Educators spend hours assessing their students. Some of it is done formally with desks in rows using bubble sheets to record responses, some if it is done orally by asking students questions, to read a section of text to an adult, or check ins. However a good bit of assessment can be done with today’s tech and will enable our students to feel engaged and excited about the material being assessed. Not every assessment has to look and feel the same to every learner.
In hybrid learning we use the station rotation model to deliver content to students in 3 different ways. In direct the teacher teaches a small group of students face-to-face and gives direct instruction while clarifying questions and errors that the group might have. How could a teacher assess in the direct station? I’ve seen it done in many classes. Give the students the test when they are in the front of the room with the instructor. This offers the teacher insights into each student’s testing strategies, as well as time on task, and effort. Giving assessments, especially formal assessments in the small group enables the learners to ask questions more comfortably and also gives the classroom teacher an opportunity to read to students who may have reading issues, or forgotten their glasses on a test day.
However, the direct station is not the only station that is ideal for completion of assessments. Collaborative projects can be used to assess student understanding of previously taught content. These projects can be assessed with a rubric and I encourage each learner to have their own individual piece to submit for the greater good of the collaborative project. For example; I entered a class the other day where a teacher was setting up google sites for their collaborative groups. The teacher wanted her students to become experts on a novel they had been reading in class. She divided the site into tabs which would allow each group to take an area for expertise and share their knowledge with their entire group at the same time.
The independent station is the station I get the most push back on when I inquire about assessing students’ mastery. How can we possibly assess students in the independent station when they can cheat? How do I know one of the 57 tabs they have open on their browser isn’t the answers? Since when do assessments have to be wrong or right? In my mind, the independent station is great for informal, formative assessments that help us, as educators, to grasp how our students are feeling about the content, gauge their comfort level, or assess their weaknesses. Maybe your assessment here is a simple ticket out the door using Gooru. Maybe it’s a blog written by each student explaining what they’ve learned this week in class. Let’s not forget that power of just checking in and seeing where our students are at and where they desire to be. A great independent assessment would be a likert scale, or other such tool, for students to self reflect on their progress. Another idea, for a more quiz experience is using a Google Form to set up a quiz. It’s self scoring and should offer you some great insights.
If your students have been rotating successfully and productive in all three rotations there is no need to be fearful of assessing students in the rotation station model. Assessing these kids is as easy as 1,2,3…. independent, collaboration, and direct!