:50 Shannon King
2:50
Shannon King: 
You also have to deal with that context--there is still pressure to perform on standardized assessments...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:50 Shannon King
2:49
Shannon King: 
...in very data-driven settings, this type of data is messier than those standardized tests.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:49 Shannon King
2:49
Shannon King: 
Sure. This model of assessment typcially requires a shift in school culture...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:49 Shannon King
2:48
Madeline Will: 
Shannon, could you talk a little about the challenges of transitioning to this model of assessment?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:48 Madeline Will
2:48
Katherine Hovanec: 
...it requires a good deal of organization and comfort with ambiguity, but it is ultimately worth it!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:48 Katherine Hovanec
2:47
Katherine Hovanec: 
...and conferencing with students about the result of their final product. Did it meet the requirements? What does the student feel he/she has learned? What are the new goals for the student in preparation for the next assessment?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:47 Katherine Hovanec
2:46
Katherine Hovanec: 
...on-going feedback in various forms. Checking student thinking at major project piece deadlines and leading student work review protocols...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:46 Katherine Hovanec
2:45
Katherine Hovanec: 
...From there, it is my role (along with my team) to set rubrics and guidelines. I make time to conference with each student (both sm. groups and individually)..
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:45 Katherine Hovanec
2:44
Katherine Hovanec: 
I've been meeting with our librarians to help the students "presearch" their topics...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:44 Katherine Hovanec
2:44
Madeline Will: 
Katie, we're getting some questions about the teacher's specific role and what that looks like in practice. Could you talk a little more about how you're involved throughout this process?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:44 Madeline Will
2:43
Shannon King: 
...for example, in Henry Co. VA, students are leading their own IEP meetings using the reflective tools they've learned in this process.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:43 Shannon King
2:42
Shannon King: 
With supports like sentence frames and providing coaching/feedback, students can engage in this type of assessment...and it starts to support that way of thinking that continues after the assessment is over...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:42 Shannon King
2:41
Shannon King: 
Some of our schools are working with at risk in HS specifically. Just this week we had self-contained and team taught English students lead their own conferences about their learning...they were amazing!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:41 Shannon King
2:40
Shannon King: 
Katie described it as a low-threshold/high-ceiling approach.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:40 Shannon King
2:40
Shannon King: 
...the whole premise of SLA is that we care what students are interested in and want to bring that into the classroom. You're meeting the student where they are and helping them develop a goal for where they need to be instead of a "top down" approach...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:40 Shannon King
2:39
Shannon King: 
Hi, singer32--we've found this is actually very beneficial with at risk students...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:39 Shannon King
2:39
[Comment From singer32singer32: ] 
how do you do this with at risk students?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:39 singer32
2:39
Madeline Will: 
Shannon, maybe you can address this question about different populations of students:
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:39 Madeline Will
2:37
Shannon King: 
...and we've had some teachers who negotiate with their students to determine what the students must produce and where they have latitude to "go crazy"!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:37 Shannon King
2:37
Shannon King: 
...showing students the rubric ahead of time is a great way to ensure your students are working with that end in mind...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:37 Shannon King
2:36
Shannon King: 
...it also means you consider the maturity level of your students--how much freedom can they handle?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:36 Shannon King
2:35
Shannon King: 
...offering choice as much as possible is great, and you want to keep an eye on your intended learning outcomes for the unit....
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:35 Shannon King
2:35
Shannon King: 
There certainly is a balance you want to strike with any type of assessment. Too much of a good thing, right? What we’re finding in our classrooms is that differentiation is necessary here, too…some students can handle lots of ambiguity and others need more structure…
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:35 Shannon King
2:33
[Comment From Erin ContradyErin Contrady: ] 
How do you set parameters or guidelines for the work while maximizing students' freedom? This must be a very delicate balance.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:33 Erin Contrady
2:33
Madeline Will: 
Katie, we have a great question from Erin:
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:33 Madeline Will
2:32
Katherine Hovanec: 
...there are still students who pick "safe" topics and regret it, but I generally allow the students to have that "ah-ha" moment and reflect on their decision making.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:32 Katherine Hovanec
2:32
Katherine Hovanec: 
...my experience is that once the students realize that I really mean it when I say they can choose their topic, their choice reading, their [whatever we are studying], they are thrilled...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:32 Katherine Hovanec
2:31
Katherine Hovanec: 
This requires the students to trust the teacher, and the teacher to be prepared to guide the students to "find a way." ...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:31 Katherine Hovanec
2:30
Katherine Hovanec: 
Students are initially wary. They are afraid that following their passions might not lead them to their desired outcomes. ...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:30 Katherine Hovanec
2:29
Madeline Will: 
We've had some questions about the level of engagement for students in forming/creating these assessments. Katie, could you speak to how your students have responded to this work?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:29 Madeline Will
2:27
Shannon King: 
Martha, SLA and PBL are certainly connected. Students who are engaging in PBL can be engaging in a SLA if it is designed that way. Instruction and assessment are inextricably linked, in my mind, and if you start planning your PBL with the intention for students to be involved in the assessment—giving them opportunities to set goals, reflect on their learning throughout the process (while you’re providing feedback), you have SLA embedded in your PBL.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:27 Shannon King
2:27
[Comment From MarthaMartha: ] 
Is this the same as Project Based Learning aka Learning Lab Method?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:27 Martha
2:27
Madeline Will: 
Martha had a question about this compares to project-based learning. Shannon, could you answer?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:27 Madeline Will
2:25
Shannon King: 
...other ideas might include students using self-reflections on 21st c. skills like collaboration, communication, creative & critical thinking as they engage in their learning experiences.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:25 Shannon King
2:24
Shannon King: 
...they use things like reflective exit tickets, "fist to five" reflections and sentence frames to help them engage in that metacognitive process.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:24 Shannon King
2:24
Shannon King: 

