Sunday, October 27, 2013

Evaluating the Evaluation -- Students Speak

What's the ultimate proof that your class was a success?

If you believe that the end-of-unit test offers the best way to evaluate the success of your lessons, you may be right. But there's another way.

JETS is presently running a history class for 9th - 12th graders in which all material is presented online via the Haiku Learning Management System.  At the end of Unit 1 students were given the opportunity to select their chosen method of evaluation which included:
·         creating a skit about the topic
·         devising a game for the class to play based on the subject
·         collect images that depict the subject matter into a PowerPoint Presentation

The students worked hard -- harder, they noted, than they would have worked had they simply memorized material for a test.

Evaluations were presented to the entire class and students were expected to comment on each other's presentations. The evaluations that the students presented skits and PowerPoint presentations. 

The students were expected to demonstrate mastery of the subject but, as they themselves noted later, these projects helped them assimilate the subject matter much more thoroughly than they would have through a traditional test.

The students were asked to comment on their evaluations.

These evaluation comments present one of the strongest testaments to the power of the online lesson. If the goal of a lesson is to memorize the subject, a traditional lesson plan and evaluation will accomplish that. If, however, the goal of a lesson is to instill a love of learning in the students, to present them with vibrant, dynamic and meaningful subject material and challenge them to demonstrate their understanding of the topic, it's important to move on to more interactive and demanding rubrics.


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