Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Projects as Formal Assessment

In my last post I shared how I hope to use screencasting on a regular basis (maybe weekly) for formal assessment. I think I can be successful with this since it will become a routine where students improve as the year progresses. And screencasting builds all sorts of skills in addition to just content. There are technology skills of course, but there is also a speaking and writing component as well as planning. 

However, I think I’d most like to include more authentic assessments and projects. These make great online assessments because the solutions are not Googleable and every student will come up with a different solution.  I’m lucky that I typically teach content that lends itself well to this type of assignment.  I teach statistics and consumer math.

For statistics, I can ask learners to create visual data displays and run inference tests by choosing a random sample from a larger provided data set.  Statistics problems are great because you can do so much with just one set of data and the focus is on interpretation rather than calculation.  The accuracy is easy enough for me to check with technology if I have students submit their random samples.  That frees me up to read and give feedback on their interpretations.  Our LMS (Schoology) even had the option to leave feedback as audio/video recordings or as annotations done digitally over student submissions.  These tools will allow me to be more efficient in providing feedback to students.

Here are some projects that I have done in my statistics courses in the past that could be done digitally in place of a traditional exam.  Many of these projects are modified from ones shared by other teachers on social media.  I can’t take credit for them :)

Ch 1 Project: Analyzing One Variable Data

Ch 2 Project: Justice League z-scores

Ch 3 Project: Investigating Relationships

Ch 4 Project: Response Bias

Ch 5 Project: Designing a Game

Ch 7 & 10 Project: Sampling Distributions Board Game

Ch 8 - 12 Project: Inference 

And, you can find some great resources for consumer math projects at Next Gen Personal Finance. I’ve used these resources to have students write resumes & cover letters as well as complete calculations related to paying off loans & credit card balances.

This checking project is from a coworker of mine. And I’ve also used Wall Street Survivor to simulate investing. 

During a normal face-to-face course, I would include a presentation piece for all of these assignments.  That could still be accomplished by having students create videos or even just slides presentations with voice overs.

I’m currently in search of some algebra 1 projects similar to these, where each final product would be unique. So send those my way if you come across them.  As usual, I’m open to questions, comments, and compliments :)