Assessing Learning

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to write a blog entry on "Effectively Assessing Digital Learning." The story started easy enough:
“I’m working on a technology grant. We have to assess students in grades 5-8. I need a free, cheap digital literacy assessment for 5-8th grade,” Janet said. “Do you have any ideas?” The question made me pause for a moment, casting back over time. Where had I seen such an assessment before? Mankato Public Schools had one, a simple listing of technology skills for students. That had been over twelve years ago. has such an assessment, but it costs money. Then, I had a flash of insight. Was a list of digital skills the best way to approach this?
The lingering questions, though, raised some doubt in my mind:

  • Effectively assessing: What IS effective assessment anyways? Sure, I've seen all the same diagrams you've seen. From my old constructivist classroom approach, "to know is to know how to make." That's pretty much been the rallying cry when pondering the use of technology to transform teaching and learning. If you know enough to make something, then you've been assessed. In truth, I know that it's not enough. To know how to make something comes in a variety of levels and degrees. It's not a single step into enlightenment, but a gradual transition that can be as imperceptible as climate change.
  • Digital Learning: Who hasn't wondered why digital learning, digital literacy, digital whatever are always distinguished from just plain learning, literacy, etc. It's obvious that people want to separate the two (learning vs digital learning). I have always found the debate pointless, but I'm starting to warm to the side that seeks to abolish imaginary differences between the two. 
To this conversation, we now mix in the aggregate of educational frameworks. When you consider the fallacy of SAMR, you wonder why any administrator wouldn't desire a research-based education framework?
"The LOTI is too complicated," said the Assistant Superintendent. "SAMR is easier."
Alas, if you haven't already, you need to check out Dr. Chris Moersch's Levels of Teaching Innovation (LOTI) and H.E.A.T. frameworks.

You would also do well to watch this webinar by Dr. Liz Kolb (@lkolb) on the Triple E Framework. Here's my adapted tweet from earlier today:
Listen and learn with Liz Kolb () on the question, ""How do you know if technology is effective in your classroom?" You can view her slides here: Presentation and view the Webinar Recording
It's worth every minute.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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