Aug 2011: FA – A Scientific and Objective Process

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Dear Educator,

We are back after a summer break. As we put CCE into practice in the classroom, we are faced with a number of questions. In this edition of this CCE newsletter, we look at how to make the entire Formative Assessment process scientific.

Please do share with us, your questions and experiences in the classroom.

FA — HOW DO WE ASSESS?
A lot has already been said on the why, what and how of CCE. Your experience in implementing would also have helped in pieces of the puzzle falling in place. A concern with most teachers remains this, how do I assess an activity? How can I be objective?

Let’s first make a list of as many activities as we can put down.


Activities for Formative Assessment line

1. MCQ’s
2. Puzzles — word, math, problem solving
3. Quiz
4. Role Play
5. Debate
6. Group Discussion
7. Oral Questions
8. Dialogue writing
9. Interview
10. Peer Assessment
11. Report Writing
12. Diary/Journal Writing
13. Working Models
14. Collage
15. Charts
16. Field trip
17. Seminar
18. Net Surfing
19. Data Collection
20. Collection of materials
21. Experiments
22. Portfolio,
23. Project
24. Flow Charts
25. Graphic Organizers
26. Assignments
27. Worksheets
28. Class work
29. Home work
30. Survey
31. Observation, recording, reporting
32. Singing
33. Poetry / Creative Writing
34. Dance/Mime
35. Album Making
36. Just a Minute

You will notice that the activities listed cover all the multiple intelligences.
Activities Organised by Multiple Intelligences line

Multiple Intelligences List of Activities
1. Verbal debate, role play, group discussion, creative writing, just a minute
2. Mathematical puzzles, worksheets, survey
3. Visual – spatial working models, chart – making, album
4. Musical – rhythmic role play, singing, dancing
5. Kinesthetic role play, field trip, experiments, project
6. Interpersonal group activity, role play, group discussion, project
7. Intrapersonal assignment, home work, survey, interview, MCQ’s
8. Natural nature walk, field trip, experiments, observation
9. Spiritual group, individual, cultural activity

Why Multiple Intelligences? – Choosing the Activities. line

When we choose our 4-5 activities for an FA period, these should cover as many of the multiple intelligences as possible. They should not cater to a single intelligence – e.g. role play, debate, group discussion, just a minute, as it will be unfair to those who are not verbally strong.

The purpose of an FA is to allow a child to express himself or his learning in a way that he is comfortable with. Not all students have the interest and skill to learn by rote or repeat just what is there within the covers of the text book. We want our students to learn, not just study.

Let us also take care that the activities that students are going to do for other subjects are different and are not repeated.
Parameters for Assessment line

So how do we assess any of the FA activities? It would be judicious to have a set of rubrics or parameters in mind for each activity. We can use the following heads to assess an activity.

Head Parameters
Content a. Coverage
b. Relevance
c. Effective use of content
d. Correctness
Presentation a. Creativity
b. Neatness
c. The different media / material used
Attitude a. Towards the task
b. Punctuality
c. Towards teachers, classmates
d. Was the child able to work independently
Values a. Discipline, honesty
b. Team spirit
c. Sharing and helping
d. Time management
Life skills a. Interpersonal skills
b. Problem solving
c. Decision making
d. Critical and creative thinking

Depending on the activity, we can shortlist the parameters required for assessment. Let’s look at an example.
An Example line

Activity – Assignment, experiment

What does a plant require for growth? Prove it.

Parameters:

1. Coverage of content 6. Punctuality of submission
2. Correctness 7. Was the child able to work independently
3. Experiments done 8. Attitude towards the task done
4. Creativity/Originality of ideas 9. Values exhibited
5. Attitude towards the work 10. Demonstration of life skills

Each of these could be marked mentally on a 3 point scale. We can then allot marks depending on how many of the criteria were met – all, most, many, some, few. Gradually, with practice, this process of assessment becomes intuitive, while being scientific.
A Scientific and Objective Process line

It is important that we assess through an objective and scientific process. Moreover, a fair process like this, helps in answering parents and students who want to know how the marks and grades were awarded.

QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
Please email us your questions about CCE, any suggestions for future topics and any feedback about this newsletter to cce4u@ratnasagar.com
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