Hi, Sherri! As part of our work with the ALP grant, we’ve been exploring this topic with students at all grade levels! Some examples that are common in the elementary grades are reading logs where students express their understanding of their own reading strategies.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:24 Shannon King
2:23
[Comment From SherriSherri: ] 
Thank you ladies for doing this! I now am back in 4th grade after over a decade in Junior High where I did mostly SLA's. Can you give me a couple ideas for 4th grade? My mind is still thinking Middle School!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:23 Sherri
2:22
Madeline Will: 
That's fascinating! Shannon, you've worked with student-led assessments district-wide. Could you share some examples with younger students?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:22 Madeline Will
2:20
Katherine Hovanec: 
...her reflection was related to persistence and remaining curious in the face of struggle.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:20 Katherine Hovanec
2:20
Katherine Hovanec: 
...She connected to nuclear decay, local customs, policies regarding clean up after a disaster etc. (all things she is deeply interested in), and then she talked about her struggles in statistics and how applying the knowledge from chemistry gave context to what she had been attempting to master in statistics.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:20 Katherine Hovanec
2:18
Katherine Hovanec: 
Tony -- One of my sophomores presented on nuclear power (specifically nuclear disasters like the one in Fukashima) and the effect they have on local economies...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:18 Katherine Hovanec
2:17
Katherine Hovanec: 
Martha -- However, you can do SLA at any time. I've seen and done both, but I think it is most effective when the SLA is *the unit* and the teacher is assessing skills throughout.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:17 Katherine Hovanec
2:17
[Comment From Tony SiddallTony Siddall: ] 
Katie, can you share some examples of projects that students have created? I imagine some surprising/interesting stuff comes out when students design the projects themselves.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:17 Tony Siddall
2:17
Madeline Will: 
That sounds like really cool work, Katie. We have a question asking for more specifics:
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:17 Madeline Will
2:15
Katherine Hovanec: 
Martha -- It is both. All year long the students have been reflecting on their 21st century skills and challenges related to those skills. This presentation is a culminating assessment.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:15 Katherine Hovanec
2:14
[Comment From MarthaMartha: ] 
Is this a year-end SLA or a unit-end SLA?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:14 Martha
2:14
Madeline Will: 
Katie, here's a quick question from Martha -
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:14 Madeline Will
2:13
Katherine Hovanec: 
...and as an English teacher, I am assessing their analysis, organization, media to support an oral presentation, and non-verbal skills.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:13 Katherine Hovanec
2:11
Katherine Hovanec: 
The students are connecting humanities, STEM, and elective courses to extra-curricular experiences.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:11 Katherine Hovanec
2:11
[Comment From MarthaMartha: ] 
Choice is not central to SLA?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:11 Martha
 
