Assessment in 21st Century Classrooms

Catalog Description:
In this course, participants will explore the content standards for the grades they teach as well as the progressions of topics across grades to understand why the standards are sequenced the way they are and how they relate to the current curriculum. Participants will read articles and watch videos to deepen their understanding of the rationale behind the CCSS, as well as examine model mathematics tasks that illustrate the meaning of various standards and the connections among them. Participants will unpack what is meant when people talk about the “focus, coherence, and rigor” present in the new standards, and connect their current practice with what is needed to implement the Common Core, leaving the course with instructional strategies, resources, and concrete practice planning instruction to implement the standards.

Allow 5 - 7 hours per session for completion of all requirements.

Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.

During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Learn the characteristics of 21st century classrooms.
  • Review 21st century skills and consider how they are assessed.
  • Understand the role of formative and summative assessment.
  • Understand the purposes of assessment in the 21st century classroom.
  • Review assessment methods.
  • Learn characteristics of effective rubrics.
  • Explore the Assessing Projects library.
  • Understand how assessment is integrated in instructional activities.
  • Review information and research about self and peer assessment.
  • Understand how student-teacher conferences enhance assessment.
  • Explore ways to assess learning over time through portfolios.
  • Review assessment instruments for different purposes.
  • Learn to plan assessment around standards and 21st century skills.
  • Develop an assessment plan that describes how and why different assessments are used.
  • Create assessments for a unit or project.
  • Learn strategies to help students transition to new assessment roles.
  • Create activities and resources to support self-assessment.
  • Learn ways to schedule, perform, and record ongoing assessment.
  • Use assessment data to guide reflection, set goals, and plan instruction.
  • Create a process to use assessments for grading purposes.
  • Learn to plan assessments around state standards, Common Core, and 21st Century Skills. 
  • Develop a personal action plan for instruction including alignment to targeted and appropriate Common Core and/or state standards.

Required Readings, Activities and Assignments:
This course is divided into six one-week sessions, each of which includes readings, activities, and an online discussion among course participants. The time for completing each session is estimated to be between five to seven hours. Participants are expected to be engaged in course activities for approximately 30 hours during the six-week course. 

Course Outline:

Orientation: (1-2 hours)
Participants will prepare for the course with an introductory reading and ice breaker activity. Participants will read tip sheets for participating in online discussions, credit information, and complete an orientation survey.

Session One: 21st Century Learning (5-7 hours)
Session One introduces the elements of a 21st century classroom and the skills students need to excel in a changing world. The module explores the role that 21st century skills play in learning, and shows assessment approaches that enhance achievement in a 21st century classroom.

Session Two: Assessment Strategies (5-7 hours)
Session Two introduces the components of effective assessment strategies for 21st century classrooms. Teachers learn about purposes, methods, and instruments for assessment. The module demonstrates how assessment purposes define assessment practice and how different methods and instruments meet those purposes. Teachers also review the characteristics of effective rubrics and explore rubrics, using the Assessing Projects application.

Session Three: Assessment Methods (5-7 hours)
Session Three provides a more in-depth look at how different assessment methods can be integrated throughout the learning cycle to enhance teaching and learning. Teachers look at how assessment methods can be used for various purposes as part of regular classroom activities. Self- and peer assessment, student-teacher conferences, and portfolios are examples of effective assessment methods.

Session Four: Assessment Development (5-7 hours)
Session Four demonstrates how to plan and develop assessments. Teachers are taken through the steps of developing an assessment plan, which includes an Assessment Timeline. They also create assessments to meet standards, 21st century skills, and objectives for a unit or project.

Session Five: Assessment in Action (5-7 hours)
Session Five provides the opportunity for teachers to create resources to support self- and peer assessment; schedule and integrate assessment into existing classroom activities; and develop materials to help manage, track, and grade assessment. Establishing routines and developing supporting resources can help teachers manage assessment activities and data.

Session Six: Preparing for the SBAC (5-7 hours)
Session Six orients teachers in accessing and using Smarter Balanced resources and in aligning standards, instruction, and assessment. Strategies and resources will support teachers in their efforts to make sure that students are academically prepared and technologically prepared to successfully complete and navigate the Smarter Balanced assessment.


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