Chapter 7, Assessing Problem Solving
I want to start the discussion of assessment with this fabulous quote from the chapter:
"It is through assessment that we improve both student learning and our teaching."Isn't that golden? It really puts the purpose of assessment in perspective. And that's actually how Gojak starts the chapter--by telling us to throw out our preconceived notions about assessment. You simply can't effectively assess problem solving with a test or even a number grade.
The majority of the chapter focuses on formative assessment. The purpose of formative assessment is to guide instruction. It's a continuous cycle of instruct-->assess-->adjust, and in a problem solving classroom, it's often difficult to see where instruction ends and assessment begins as the teacher uses questions to gain a window into student thinking. Gojak notes that formative assessment is "a joint venture in which both the teacher and the student should have an active role." As the teacher models the types of questions that can move a student forward when he is stuck, the student is also learning how to get himself out of a problem solving jam using the same types of questions. The trick is to ask questions that give students only a nudge in the right direction, and not to solve the problem for them.
Rubrics are often used to help students evaluate their own work, and the appendix of the book includes several very useful versions of rubrics to use for self-assessment.
Summative assessments, on the other hand, are designed to determine if students have mastered a particular concept or skill. Gojak points out that summative assessments should take place after students "have had many experiences" with problem solving. Rubrics are used for summative assessments as well as formative, and the appendix has several versions of more formal rubrics that can be used for summative assessments.
Getting close to the end! Next week's chapter wraps up the books with a Q & A. Don't forget to grab your free problem solving posters by clicking on the captions below each picture.
|An intermediate version|
|The primary version|