Shannon King: 
Hi Martha! Choice is absolutely central. I guess we infer that when we say the process is meaningful to the student.
  Shannon King
2:10
Katherine Hovanec: 
I have students presenting their final projects this week. They are oral presentations with students making interdisciplinary connections and commenting upon their growth as a result of being challenged.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:10 Katherine Hovanec
2:09
Madeline Will: 
Katie, could you give us some examples of what this might look like in your classroom?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:09 Madeline Will
2:08
Shannon King: 
Anytime students are reflecting on their learning and articulating what they know and are able to do, that "counts" in terms of SLA.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:08 Shannon King
2:08
Shannon King: 
These assessment experiences are NOT limited to paper and pencil assessment--those tests we typically think of when we talk about assessment.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:08 Shannon King
2:07
Shannon King: 
During our work as a NIC, we have developed the following design principles as important to include as part of student-led assessment experiences:
1. Students are active participants in the process
2. Process is meaningful to the student
3. Demonstrates student learning or growth
4. Feedback is provided throughout the process not just at the end
5. Student self-assessment is integral to the process
6. Equity: These opportunities are accessible to ALL students
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:07 Shannon King
2:06
Shannon King: 
Student-led assessment involves students as stakeholders in their learning process. This means that students need opportunities for meaningful learning and they need to reflect on that learning. They also need feedback from their teachers and peers so they can set goals for their future learning and ultimately measure their growth toward both mastery of the content and 21st c. outcomes.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:06 Shannon King
2:05
Madeline Will: 
So let's address the number one question right off the bat: What does a student-led assessment look like? Shannon, could you give us the big picture definition?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:05 Madeline Will
2:04
Shannon King: 
Our pleasure!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:04 Shannon King
2:03
Madeline Will: 
Thank you both for being here!
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:03 Madeline Will
2:03
Shannon King: 
I currently help lead a 11 district VA "Networked Improvement Community" that is focused on exploring student-led assessment.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:03 Shannon King
2:03
Katherine Hovanec: 
I've been teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools for 10 years. I've been helping students to demonstrate skills through topics of their choice for the past 5 years.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:03 Katherine Hovanec
2:03
Shannon King: 
...it ties into the work we've been doing in FCPS around our "Portrait of a Graduate" and helping students master those 21st c. skills they need to be successful after HS.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:03 Shannon King
2:02
Shannon King: 
Hi there! This is Shannon. I've been passionate about incorporating student-led assessment practices into our work because it helps better prepare students for their futures...
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:02 Shannon King
2:01
Madeline Will: 
Shannon and Katie, will you start things off by giving us a little background about your work with student-led assessments?
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:01 Madeline Will
2:01
Madeline Will: 
I’m joined today by Shannon King, the manager of the Best Practices for Teaching & Learning program at the Fairfax County school district in Virginia, and Katie Hovanec, an English high school teacher in Fairfax.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:01 Madeline Will
2:00
Madeline Will: 
Hello everyone, and welcome to our chat on student-led assessments! My name is Madeline Will, and I’m the assistant editor for Education Week Teacher.
Thursday June 15, 2017 2:00 Madeline Will
10:13
Mike Bock: 
Good morning, and welcome to today's free live chat, "Letting Students Take Ownership of Their Assessments", sponsored by NWEA. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please start submitting them now. We'll be back at 2 p.m. E.T. with Katie Hovanec and Shannon King. Hope to see you then.
Thursday June 15, 2017 10:13 Mike Bock
 
 

Student-led assessments allow students to demonstrate their learning and knowledge in a meaningful way and to reflect on their own performance. Proponents say that this form of assessment allows students to be active participants in their learning, and that it facilitates deeper learning.

The Fairfax County school system is part of a network of districts in Virginia that have received grant money to experiment with different student-led assessment practices. Join Education Week for a conversation with two educators who are leading the work in this area. In this chat, Shannon King, who oversees the network, will discuss the benefits and the challenges of transitioning to student-led assessments. Katie Hovanec, an English teacher in Fairfax County schools, will discuss how she implements student-led assessments in her own classroom.

Guests:
Katie Hovanec, English teacher, Oakton High School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Va.
Shannon King, manager of the Best Practices for Teaching & Learning program, Fairfax County Public Schools, Va.

Moderator:
Madeline Will, assistant editor, Education Week Teacher

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